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Home » Denzel Washington: Put God First Speech (Full Transcript)

Denzel Washington: Put God First Speech (Full Transcript)

Denzel Washington at Dillard University

Denzel Washington is an American actor, director, and producer. He has received three Golden Globe awards, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards.

Below is the full text (Edited version) and summary of Washington’s famous and inspiring speech titled “PUT GOD FIRST”  delivered during a commencement address at Dillard University in 2015. This transcript has been edited for near 100% accuracy for those who are learning English with such speeches.

NOTABLE QUOTE FROM THIS SPEECH:

“Put God first in everything you do. Everything that you think you see in me. Everything that I’ve accomplished, everything that you think I have – and I have a few things. Everything that I have is by the grace of God. Understand that. It’s a gift.”  

TRANSCRIPT: 

Let me take this moment to wholeheartedly congratulate each and every one of you, today. You graduated. You did it. You made it. Congratulation to you. And you did it all by yourself, nobody helped you.

No…that’s not – that’s what you know – that’s what I thought when I was young, I started to really make it as an actor. I came in, I talked to my mother, I said ‘Ma, did you think that this was going to happen, I’d be so big and I’ll be able to take care of everybody and I can do this and I can do that.’

And she said, ‘Boy, stop it right there. Stop it right there. Stop it right there’.

She said, “If you only knew, how many people they have been praying for you. How many prayer groups she put together, how many prayer clothes she gave me, how many times she splashed me with holy water to save my sorry behind,” as she said it.

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