To what degree does your sun burn bright? To what degree does your mind sail to its greatest heights? The importance of a college degree and how we as a community see ourselves, is what buoys us to soar through any door and over rooftops to the offices and the top corporate floors. The Superman inside of both you and me is set free, and sent sailing on a journey that enables us to leap beyond the boundaries of neighborhood, class and ethnicity. No matter where you hail from, urban or rural, ghetto or middle class neighborhood, the power of the degree is understood. Your charge is to establish a station to broadcast your ingenuity, to secure patents and to create companies to exceed the expectations of your peers and even you to succeed. This is exactly the site, the place that we hope that you will launch from today. We’re highlighting those who chose to get higher degrees — MBAs and Ph.D.s. We’ve begun to forget how important are these. We want to address and speak to those who are dropping out each and every day, and show them shining examples of those who are in it to stay.
The Trail of Tears of Native Americans who were forced to move across the land, evokes remembrances of our own quest which has been all but erased, along with our collective thirst for education throughout the urban landscape. What is escaping us is the dignity of what education means. And then life smacks our youth in the face and looks like something obscene. A drive-by, a drug addiction and we ask, “Don’t you know about that crack? Then why, why are you using it?”
Depression beyond compare, prisons that hold are souls captive, stuck there because their aspirations are no more than noise on the channels that they watched each and every night. Public broadcasts air how they can fuss and fight. Those are things that are planted in their heads. Those rhymes aren’t breeding intelligence or academic pursuit, more often than not it’s economic and emotional paralysis instead.
Here we celebrate royal heritage and those who wear thorns, too. The thorns of lowered expectations that lead to small sales for people who lack education and who don’t know what to do. In desperation, they choose not to elevate themselves. It isn’t because they can’t see their peers, but the tears are falling too hard for them to see.
We want them to be the phoenix that rises beyond the sun that day, that chooses to be in places that we can’t see. We want people to take the time and to know what door they can go through, because they are prepared, dressed in suits and ties, looking smart and professional too. We want to build a community that is proud and then it can be said, that you are on par with our president, having a J.D. instead. No, we don’t mean Jermaine Dupri, but a Juris Doctor degree. Understand what the letters mean and what doors they open in life for you. There are several who have done great things and look just like me and you. We’ve highlighted these brothers and sisters who reflect and stand with the few.
I challenge us all to take education and commit to learning more than we know right now. Get your education and elevate your lot in life. Increase out network, and increase our net worth so that we can together lift up the African American community to higher ground. Let those people who choose to fly high, celebrate those people they will be introduced to, and take note of in this special issue. Understand that it is through information and education that we change the station of our people today. Peace.