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Jaisaan Lovett graduated from University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men as the school’s first black valedictorian.

According to Lovett, he was never actually asked to give a graduation speech but since past valedictorians had given speeches, he assumed that he would be giving one as well. When he asked to speek, the school’s principal, Joseph Munno, said no.  “He didn’t want to see the speech or what it said, nothing,” Lovett told the Democrat and Chronicle. “He just said no.”

The school refused to let him speak at the ceremony, but, Lovett was able to give his speech on a much larger platform. Mayor Lovely Warren, who he was an intern for, invited him to deliver the speech at City Hall and posted it on the city’s official YouTube channel.

Lovett thanked his family, friends and mayor, but had a different message for Munno.

“I’m here as the UPrep 2018 valedictorian to tell you that you couldn’t break me. I’m still here, and I’m still here strong,” Lovett said. “And after all these years, all this anger I’ve had toward you and UPrep as a whole, I realized I had to let that go in order to better myself.”

Lovett has a full scholarship and will be attending Clark Atlanta University in the fall.

See the video below:

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