Lauded Actress and Director Angela Bassett To Deliver The Keynote Speech For Spelman’s Commencement

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 24: Actress Angela Bassett arrives at the 4th Annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at Beverly Hills Hotel on February 24, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage)

Angela Bassett has been the exemplification of Black excellence for scores of people over the course of more than three decades. Now, she’s directly addressing the next generation of Black women leaders to help usher in one of the most pivotal points of their lives.

Spelman College recently announced that the award-winning actress, director and executive producer will serve as the keynote speaker for the College’s 137th Commencement Ceremony along with being presented with a Doctor of Fine Arts honorary degree.

“Spelman College is honored to have acclaimed actress and director Angela Bassett to bring words of inspiration to our graduating Class of 2024,” said Spelman College President Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH in a statement. “Her work has had a tremendous impact both on and off the screen and serves as an example for our students to lead in their own spaces. We are equally honored to have a slate of strong Black women join us for our weekend ceremonies, including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Atlanta community icon Rose Scott and the esteemed Reverend Dr. Yvette Flunder. We look forward to them inspiring our graduates, their families and the Spelman community.”

Known for her masterful character portrayals on stage, big and small screens, Bassett starred in a litany of critically acclaimed films including Malcolm X, Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Black Panther, and What’s Love Got to Do With It. Before carving a path as a Hollywood actress, Bassett studied the craft as an Ivy League student.

“When I was in school, my mother stressed education,” she stated according to IMDB. “I am so glad she did. I graduated from Yale College and Yale University with my master’s and I didn’t do it by missing school.”

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