• SumoMe

Harvard Law graduate Keith Boykin fights fear with love across the country.

Today I had the distinct pleasure and honor of hearing a true oratory master give a speech with such shocking poignancy that it took me off guard. As you may know, I’m in law school, and we often have interesting speakers (Antonin Scalia, Alberto Gonzales, Stephen Breyer, Arthur Miller, etc.) come and speak on a topic. I try to attend as many of these as I can, mostly because I like to experience interesting people.

Today’s speaker was Keith Boykin: Harvard Law graduate with The President, BET contributor, former White House aide to Bill Clinton, news commentator, author, and all-around amazing guy. I wasn’t too sure what his topic was when I went in there, but I was certainly glad I spent the hour of my time between classes to hear what he had to say.

Boykin is one of the best models of manliness in modern politics and political commentary. His message today was how American politics are dominated on fear, and how this fear of communism/socialism/difference clouds the judgment and sound evaluation of history and facts.

But he wasn’t all politics–he often spoke of love. Love for others in your community and those around you is essential to the well-being and improvement of America. Boykin alluded to the great Dr. King who said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Boykin concluded that merely looking out for one’s “tribe” (whether that mean race, gender, height, ability, sexuality, whatever) and fighting for the rights of only one sect of society is only promoting self-interested thinking. The solution to this is to fight for the rights of all of society, much like Dr. King did.

To paraphrase Boykin’s speech today would prove pitiful, as he has a way of storytelling and conveying a message that is purely his own. However, the impact of his words on my day will not be soon forgotten. The power of a great speech is well-known, but the power of a great speaker is even greater. Give Keith Boykin the floor and he will take your inaction and replace it with inspiration.

These are the qualities of a great speaker, and I thank Boykin for spending an hour of his time to inspire everyone in that room to become a better person in their own way, and to thereby create a better society for all.

(Image: Anslem Samuel)