Biden Delivers Speech at Morehouse College

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Sunday, May 19, President Joe Biden delivered the commencement speech at Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Georgia. This was the first time that Biden visited a college campus since the outbreak of the nationwide protests relating to the Israel-Hamas war. 

The selection of Biden for the commencement speech resulted in tension with the students and school faculty, however. The president of the school reportedly said that he would be putting an end to the ceremony before allowing any type of police intervention. 

Biden’s visit was expected to put a few of his reelection challenges in the spotlight — one being his approach to Israel and Gaza and the other being his difficulties maintaining the endorsement of young people and Black voters. Biden previously managed to win the election in 2020 in Georgia by a slim majority. 

Fred Hicks, the Georgia-based Democratic strategist said ahead of the speech that the decision by Biden to deliver a commencement at Morehouse was a “nod” to the reality that young voters and Black men were considering abstaining from this year’s election. He added that Biden’s campaign understands that it is necessary to take some action to bring them back. 

Biden’s speech was ultimately met with no significant disruptions, though reports have called the audience’s engagement “subdued.” The president spoke during his remarks about serving Black voters as well as supporting the right to peaceful demonstrations. “Your voices should be heard,” he said, adding his assurance that he could hear those voices.

He also attempted to reach the audience by addressing the situation in Gaza, noting that he has called for a cease-fire to end the violence and return the hostages held by Hamas. He said he knows people are angry and heartbroken, and expressed similar sentiments himself.

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