I am honored to get to propel the message in this documentary. We have now shared it with 900 people, while I am certain that not all watched the video in its entirety, I am sure those that did, as did I were summarily moved by the message. If by sharing and we are able to get 10 black boys to consider the possibility, I have met my goal. Thank you Dr Dale for opening my eyes and my heart.
This was an excellent review of the current state for admissions to medical school that the AA community experiences. "Trip's" story is fantastic. He definitely will be something great in the future.
I agree with the comments about education re: having self confidence in all circumstances, as well as, creating a pipeline early on. This pipe line needs to be managed at all levels to succeed. Great work and I pray for great results.
I enjoyed the documentary and learned things I didn't know about the issue of underrepresentation of black men in medicine. I definitely agree that more African-American men in medicine will help to address health disparities, and I was especially moved and inspired by Dr. Okorodudu's mentoring of Trip. This movement is an excellent example of individuals being the change that they want to see in the world.
I didn't want to be a doctor growing up because I HATED the site of blood, lol, but I am working on my Ph. D. What I can tell you all is the emotions that little boy shared at the end of this documentary are 100%. I remember being discouraged as a young boy and even today as a confident, articulate Black man at the age of 35. People think because we are young that we don't have the experience, knowledge or talent to do what we do. I have experienced the term "passionate" be used as a microaggression against as if being enthusiastic was a bad thing!
So my message to educators watching this:
1) Watch yourself. Check your actions, words and preconceived notions at the door! The old adage "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me" is a bold face LIE!. Words express our feelings and emotions. At a young age, children are asked by their parents to "tell them what is wrong" and child have to use "words" to do so in order to effectively communicate. So imagine the power of words when you tell a kid something that deflates their spirit. Just to note, we have all been guilty of it, but let's work to do better.
2) Use this as a tool to help a Black boy find his way. If they don't want to be a doctor or maybe their grades are not strong enough for the rigorous admissions process of medical school, introduce them to different avenues. Agricultural Sciences and industry covers 75% of the world's economy. Global energy, clean air emission, and clean water are all factors that impact the lives of Black boys and their families, as well as the rest of us. Get young Black boys into arenas like engineering, sciences, agriculture, chemistry, and technology so they can become a part of this ever changing world.
3) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE hold the young Black boys who are athletic phenoms accountable for their academics! I work with too many Black men who are solid on the hardwood, the track, or the field but lack the academic prowess in college because they were not pushed and charged (intentionally not using challenged here) to work on themselves academically. Some of the sharpest athletes who compete today in the NBA, MLB, and NFL were solid students in the classroom. Those skills (the ability to study, read, focus on notes) translate into problem solving skills that make them BETTER athletes who not only become phenoms of the game but STEWARDS AND STUDENTS of the game. This should go for our young Black women as well.
Special thank you to the production crew for putting this together! I am in a whirl wind of emotions but I am so happy I took the time to watch this!