Dr. Cornel West Energizes Spelman Grads

My beautiful cousin Brittany graduated from Spelman College on Sunday (5.17.09), and I had the great pleasure of watching her make that splendid transition from student to alumna. Most graduations tend to be major bores. The audience is forced to sit through hundreds of names, only to have ten seconds to bask in the glory of their loved one's cameo on the stage. However, I simply could not come down after the Keynote speaker, Dr. Cornel West, concluded his inspiring speech (even between yawns).

Doing what he does so magnificently, Dr. Cornel West did everything short of having the crowd hop to our feet as he spoke about the majesty of sisters, success, the role of music in black culture and education.

I was so disappointed in myself for not packing along my journal, which is usually in tote. I almost broke out my cell phone to take a few notes on the device, but sitting with my familial elders, I decided against it. I surely wasn't in the mood to explain to the technologically impaired that I wasn't texting, but keying in some key quotes by Dr. West. Fortunately, my memory captured a couple of lines that really stuck with me and apply to my own life as a struggling writer:

"Don't confuse success with greatness."

"Don't be an echo. Be a voice."

I won't go into detail about what these statements mean to me and how these mottos have been and will continue to be incorporated into my day-to-day. I hope you all can gather something from these small, yet profound gems of scholarly wisdom.

1 Engage in Discourse:

A said...

I'm digging those two quotes you remembered. Unfortunately, most people are brainwashed by society into believing the hype. There definitely are more robots than thinkers in this world.

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