(Asa Hillard) Central Washington State University 1989 Commencement Address

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Asa G. Hilliard, III Papers

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In 1989, Asa G. Hilliard, III delivered the commencement address at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. Beginning at time mark 19:53 the President of Central Washington University, Dr. Donald Garrity, introduces Dr. Hilliard, who starts speaking at 24:29. In the address, Hilliard tells the story of George Bush, the first person of African descent to live in the Washington territory, and Bush’s son William, the first African American to hold elected office in the state of Washington. Hilliard’s speech focuses on the importance of cultivating wisdom to be truly educated, admonishing the graduates not to become enslaved by overconsumption or by the technological tools becoming available. He quotes T. S. Eliot, Plato, and Frantz Fanon, among others to illustrate the theme. He notes that knowledge and ability are not enough without perspective. Hilliard’s address ends at time mark 43:34.

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