Obama Calls on Black College Grads to Be Role Models

Speaking at Hampton U., president says education helps break down barriers
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2010 4:30 PM CDT
Obama Calls on Black College Grads to Be Role Models
Master Sgt. Robert Nation carries a seedling from the Emancipation Oak, a gift to President Obama from Hampton University, off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Sunday, May 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Obama delivered the commencement address at a historically black college today for the first time since taking office. He called on the graduates of Hampton University in Virginia to "be role models for your brothers and sisters, to be mentors in your communities and, when the time comes, to pass that sense of an education’s value down to your children."

The new graduates can use what they've learned to be sophisticated media consumers, the president said, and therefore better citizens, the New York Times reports. "Information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than a means of emancipation," he said. "So all of this is not only putting pressure on you, it is putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy."
(Read more President Obama stories.)

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