#JaisaanLovett graduated from the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, N.Y. last month as the school’s very first black valedictorian. Unfortunately, his principal Joseph Munno denied him the honor to speak at the graduation ceremony and it caused an uproar amongst the community, ultimately leaving Munno to retire over the weekend.
Luckily, Lovett was able to give his speech due to having friends in high places! Rochester’s mayor, Lovely Warren, extended an invitation to Lovett—who happens to be one of her interns—to give his valedictorian speech at City Hall instead.
“Speaking truth to power is fundamental to our democracy,” Warren stated in a Facebook post. “Recently, Jaisaan Lovett was silenced and prevented from giving his Valedictorian Speech by his high school, UPrep, here in our City.” Warren went on to congratulate Lovett and tell him how proud she was to give him that platform.
Now, the gag of this whole story was Lovett’s acceptance speech! He and principal Munno have reportedly clashed over the years and he had a few words for his principal. “To Mr. Munno, my principal, there’s a whole lot of things I’ve wanted to say to you for a long time. I’m here as the UPrep 2018 valedictorian to tell you that you couldn’t break me. I’m still here, and I’m still here strong,” Lovett said. Whew, chileeeee, the black excellence!
Lovett and Munno reportedly clashed often, but their student-teacher relationship became strained after he held a week-long strike in protest of sub-par lab safety equipment. However, despite the animosity between them, Lovett said that he has forgiven Mr. Munno “in order to better myself.”
Check out the speech below!
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on IG