Guest Essayist: David J. Bobb, Director, Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, Hillsdale College, Washington, D.C.

“Commencement Address at Howard University”

Lyndon B. Johnson

At the end of the United States Civil War, a century before President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 Commencement Address at Howard University, the ex-slave turned American orator and statesman Frederick Douglass concluded that the best thing the federal government could do for Americans of African descent was to leave them alone. Read more

In this commencement address, President Johnson calls for a redefinition of equality.

June 4, 1965

Dr. Nabrit, my fellow Americans:

I am delighted at the chance to speak at this important and this historic institution. Howard has long been an outstanding center for the education of Negro Americans. Its students are of every race and color and they come from many countries of the world. It is truly a working example of democratic excellence. Read more