Jaissan Lovett made history at the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, N.Y. by becoming the first black valedictorian at the school. Prepared to give his graduation speech, the teen was denied the opportunity, but received a better invitation instead.

“Unfortunately, Jaisaan’s school did not allow him to give his valedictorian speech,” the city’s black female mayor, Mayor Lovely Warren, commented in a video. “For some reason, his school – in a country where freedom of speech is a constitution right, and the city of Frederick Douglass – turned his moment of triumph into a time of sorrow and pain. Jaisaan will never graduate from high school again. He will never get that moment back. This is not the time to punish a child because you may not like what he has to say.”


Mayor Warren not only offered him the chance to speak at City Hall, but she also made sure that his speech was posted on her personal Facebook page, in addition to placing it on her YouTube channel. To check out Lovett’s commencement address, click below.

Lovett is headed to Clarke University on a full-ride scholarship. We definitely see great things in this young man’s amazing future!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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