XM does not provide services to residents of the United States of America.

At Morehouse graduation, thanks to 'God for woke class of 2024'

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><head><title>At Morehouse graduation, thanks to 'God for woke class of 2024'</title></head><body>

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Heather Timmons

ATLANTA, May 19 (Reuters) -President Joe Biden's commencement speech at Morehouse College on Sunday was delivered without any interruptions from students or faculty critical of his Israel policies, but graduation speakers seized the national spotlight that came with his presence to talk about race, Gaza and U.S. politics.

Morehouse, one of about 100 U.S. HBCUs, or historically Black colleges and universities, was founded in 1867 to educate Black men newly liberated from slavery. Alumni include civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., and multiple speakers, including Biden, invoked his legacy civil rights activism.

Morehouse 2024 valedictorian DeAngelo Jeremiah Fletcher, whose mortarboard included a logo of the Palestinian flag with clenched fists, acknowledged that he had considered not giving a speech at all, then called for a ceasefire.

"It is my stance as a Morehouse man, nay as a human being, to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip," he said. Biden applauded.

Some Morehouse students and faculty had called for Biden to be disinvited over his staunch support for Israel in the Israel-Hamas war that has killed tens of thousands in Gaza, Palestinian authorities say, and left many homeless and on the edge of famine. Israel is responding to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas militants that authorities say killed 1,200.

The college's president, David Thomas, had vowed to shut down the ceremony if it was disrupted, but the only signs of protest were small and silent.

"Thank you God for this woke class of 2024,” Reverend Claybon Lea Jr. said in his opening evocation, praising the students for their political awareness, as Biden, sitting onstage, smiled.

The reverend, who leads a Baptist church in California and is a Morehouse graduate, cited a "Palestinian Jew named Jesus," and said all children matter from Israelis to Palestinians and beyond.

Lea also called on God to grant Biden a "strengthening in his body, mind and spirit with a renewed resolve to lead this country and help us to become what Martin King called the beloved community."

HBCUs have a rich history of political activism, particularly amid the civil rights movement when students organized protests, marches and sit-ins to fight against segregation, racism and discrimination.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Atlanta and Susan Heavey in Washington; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Leslie Adler


Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.