Commencement Speeches

The Times featured excerpts from a number of commencement speakers. I found this quote from John Lewis to be exceptional:

Sometimes I hear some young people say nothing has changed. I feel like saying, come and walk in my shoes. In 1956, at the age of 16, being so inspired by Dr. King along with some of my brothers and sisters and first cousins, we went to the little library in Pike County, Alabama, a public library in the little town of Troy trying to get library cards, trying to check out some books. And we were told by the librarian that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds.

I never went back to that library until July 5, 1998. By that time I was a member of Congress, and I went there for a book signing of my book. Hundreds of blacks and white citizens showed up. I signed many books. In the end, they gave me a library card. It says something about the distance we’ve come and the progress we’ve made in laying down the burden of race.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *