Thursday, September 16

Chimamanda Adichie Delivers UPenn’s Commencement Address, Becomes 1st Black Woman Since 1978

Award-winning Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been reportedly named the first black woman in the world, since 42 years ago, to deliver a speech at the University of Pennsylvania.

Introduced by the school’s president Amy Gutmann, Chimamanda became the first black woman to deliver the Ivy League school’s Commencement address since 1978, when then-US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Patricia Harris did so.

Chimamanda spoke virtually to the class of 2020, who chose her as their Commencement Day speaker, telling them about what strange times we live in.

These may be strange times – they certainly are for me – but I want to urge you to remember that there is so much to celebrate. You’ve done it. You’ve graduated. Congratulations.

The author will be speaking physically to the UPenn class of 2020 on May 22 and 23, 2021, as those dates have been confirmed as the 264th Commencement Day event.

Watch her give her speech below:

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