Queen Latifah Receives Harvard Honor And Tells Students 'Do Not Give Up' During Inspirational Speech



She's a Grammy and Oscar winning star who can now add Harvard award winner to her list of accolades.

Queen Latifah was presented with the W.E.B. Du Bois medal from the top college on Wednesday for her ongoing work into African & African American Research.

The 49-year-old took to the stage to receive her award where she told students 'do not give up' during an inspiring speech.

'New Jersey in the building!' she got the crowd roaring when she took to the stage. 

'I feel so honored to be up here and among such great people who've done such accomplished things.'

Queen, real name: Dana Elaine Owens, continued to open up about how she was told early in her career that she would never make it moving between music, acting and philanthropy and that she should stick to one lane. 

'Crossing over from rap to film, the people at our agency told my partner I could never be an A-list artist,' she said pointing out at her longtime business partner Shakim Compere who was seated in the audience.
'Wrong thing to tell him. He was determined to make sure I became an A-list actress.'

Latifah continued to explain that throughout her long career at the top she's ensured she's remained humble thanks to the support around her like from Shakim.

'"How could she remain humble after all these years?" I keep my feet on solid ground, and know who I am, because I have real people around me. Who love me, and smack my head when I do bad things, and pat me on the back when I do well, and I appreciate that.'

But hasn't been all smooth sailing for the Girls Trip star, confessing that sometimes she goes outside to scream in an attempt to let go of her stresses and crippling anxiety.

'I get in the backyard sometimes and I scream "Fight! Fight Fight!",' she said.

'That's me fighting for my life. Fighting against drugs and alcohol. Fighting against mental illness, fighting against racism, sexism, all of it. You’re gonna have to fight.'

The Queen ended her inspiring speech by attempting to motivate the students and anyone in the room with aspirations. 

She said they were able to do anything they wanted in this world but only if they put in the hard work for it.

'I want to speak to all of you students out here, and let you know that you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it, and you will have to work hard for it,' she preached.

'Just understand that there will be times when you will have to stand alone. There will be nobody else that will believe in your dream. They will think you are out of your mind.'

'You have to be strong, and be courageous, and know that if you believe in it, it’s gonna happen. Don’t give up. Do not give up. Do not quit. Fight for it.' 

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