8 Lessons We Learned From Barack & Michelle Obama’s Commencement Speeches


Rain or shine, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama withheld their commitments and gave commencement speeches at two HBCU graduation ceremonies this weekend.

The Commander-in-Chief addressed the new grads of Morehouse College, and the FLOTUS delivered her remarks to the students and families of Bowie State University.

While both Obamas made extraordinary points, Michelle was spot on about education issues that affect African Americans and Barack stressed the importance of giving back to the community.

Check out our favorite excerpts and lessons from both must-hear speeches below.

1. Giving back is just has important has working toward your dreams. (President Obama)

“I know some of you came to Morehouse from communities where life was about keeping your head down and looking out for yourself. Maybe you feel like you escaped, and you can take your degree, get a fancy job and never look back. And don’t get me wrong – with the heavy weight of student loans, with doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could scarcely imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty. But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do. Yes, go get that law degree. But if you do, ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and powerful, or if you can also find time to defend the powerless,” the President said. “Sure, go get your MBA, or start that business, we need black businesses out there. But ask yourself what broader purpose your business might serve, in putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood.”

“The most successful CEOs I know didn’t start out intent on making money, rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed,” he added.

2. Inspire those who look up to you to expect more of themselves. (President Obama)

“We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made a few myself. And I have to confess, sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down,” he said. “I had a tendency to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years is, there’s no longer any room for excuses.”

3. Career success means nothing without success at home. (President Obama)

“I still wish I had a father who was not only present, but involved. And so my whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me. I’ve tried to be a better husband, a better father, and a better man.” he said. “Even now, I’m still learning how to be the best husband and father I can be. Because success in everything else is unfulfilling if we fail at family.”

“I know that when I’m on my deathbed someday, I won’t be thinking about any particular legislation I passed, or policy I promoted. I won’t be thinking about the speech I gave, or the Nobel Prize I received,” he continued. “I’ll be thinking about a walk I took with my daughters, a lazy afternoon with my wife, whether I did right by all of them.”

4. A degree is not everything. (President Obama)

“Whatever success I achieved, whatever positions of leadership I’ve held, have depended less on Ivy League degrees or SAT scores or GPAs, and have instead been due to that sense of empathy and connection – the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who needed it most; people who didn’t have the opportunities that I had, because but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes. So it’s up to you to widen your circle of your concern – to create greater justice both in your own community, but also across our country. To make sure everyone has a voice; everyone gets a seat at the table; to make sure that everyone – no matter what they look like or where they come from, or who they love – gets a chance to walk through those doors of opportunity if they want it bad enough.”

5. Too many young people fantasize about becoming ball players and rappers, opposed to teachers and lawyers. (First Lady Michelle)

“Today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of ‘separate but equal,’ when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper,” she said and the audience applauded. “Right now, one in three African American students are dropping out of high school. Only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree — one in five.”

6. Education is for everybody. (First Lady Michelle)

“As my husband has said often, please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white. Reject that,” she said. “In short, be an example of excellence for the next generation.”

7. People who are more educated live longer. (First Lady Michelle)

“Today, getting an education is as important if not more important than it was back when this university was founded. Just look at the statistics. [Applause] People who earn a bachelor’s degree or higher make nearly three times more money than high school dropouts, and they’re far less likely to be unemployed. A recent study even found that African American women with a college degree live an average of six and a half years longer than those without. And for men, it’s nearly 10 years longer. So yes, people who are more educated actually live longer.”

8. Be proactive. (First Lady Michelle)

“If the school in your neighborhood isn’t any good, don’t just accept it. Get in there, fix it. Talk to the parents. Talk to the teachers. Get business and community leaders involved as well, because we all have a stake in building schools worthy of our children’s promise.”

“And when it comes to your own kids, if you don’t like what they’re watching on TV, turn it off. [Applause] If you don’t like the video games they’re playing, take them away. [Applause] Take a stand against the media that elevates today’s celebrity gossip instead of the serious issues of our time. Take a stand against the culture that glorifies instant gratification instead of hard work and lasting success.”

Check out the full-length speeches below and weigh in on your favorite parts in the comment section.



Say, What? New Pregnancy Prevention Campaign Features Pregnant Teen Boys



Photos from a new pregnancy prevention campaign in Chicago has many city bus and train riders turning their heads. “Unexpected,” the Chicago Department of Public Health’s latest effort to help reduce teenage pregnancy, features images of pregnant boys.

Sources say the teen birth rate in the Windy City is 150 percent higher than the national average. According to CDPH officials, the campaign is meant “to instill the idea that teen parenthood is not just a girl’s responsibility.”

The department urges teens to visit BeYouBeHealthy.org and Sexedloop.com for more information on safe sex, abstinence and birth control.

What do you think of this taboo ad? Effective or no?


5 Fun Dating Tips From Niecy Nash


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Do you want to get a man, keep a man and stay in love? Niecy Nash says she has all the answers.

The happily-married actress and matchmaking guru recently released her first book, It’s Hard To Fight Naked, which she describes as a tale of her “crazy experiences” with love.

“I believe with my whole heart that love is the thing we were created for, yet it’s also the place where we struggle the most,” Nash wrote in a blog post on her site. “Let me just invite you all to think differently.”

No matter what stage you find yourself in the relationship game, Nash said she has “some valuable information that is necessary for the journey.”

I wrote a book with the hopes of encouraging & inspiring you to receive God’s best for you. I don’t claim to an “expert”, I’m just a woman who has been through it! I’ve been desperately single, an internet dater, married, divorced, and happily re-married. I want to share all of these crazy experiences with you! I am also providing REAL strategies on how to get and maintain the relationship you deserve.

You guys know I consider myself a bit of a matchmaker after I introduced Sherri Shepherd to Lamar Salley and a year later they were engaged! I love Sherri so much and just like I helped her find a husband, I want to help you! No matter what stage you find yourself in the relationship game, I have some valuable information that is necessary for the journey.

Now, let’s take a look at 5 love and dating tips from Ms. Jay Tucker. Be sure to let us know if you agree!

1. The title of her book tells it all.

“You will learn a lot about yourself, the opposite sex, how traditional myths have gotten us of track, and ultimately how hard it is to fight naked. If you start naked you might avoid a fight altogether!”

2. Date for your priorities, not your preferences.

“People always say, ‘How did you meet your husband? How did you get this kind of relationship? God, you guys seem so good together and perfectly matched.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, let me tell you how to get the man who’s perfectly matched for you,’ you know, and it starts with—and this is a conversation I had with Sherri, let me tell you what, because Sherri was still at a place when she met Lamar where she wanted to date for her preferences as opposed to her priorities.”

3. Don’t be afraid of online dating.

“Let me tell you what. I was on Match.com, Black People Meet. I was on Christian Singles and BlackWomenWithWeavesAndKids.org or something like that.”

4. You attract what you are.

“The biggest problem that women make, or people make in getting a relationship, is you jump in when you’re not your best self. You draw that similar energy to you.”

5. Take a selfie everyday. 

“I would take pictures everyday because I wanted him to see what he was missing.”


It’s Hard to Fight Naked is in stories now.


Unfaithful: Mary Mary’s Tina Campbell Opens Up About Her Husband Cheating On Her


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You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

We’ve laughed, cried and sang along with gospel megastars Mary Mary on the last two seasons of their hit WeTV reality show. The ladies have shared a great deal about their personal lives but we didn’t see this bombshell coming — one of the sisters recently revealed that her husband had an extramarital affair.

In the June issue of Ebony, Tina Campbell shares that she and hubby Teddy almost suffered a divorce from past infidelity.

“Once I became aware [of the affair], I initially wanted to kill my husband,” she admitted. “I was considering adjusting the will, the living trust and all that kind of stuff. I did physically try to stab him. Several times…I never got to the point of physical harm, not really, but my words…My words hurt.”

It’s unclear when the affair took place, but if you’ve watched “Mary Mary” then you know Tina had mouthful to say after it all came out.

The full interview will be released when the issue hits newsstands on May 7th.


Mountain Dew Kicks Lil Wayne To The Curb Over Emmett Till Lyric


Lil Wayne is the latest rapper to lose an endorsement deal over a controversy rap line.

Last month, Reebok dropped rapper Rick Ross for an explicit date rape lyric, and this week, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew followed suit over a derogatory reference Wayne made about civil rights icon Emmett Till.

In a statement, PepsiCo said Wayne’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.” The Young Money rapper won’t be working with the soft drink company anytime in the near future,  but it’s not clear if they will stop running his current ads.

Sarah Cunningham, a publicist for Lil Wayne, attributed “creative differences” as the reason for the spilt. “That’s about all I can tell you at this time,” she said.

Earlier this week, the “No Worries” rapper issued an apology letter to the Till family. A spokesperson of the family, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, commended Wayne on his gesture, but said it fell “short of an apology,” as he never used the words “T’m sorry.”

“I think that he’s kind of been pressured or he’s been admonished to make a statement to the family because of the ongoing negative publicity and attention and the pressure we’ve put onto his endorsement with Mountain Dew,” Gordon-Taylor said. “I feel like it was an acknowledgment. He has finally, publicly acknowledged the ongoing outcry. It was not an apology. … However, I think it’s a start. I think the door is now open for us to have a sit-down, to have a dialogue.”

Mountain Dew also pulled an offensive new commercial directed by Odd Future rapper Tyler, The Creator earlier this week.

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Obama Becomes 1st President To Address Planned Parenthood


President Obama became the first sitting president to speak at Planned Parenthood’s national conference, yesterday.

He told about 1,200 attendees that the woman’s health care provider “is not going anywhere” and “no politician should get to decide what’s best for you.”

“When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag…When they talk about cutting off funding, let’s be clear, they’re talking about telling many of those women, you’re on your own. They’re talking about shutting those women out at a time when they may need it most, “he said. “When it comes to a women’s health, no politician should get to decide what’s best for you. The only person who should get to make decisions about your health is you.”

Although Obama never use the word “abortion” in his nearly 13-minute speech, he did praise the organization for fighting for affordable healthcare and a woman’s right to choose.

“So every day, in every state, in ever center that Planned Parenthood operates, there are stories [about] lives you’ve saved, women you’ve empowered, families that you’ve strengthened. That’s why, no matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, if there’s one thing the past few years have shown, it’s that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow,” he said.

The President went on to say that he will help the organization in its fight to keep its doors open.

“As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a President who’s going to be right there with you fighting every step of the way,” he said.


SpinMedia Buys Vibe Magazine, Likely To Discontine Print Edition



Vibe magazine has seen better days.

According to the New York Times, the 21-year-old R&B and hip-hop magazine has been bought out by SpinMedia, the company that houses websites like TMZ, Gawker, BuzzFeed and JustJared.

The sale, which was for a disclosed amount, also included Vibe.com and Vibevixen.com. Steve Hansen, SpinMedia’s chief executive, described the magazine as “an industry leader in the urban and hip-hop category for decades.”

“It’s really exciting to add this to SpinMedia’s collection of music properties and bring more digital DNA to the team and see what they can do,” he said.

He went on to say that the sale may mean that Vibe will exist solely online. “We are still trying to find a print model that makes economic sense in the digital age,” he said.

According to SpinMedia, Vibe’s websites have 1.4 million visitors and serve 1.6 million video streams, while the print circulation only reaches an average of 301,000 readers.