BLACK VOICES
05/12/2013 12:23 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2013

Bill Clinton Howard University Commencement Speech: Former President Encourages 'Open Hands' Over 'Closed Fists'

Bill Clinton has been dubbed the country's first black president, so it was more than appropriate for the former commander-in-chief to address students at the historically black college Howard University.

Speaking for about 30 minutes on Saturday, Clinton focused on the importance of unity and cooperation, using his wife and President Obama who overcame their rivalry in 2008 to work together in an administration as an example.

"One of the things that heartened me," he said, was "when President Obama asked Hillary to be secretary of state, and she said yes, and they developed this, not just working relationship, but this amazing friendship which I just watched with great interest."

The former president stressed the relevance of global interdependence and encouraged the student to be open-minded as they entered the work force.

"This whole thing comes down in the end to whether we think the future will be better if we face it with open hands or closed fists," he said. "You can't live in a world that is interdependent where the walls come down and borders look more like nets. You can't keep every bad thing out anywhere unless most people believe that what we have in common is more important than our interesting differences."

Watch Clinton full speech in the video above.

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