昨天，这位优秀的律师和公司董事在位于纽约市的菲尔德斯顿文化伦理学院（Ethical Culture Fieldston School）发表了演讲。作为其中一位学生家长，笔者的上司、《财富》杂志（Fortune）总编辑赛安迪有幸聆听了当天的演讲。另外，高盛投资公司（Goldman Sachs）CEO劳埃德・布兰克费恩在出庭为高盛前董事高磊杰的庭审作证期间特地请了一天假，赶去参加了自己女儿的毕业典礼。
1953年，我毕业于佐治亚州亚特兰大市的大卫・托比亚斯・霍华德高中（the David T. Howard high school）。当时，亚特兰大只有三所高中供黑人就读，而且其中一所还是职业学校。1926年之前，亚特兰大没有黑人可以就读的公立高中。
The high-powered lawyer and corporate director yesterday addressed the grads of New York City's Ethical Culture Fieldston School. My boss, Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer, was among the proud parents there. So was Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who got a one-day reprieve from testifying in the trial of former Goldman director Rajat Gupta so he could see his daughter graduate.
Jordan's talk, I heard, was inspiring to the grownups as well as the kids. So I called the man and asked if I could share what he said. Jordan, who grew up in segregated Atlanta during the 1950s, took advantage of every opportunity and built a career advising CEOs of such companies as American Express (AXP), Xerox (XRX), and Lazard (LAZ), where he is now, at 76, a director and also a senior managing director of Lazard Freres. Jordan told me this morning that he doesn't pass up opportunities to share what he's learned. So here's an excerpt of what the big man told the Fieldston grads:
You, the class of 2012, have been given a gift of immeasurable value, but that gift comes with enormous responsibilities, and that's what I want to talk to you about this morning.
You see, there is very little resemblance between your high school experience and mine. You have been privileged to attend one of the nation's oldest and finest schools, in one of the world's greatest cities. Now I'm not going to tell you that I had to walk barefoot five miles to school … uphill … both coming and going. But I do want to tell you a bit about my high school experience.
I graduated in 1953 from the David T. Howard high school in Atlanta, Georgia. At that time, there were only three high schools in Atlanta for black people, and one was a vocational school. Atlanta did not have any public black high school until 1926.
When I say the words "black high school," I'm speaking, of course, of segregation. At that time, black people could not attend school alongside white people in Atlanta--or anywhere in the old South.