07.07.2018

First Black Valedictorian Speaks At City Hall After High School Denies Him Graduation Speech

First Black Valedictorian Speaks At City Hall After High School Denies Him Graduation Speech

When the first black valedictorian of a Rochester, N.Y. high school was mysteriously denied the opportunity to give his graduation speech, he received an even better option.

Jaisaan Lovett graduated last month as the valedictorian of University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men, becoming the first black student to ever earn that title. But when his principal denied him the chance to give his prepared remarks at the graduation, the city’s black female mayor stepped in, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Mayor Lovely Warren not only offered him the chance to give his speech at City Hall, but she also made sure that it was posted on her Facebook page and on her Youtube channel. 

Lovett knew the Mayor from his two years as an intern in her office, the Washington Post reports.

“Unfortunately, Jaisaan's school did not allow him to give his valedictorian speech,” Warren said in the video. “For some reason, his school – in a country where freedom of speech is a constitution right, and the city of Frederick Douglass – turned his moment of triumph into a time of sorrow and pain.

For the full story, visit Essence.com/News.