Video shows student Obama calling for Harvard Law diversity

Some things never change, and President Obama's ease with public speaking is apparently one of them.

Obama is seen in a recently unveiled video delivering remarks on Harvard's campus in the spring of 1991, as first reported by BuzzFeed.


Although he appears with less grey hair and wears khakis, the then-president of the Harvard Law Review is seen drawing cheers from the crowd and speaking with the same tone and manner he greets audiences with today.

This blast from the past, featuring Obama speaking on behalf of prominent Harvard Professor Derrick Bell at a protest calling for greater faculty diversity, was provided to BuzzFeed from WGBH Boston, and uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday.

"I remember him sauntering up to the front and not giving us a lecture, but engaging us in a conversation and speaking the truth," Obama said of first meeting Bell.

Bell, who was the first black tenured Harvard Law School professor, gained national media attention in the early 1990s for his fight against the university's hiring practices, and gave up his professorship in 1992 in protest. The civil-rights advocate died in October 2011.

Obama also seems to have maintained his sense of humor from back in the day.

"Now, how did this one man do all of this? How has he accomplished all of this? He hasn't done it simply by his good looks and easy charm, although he has both in ample measure," he said to laughter from the Harvard crowd.

For comparison, you can watch now-President Obama crack a joke in the present day, during a speech pushing for alternative energy incentives, on March 6, 2012.