Harvard Graduate Donovan Livingston’s Delivers Powerful Spoken Word Speech

Donovan Livingston’s Powerful Spoken Word Speech

On Wednesday, Fayetteville native Donovan Livingston delivered a powerful spoken word speech at a convocation of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In the poem, Donovan discussed the hurdles black people must overcome in today’s education system.

Education is no equalizer –
Rather, it is the sleep that precedes the American Dream.
So wake up – wake up! Lift your voices
Until you’ve patched every hole in a child’s broken sky.

Within hours, the video of Donovan Livingston’s speech went viral. It was something even he didn’t expect.

I had no idea the poem would be so well received, but I’m certainly grateful for all the positive attention that it’s been getting, whether it’s from Hillary Clinton or friends that I’ve grown up with my entire life. It means the same to me that I was able to touch and inspire some folks for five minutes.

I wanted people to understand both the legacy of inequalities in education and how we often laud education as this thing that is the great equalizer in our society, and it’s really not. In many ways, some education systems work to reinforce inequalities in the country. Highlighting that was really important to me.

Watch Donovan’s full speech below.



What’s next for Donovan? He plans to pursue a doctorate in education leadership at UNC Greensboro.

Black excellence!