Yesterday, Janelle Monáe received an honorary degree from Dillard University, a historically black liberal arts college in New Orleans. She also spoke at the school’s commencement ceremony, discussing her role as NASA physicist Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures and exhorting the graduating class to “choose freedom over fear.” Watch her address and read her response to the honor below via The LA Times.
Yesterday was special. Honestly… I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be receiving an honorary doctorate's degree of humane letters from such a prestigious HBCU like Dillard University. Almost didn't accept out of fear and doubt; thinking I needed to be a specific type of person to receive such a high honor. I accept this honor in the name of my family; my grandmother who was a share cropper in Mississippi, had 12 kids, and never got an opportunity to get a higher education. I accept this honor in the name of my parents who worked as janitors, post office workers, and garbage collectors serving the community PROUDLY, but never got a chance to fully pursue a higher education. This one is for my family. AND this is for all the young people: the artists, the protesters, the writers, the teachers, etc all striving to be better and do more for the community through your writing, through your music, through your mentoring, through the arts, & through whatever gifts you may have! Thank you to President Walter Kimbrough, The Faculty & Board of Trustees, students, and everyone involved with making this decision. I have a lot more growing and learning to do as 👁 evolve as a student of life. I hope to make you proud. I'm 4EvA Eva Eva proud to be a part of the Dillard University Family! 🙏🏿 With love, Lil Dr. Monáe ;-)
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DILLARD UNIVERSITY CLASS OF 2017!! THANK YOU 4 HAVING ME AS YOUR COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER. 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿😭 pic.twitter.com/1wMsUckXmE
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) May 13, 2017