As Kenya Barris sees it, this year’s college graduates have it easy and hard.
Barris, the creator of ABC’s hit show “Black-ish” and its spinoff “College-ish,” told Tufts seniors that they have the “burden of actually being the first graduating class to truly ‘Make America Great Again,’ ” a reference to President Trump’s favorite slogan.
“I can’t honestly think of a time since the Vietnam War that a graduating class has had more on its shoulders than you all,” said Barris.
But in the next breath, Barris took the pressure off.
“If a C student with a neck tattoo can be giving your commencement speech, and a six-time bankrupt former steak-selling reality star can be president of the United States, then, literally, anything is possible,” he said. “So go out and make it happen! Congratulations, Class of 2017.”
Meanwhile, NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel delivered the Class Day speech at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts.
At New England Conservatory’s commencement, the celebrated conductor/composer/pianist André Previn had some words of wisdom for graduates. The 88-year-old Previn also received an honorary degree from NEC, as did composer/multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal, and New England Conservatory life trustee Harold I. Pratt.
Here’s Barris’s address to Tufts students: