President Joe Biden to speak at Morehouse College commencement

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that President Joe Biden will speak during commencement at Morehouse College.

The ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, May 19 on the college’s campus. The announcement comes as Biden and former President Donald Trump battle to get votes from Black voters in Georgia.

Biden has long depended on Black voters — first as a Delaware senator and most notably in the 2020 South Carolina primary, which delivered him a decisive win that led much of the Democratic field to consolidate behind him. And his campaign says the president’s reelection effort already reflects the priorities and approach advocated by the outside strategists.

“The campaign is designing comprehensive and robust programs in battleground states to mobilize and engage Black voters,” said Michael Tyler, the campaign’s communications director. He noted the campaign already is running targeted digital ads and building outreach programs in Black communities, months earlier than presidential campaigns typically have launched such efforts.

Yet just 50% of Black adults said they approve of Biden in a December poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. That is compared with 86% in July 2021, with the gap fueling concerns about his reelection prospects.


Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the seven states that will be critical in deciding the Electoral College next year. Across those states in 2022, Black turnout dropped, on average, about 22% from the 2018 midterms, according to multiple Democratic firms’ data analysis. Lagging Black support for Biden in any three of those states next fall could cut off his path to the required 270 electoral votes.

Earlier this month, Trump came to Atlanta for a big fundraising luncheon and stopped at a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood.

He shook hands, signed hats and then took some questions from the media.

Trump told supporters there he’s done more for the Black community than any other president – like when he added more funding to Black colleges and universities.

“We are appreciative to the funding being increased but there’s so much more that goes into raising the consciousness and condition that African Americans in this state and other states are facing,” NAACP of Georgia President Gerald Griggs said. “The political rhetoric needs to be tamed down a little, but we need to actually talk about the accomplishments.”

Kennesaw State University political professor Kerwin Swint said Georgia will be a key player again in November.

“Georgia is just that important. It’s a must-win state, I think, for both Trump and Biden. I can’t imagine winning the presidency this year without carrying Georgia, it’s that important,” Swint said.

For that reason, Swint believes Wednesday’s visit won’t be Trump’s last to the state before the election. He also believes President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will also be here again.

Swint said independent voters will likely decide this race.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.