Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mike Ramey; “Hail The HBCU Graduates And All!” Speech…

May 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Education, Misc., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Once a year, I like dedicating a column to the young brothers who are going to step forward into the adult ranks with their diplomas and degrees…tassel flip included. Sadly, high schools, colleges and universities no longer honor their graduates with speeches from ‘real’ folk. As exampled by a recent glaring error from an eastern college, it is considered ‘hip’ to invite–and pay–a television starlet who has used her physical charms to ‘shake and snake’ her way to her fifteen minutes of fame (which clearly goes against the tenets of feminism) to inform graduates about ‘life.’

Nevertheless, there IS hope to be found after graduation…the hope that rests within the graduate. That is the message that I would like to bring forth   this year, as a hush falls over our imaginary auditorium.


“I am well aware that there are young women present for graduation today; however, my remarks will be aimed at the young men in the house. Brothers, from a man who has moved from the player to the coaching ranks (seemingly overnight based upon the amount of gray taking up residence in my hairline) I congratulate you on making it across the starting line by joining the graduate ranks.

Four years ago, many of you young brothers were going through a similar ceremony in your local communities. Now its ‘degree grabbing’ time, as you head out the door toward the horizon that you have been blessed to progress. It took courage for you to get here. It’s going to take courage for you to re-fire the hope to continue your journey.

The COURAGE to stay out of compromising situations with men and women.

The COURAGE not to take ‘short cuts’ to get wealth without work.

The COURAGE to know when to turn the videos off, unplug from
your ipod and pick up a good book or worthy newspaper.

The COURAGE to woo and marry a quality woman of a similar faith, beliefs and education structure, and to go public with your decision and stand firm in it!

The COURAGE to be a father to your children in a society that respects neither.

It should come as no shock that the economy is bad, you have student loans due, and your job chances are possibly zero in your chosen profession. This is the same scenario ALL graduates face. Either you will rise to the challenge, or the challenge is going to beat you down!


As you sit clad in cap and gown ready to step out into society, beware of those people, issues and institutions who will do all in their power to distract you from your life’s mission. This is not the first time graduates have had to face tough times and weak morality. Every generation–even in pools of prosperity–have to define what they stand for, and what they will rise above. Graduates: It is not what you have in your pocket nor on your back that will determine your ultimate worth.

It is how you ‘get up’ when you have been knocked down by life.

Don’t let a loss, setback, or failure ‘lock’ you in the blame cycle. Don’t let what someone has done to you, said about you, or spread about you force you to take up residence in the Valley of Bitterness. Don’t become a charter member of the ‘Whiner’s Club’! Be courageous! Handle your victories with humility and your defeats with grace as you never quite know upon which end of the pier you will be upon at the end of any given day.

Take a good look around you. Our country has become infatuated with ‘Reality TV’ but has become weak in dealing with reality. Children cuss at teenagers, teenagers cuss at their parents and authority figures, and the list is endless. Some reality shows are measured by the number of bleeped-out words uttered or shouted by the participants. Thanks to these low standards, you have people–some of them seated around you today– believing that they can treat anybody in any given way, and the end result will be acceptable. In case you haven’t been told, dear graduate, what you see on the video screen is not 100 percent real. Prospective employers don’t think a ‘potty mouth’ and the ‘morals of an alley cat’ are cute. Neither do prospective spouses.


I have a few more items in my speech to hit before I take my seat. Of course the graduates are quietly forming the words ‘Amen’ upon their lips! I hear you! I don’t like loooong speeches, either!

A diploma or degree is just like any other piece of paper: It is the ticket to get you into a particular vocation or career. It is NOT the be-all-or-end-all of competence in a particular vocation or career. Only YOU can determine your OWN worth by your actions!

You see, unbeknownst to you, a battle has been raging in our society. It has been going on when you first entered the classroom in Kindergarten, and it will be going on until our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ returns to claim his own.

The battle rages between the effective–and the status quo.

Take the field of education for example. There are those licensed and certified teachers who have been in the field ‘for years’, yet have little to show for their efforts… other than a great benefits package. I call these individuals Edu-traitors. Their ability to inspire, motivate, and encourage students vanished long ago. YET the Edu-traitor refuse to retire or even read the handwriting of their own lack of talent on the wall . Sadly, these individuals vehemently oppose those who may be in the education profession on a limited basis, who are having more impact upon young people than they think possible.

In short? They hate on REAL Educators.

You’ve all heard the lie over the years that men won’t enter the education field. The truth? The Edu-traitors–mainly females–have kept men OUT of the profession, while at the same time belittling those men who have impacted youth. Educators DO NOT all have to be licensed, certified, or in the classroom for years. Think back over your own school careers. Who really encouraged you to stick with the books or seek out a tutor or stay out of trouble? In most cases, it was NOT a ‘professional teacher’, but someone else in the school setting. You see, ‘Educators’ can be a beloved bus driver, teachers assistant, custodian, cafeteria worker or substitute teacher. When a student needs help in those real life areas such as suicide, a teacher’s license doesn’t matter much…but the heart of the helper DOES! Always remember:

The title of Educator is an ‘earned’ title and the title of Edu-traitor is best applied to the keepers of the academic status quo of our times. Marva Collins is an EDUCATOR because she put her skin in the game and helped ANY student who wanted to be readied for real life. If YOU can make that kind of investment, my brothers, you deserve to be counted as a man–regardless of what field that you may chose to enter. Steer clear of those who are content to hoodwink you into settling for less than your best.

As we wrap up our time together I hasten to add the following: make sure your spiritual life is on a firm foundation. We live in an open society. Investigate all…but make sound choices. As for me and MY house; we shall serve the Lord.

God bless you, and go forth and make those dreams come true!”

Staff Writer; Mike Ramey

This talented writer can be reached at the following address;

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