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President Obama Delivers Remarks At Morehouse College 2013 Commencement

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There is so much to be learned by attending an HBCU. It can be argued that there are certain experiences and lessons you can have at an HBCU that you may possibly miss out on if you attend a predominately white institution.

HBCUs have given us some of the greatest in sports and entertainment. Many of our favorite celebrities attended a historically black college or university and have ended up changing the world in massive ways. Let’s take a look at 10 HBCU alumni and a few quotes from them that will help get you through your everyday life.


1. Diddy

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet

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He may not have graduated but Sean “Diddy” Combs attended Howard University for two years. The rest is history and he went on to be one of the top two earning acts in hip hop.

Quote: “Challenges build character. Who you are is a sum total of your life experiences. If you were never challenged, you would never learn resilience. And if you never learned resilience you’d never make it to the heights you are headed towards.”

2. Erykah Badu

SXSW Film-Interactive-Music - Day 9

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Erykah Badu hails from Dallas, TX but attended Grambling State University where she studied theater.

Quote: “I have advice for people – period – who are in unhealthy relationships: Follow your heart. It will get you to where you need to be. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy, the places that your heart takes you. But continue to follow it. Where the train leads you – you’ll get there.”

3. Anika Noni Rose

48th NAACP Image Awards Non-Televised Awards Dinner - Arrivals

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Anika Noni Rose not only voiced Disney’s first black Princess, she also received her bachelor of arts in theater from Florida A&M University.

Quote: “I rock because sometimes I’m scared and that’s alright. I rock because I’m not afraid to cry. I rock because I’m loved and I’m able to love. I rock…I rock.”


4. Spike Lee

Spike Lee

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Spike Lee is all about the HBCU life. While also taking classes at Clark Atlanta University, Spike graduated from Morehouse with a BA in mass communications.

Quote: “I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect.”


5. Keenan Ivory Wayans

Premiere Of Sony's 'Sausage Party' - Arrivals

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Keenan Ivory Wayans is one of our generation’s greatest creators and he attended Tuskegee University on an engineering scholarship.

Quote“Creativity is the answer. I always prefer the creative solution to an expensive solution.”


6. Lance Gross

Lance Gross at Jhene Aiko x Pac Sun x Neff Headwear Soul Of Summer Collection Launch

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Lance Gross is another Howard University alum who went on to do great things. He majored in film production with a minor in acting. He graduated and became an actor and photographer.

Quote: “It’s shown and proved that hard work pays off. Make goals, achieve them and replace them with new goals.”


7. Common

48th NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

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Common studied business administration at Florida A&M University. He’s now a rapper, actor and Oscar winner.

Quote: “You have to be sincere in your feelings. And fear is one of those, sometimes; doubt is one of those; jealousy, anger – all your emotions are not going to be considered the strong emotions; all of them are not going to be love, happiness, joy.”


8. Taraji P. Henson

Taraji Henson

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Taraji P. Henson studied electrical engineering at North Carolina A&T University briefly before transferring to Howard University where she graduated with a degree in theater.

Quote: “Humans have a light side and a dark side, and it’s up to us to choose which way we’re going to live our lives. Even if you start out on the dark side, it doesn’t mean you have to continue your journey that way. You always have time to turn it around.”


9. 2 Chainz

59th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

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It’s no secret that 2 Chainz was a star basketball player in high school. His skills on the court lead him to a scholarship at Alabama State University.

Quote: “I encourage everyone to pay attention to the issues that matter to you, from jobs and the economy, to education and our schools, to criminal justice reform. Whatever it is that you care about, make sure you use your voice.”


10. Wale

Sports Research Launches New Performance Line

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Wale attended Virginia State University on a football scholarship before transferring to Bowie State University. He also attended Robert Morris University.

Quote: “The ability to make somebody feel something: that’s art. However you look at it, whether you’re an author, a painter, a singer, a rapper, a spoken-word artist – art.”