Explaining The Black Urge To Express Unbridled Joy At Graduation Ceremonies

black woman smiling with graduation cap on
Leslie Grover-Taylor
May 31, 2023

Let’s be clear. We should NEVER be ashamed to show up and show out for graduation celebrations. Here’s why.

#1 Without us there would be no universities at all.  The first university on earth, Sankoré University, was founded in Mali in 989 AD. There students learned about law, astronomy, and religion. It had the largest library on earth, and students from across the globe studied there. Best of all, it still exists today.

#2 Graduations honor Black resilience globally. Our people continue to survive poverty, colonization, enslavement, and oppression, and we still manage to complete our educational goals.

#3 Black joy at school ceremonies is under attack. Across the nation, expressions of joy have been banned at ceremonies. When we wear our best clothes, bring family together, and make noise for ourselves, we are showing that Black lives matter, even in the face of oppression.

Whether we graduate summa cum laude or thank you Lordy, graduation celebrations remind us of the power of our Blackness. No matter where we live, our hard work, families and communities across the globe continue to thrive, and that’s always a reason to celebrate. Keep dancing, shouting, crying, yelling, and showing up in joy. The culture demands it.

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