Nightly News   |  May 19, 2013

Obama gets personal addressing grads

At his commencement address at Morehouse College, President Barack Obama tied Dr. Martin Luther King’s journey to his own struggles, NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> at his commencement speech at morehouse college in atlanta today, president obama paid tribute to the alma mater of the reverend dr. martin luther king jr . the president spoke in very personal terms tying dr. king's journey to his own struggles growing up.

>> we know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices and i have to say, growing up, i made quite a few myself. somebody i wrote of off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. i had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. but one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years is there's no longer any room for excuses. be the best husband to your wife wife, or your boyfriend or your partner. be the best father you can be to your children. because nothing's more important. whatever success i have achieved, whatever positions of leadership i have held, have depended less on ivy league degrees or s.a.t. scores or gpas and have instead been due to that sense of connection and empathy. the special obligation i felt as a black man, like you, to help those who need it most, people who didn't have the opportunities that i had. because there but for the grace of god go i, i might have been in their shoes. i might have been in prison. i might have been unemployed. i might not have been able to support a family. and that motivates me.

>> the president is sharing in a way we rarely hear him at morehouse college today.