by G. Brown
Back when they were known as Pierre, Max and Joe, life was not kind. One admits to being a drug dealer, a second grew up in a home with drug addicted parents and the third almost lost his life to the streets after staring down the barrel of a gun. Their stories of life on the street are similar to millions of Blacks kids struggling to survive in big cities. But this tale breaks the trope of ‘never happy ever after’ by its ending. And for that we’ll have to go back to the middle.
The three young men began life on a less than fortunate path, but along the way they each realized that drugs, crime and street life didn’t have to be their destiny. Maxime Madhere says their lives were no different than plenty of young Black males who need to discover what what he did. That “you don’t have to rap or shoot a ball to get out of their circumstances.”
The young man that some probably called a ‘thug’ or ‘loser’ back in the day, today call him Dr. Madhere. The anesthesiologist teamed up with two other Black men, Dr. Johnson and Dr. Semien( both obstetricians/gynecologists) to write a book to encourage other young people who may need a roadmap on how to find their way off the streets and onto their path of success.
The book titled Pulse of Perseverance:Three Black Doctors on their Journey to Success journals how to find a better path. Just because a path is better doesn’t mean it will be easier…especially for a person of color.
The NAACP says “African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites” and that African American women are twice as likely to serve prison time than white women.
The odds are just as dismal for our young people. The NAACP says “Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested“. Madhere, Johnson and Semien beat the odds early by taking their focus off the present and thinking ahead to the future. Surrounded by pain, instead of succumbing to it, they each had a yearning to help heal it. Madhere volunteered at a hospital and stumbled upon the possibilities life had to offer if he was willing. Madhere says, “Young boys need to know it’s not a game in these streets. They need to know that we are completely marginalized as people of color when we mess up.”
The trio met when they enrolled in Xavier–the country’s only historically black Catholic college that has a proven record with placing Black students in med school. As they got to know each other better, they realized they shared similar backgrounds and a common cause to help other young people.
The book shares stories of their struggles and is “a searing indictment of our still separate and unequal education system.” Reviews on Amazon say “if anyone thinks that the world has dealt them a difficult hand and there’s no way out, please have them read this story of perseverance, overcoming, the strength of a supportive community, and ultimate success!” Another writes, “The authors are truly amazing and are living proof that with God, hard work, dedication, and support, you can accomplish and have the victory over anything that comes across your path!”
There are too many stories about Black youths being gun downed by police. It’s a narrative that we are almost confronted by daily. But these young men have taken up the pen to encourage others. Their narrative tells a story of how life may start in the streets, in despair, but can still lead to a happy ever after ending.