Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle Speaks About George Floyd & #BlackLivesMatter in Surprise Commencement Speech by Donna John

3 years ago

Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, surprised graduating high school seniors at Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles with a virtual commencement speech. Markle apologized to the graduates and talked about the #BlackLivesMatter movement after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.

“What is happening in our country and in our hometown of L.A. has been absolutely devastating. I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous I wouldn’t or that it would get picked apart. And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing because George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and Philando Castile’s life mattered, and Tamir Rice’s life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we don’t know,” Markle says.

Markle went on to apologize to the students and shared her memories of the L.A. riots. “So the first thing I want to say to you is that I’m sorry. I am so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present. I was 11 or 12 years old when I was just about to start Immaculate Heart Middle School in the fall and it was the L.A. riots, which was also triggered by a senseless act of racism. I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home, and on that drive home seeing ash fall from the sky, and smelling the smoke, and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings, and seeing people run out of buildings, carrying bags and looting. I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles. I remember pulling up to the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. Those memories don’t go away.”

She ended her speech by encouraging the graduates to stay positive. "You know that you're going to rebuild, rebuild and rebuilt until it is rebuilt … because when the foundation is broken, so are we. You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice."

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What an amazing speech.
Elisa Schmitz
She did an amazing job on this talk to the graduating class at Immaculate Heart. I got goosebumps. Thank you for sharing this, Donna John .
Very inspiring. I'm sure she feels much freer to speak her mind now.

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