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Harvard grad's inspiring spoken-word poem goes viral

Donovan Livingston, who received his master's degree in education, addressed his classmates Wednesday with a five-minute spoken-word poem "Lift Off."

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Graduates from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, including Naim Sidrotun, of Solo, Indonesia, front left, raise placards and inflatable globes as they are conferred with their degrees during Harvard University commencement exercises, Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Cambridge, Mass.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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Social media is buzzing over a Harvard graduate's poetic commencement speech, which has garnered millions of views and the attention of celebrities.

Donovan Livingston, who received his master's degree in education, addressed his classmates Wednesday with a five-minute spoken-word poem "Lift Off" in which he outlines the historic obstacles that have prevented African-Americans from getting an education.

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The speech begins with a quote by education reformer Horace Mann ...

 “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin,
Is a great equalizer of the conditions of men.” – Horace Mann, 1848

Livingston also  references influential African-Americans including poet Langston Hughes and abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education posted the text and a video of Livingston's speech on Facebook, saying it was "One of the most powerful, heartfelt student speeches you will ever hear!"

More than 8 million have viewed the video, including superstar Justin Timberlake, who shared it on Facebook, adding the caption: "You don't feel inspired?? Here you go."


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