MUST SEE: This Spoken-Word Harvard University Commencement Address is Bone-Chilling

Donovan Livingston is a proud 2016 graduate of Harvard University School of Education, and delivered his graduation speech titled “Lift Off” through a bone-chilling spoken word performance that raised the speech bar considerable notches for graduation attendees and social media viewers.

Livingston penned words and phrases that speak to systematic racism and oppression, poverty, and privilege. He delivered a message that transcends borders through an engaging cadence that pulls you in, and leaves you craving more.

Livingston’s Bone-Chilling Performance Speech Has Over Three Million Views

His remarks have been viewed by over three million people. Despite an Ivy League education and the privilege that association affords, the new grad kept it real with references to enslaved Africans not being allowed to read or write, Orion’s Belt, and the belief that he and his classmates reserve and deserve the right to fly despite the many “isms” that exist in society.

A Middle School Teacher Nurtured A Spark In Livingston

Confidence met preparedness in his address. Livingston thanked his seventh-grade teacher for pulling him aside and introducing an “overactive kid” to the sound of his own voice. From there it was on.

Writing, poetry, and perfecting the words into a spoken word performance where the cadence is nothing short of captivating. Livingston’s words remind us that excellence is possible despite roadblocks if you recognize your worth and potential.

You Can Tell He’s A Passionate Teacher, We Need More

Livingston’s’ students are blessed to have someone grounded in education and history challenging them to dig deeper. During his speech, he paid tribute to Mother Harriet Tubman. He recognized astronomy, in particular, the “Big Dipper,” which Tubman followed as she led enslaved brethren to freedom.

I Can’t Watch It Enough

This young black educator has left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of people around the globe. Yes, his speech was that powerful. Check it out for yourself.

As for me, I can’t watch it enough. The inspiration is captivating. All the best to 2016 grads everywhere, especially to Livingston for sharing his “authentic voice” with no filter, and without a chaser. Sometimes we need to hear the rawness of a hundred proof. Well done.


Featured Image: Twitter Harvard

C. Imani Williams is a human rights and social justice activist. She writes to empower and give voice to those silenced through systematic oppression. Her work has appeared in Between the Lines, Michigan Citizen, Tucson Weekly, Harlem Times, Dope Magazine and various news and popular culture blogs. Follow the unapologetically black political culture critique @ and