Multi-award winning actress and Black Panther star, Letitia Wright, was recently conferred with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters, in Guyana-her country of birth.
The 29-year old was honored by the University of Guyana during an Extraordinary Convocation Ceremony. Following an invitation by leaders of the country, Wright paid a visit to her birthplace in late January. She received a ceremonious welcome by a host of attendees.
“I accept this honor, and as I continue to journey on in my career and in my path and whatever God has for me to do, I just want to thank you for your love and support. And as you love me, I love you. As you’re proud of me, I’m proud of you too, Guyana…Thank you…Thank you, God, for this honor,” Wright said during her acceptance speech.
She also expressed gratitude to her family and friends. The star attributed her success to “humble” beginnings in Guyana, as she reminisced on her childhood and the love she received. Her speech was grounded in humility and a description of challenges she encountered along her path to success.
“As you see me, you would expect someone from Hollywood to have a certain way of being, or carry themself in a certain way. But as you see me, you see humility. And that’s literally from my family…from God, and I don’t know any other way else to be, than to be humble…I carry that with me in my career. I carry that with me in my life, and I want to share that with you today. That no matter where you’re going, no matter what your path is, please do it with humility and trust that God will exalt you when it’s time,” she shared with the packed audience.
Moved to tears, Wright shared childhood memories, which were grounded in faith and belief.
“Those moments really came back to me. Being a young girl and practicing my art when no one could see. Going to the UK and not having enough to go on holiday or do the other things that the kids did. But I stayed with a little laptop in my room and watched movies, and I would print off the scenes. And I would practice them in my room. No one would see me practicing my American accent or my African accent. Just looking at myself in the mirror, believing that I could do it…”, she said.
The star credited her loving family, who “worked very hard” towards accomplishments.
“You would not believe the obstacles we have overcome to even be here”, she said, reflecting on her spiritual journey and journey towards true self acceptance and purpose. She recalled a battle with depression and a decision to resign from acting in 2015. Following self reflection and a spiritual awakening, the star shared that she was offered the role of Shuri in Black Panther, which she described as a “blessing”.
“The journey was not easy getting to that moment”, she said.
During her visit to Guyana, the star met with leaders of the country, spent time with family, visited tourist sites and schools, and interacted with her fans.