Chadwick Boseman, HBCU Education, Howard University -

You could feel the love for Wakanda and Chadwick Boseman at Howard University’s graduation King T’Challa delivers a message that few will forget, ‘Howard Forever’

Chadwick Boseman, HBCU Education, Howard University -

You could feel the love for Wakanda and Chadwick Boseman at Howard University’s graduation King T’Challa delivers a message that few will forget, ‘Howard Forever’

Everywhere you looked Saturday morning at Howard University’s 2018 graduation, you’d see kente cloths of all styles and colors, even on graduates’ mortar boards, worn by students, family and others attending the ceremonies. Black pride was everywhere at the university’s 150th commencement.

And it was because King T’Challa from the movie Black Panther, actor Chadwick Boseman, was there to speak to his HU family.

The more than 2,200 graduates, parents and the entire HU family were treated to a ceremony and occasion like no other as Boseman, a 2000 graduate and star of the hit 2018 film, returned to share his message and his love.

He used his interpretation of “Wakanda Forever” (“Howard Forever”) to get the graduates, faculty and HU family hyped about what lies ahead.

He harped on the magic of Howard, noting the university’s physical and non-physical beauty and how his HU education had prepared him for roles that included Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and T’Challa.

“Beyond the physical campus, the Hilltop [Howard University] represents the culmination of the intellectual and spiritual journey you’ve undergone while you’re here,” Boseman said to the graduates.

He urged the graduates to appreciate the moment and their accomplishments, as well as the obstacles they overcame to make it to this special day. Boseman referenced Howard by its nickname of the Hilltop, illustrating how appropriate the name was and students’ uphill battle to make it at Howard.

“Completing a long climb, one first experiences dizziness, disorientation and shortness of breath due to the high altitude, but once you’ve become accustomed to the climb, your mind becomes open to the tranquility of the triumph,” said Boseman.

Finally, he encouraged the graduates to savor the moment and understand the significance of their accomplishments: “Don’t just swallow the moment whole without digesting what has actually happened here. Look now over what you’ve conquered and appreciate what God has brought you through.”

Boseman said he’d help lead the re-establishment of the College of Fine Arts at the university, and he referenced the student protests at Howard this year. For nine days, Howard students occupied the administration building on the campus with a list of demands and grievances. He said he’d taken part in student protests while at Howard, and he praised the protesting students and the administration who listened to their concerns.

Then he concluded his address by crossing his arms across his chest and saying, “Howard Forever” before being awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Nkechi Nnorom, a 2018 Howard University broadcast journalism graduate, contributed to this story.


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