Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Harnessing the Ghetto Genius.

April 26, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) There are so many gifted and talented people in the world and I have been blessed to meet a bunch of them. I have known so many who had the potential to be great successes in life.

Some of the guys I grew up with have brilliant minds and great potential for flourishing careers in business, science and the arts. Oh and sports? Some extremely talented athletes have graced the school yards and sandlots of the North St. Louis neighborhood we call “our hood”. I am wowed as I think back on certain people, myself included, and I am realizing the millions of dollars that could have been made by now.

We use to dream big dreams. We dreamed of being rich and famous. We dreamed of buying big cars for ourselves, homes for our mothers and of  course we all wanted to be married to Janet Jackson. But as gifted and talented as we were, life has been no crystal stairwell for anyone. Growing up poor and black in the 70’s and 80’s came with lots of challenges that some of us did not overcome.

Most of my old school homies have done time in prison, are addicted to drugs and alcohol and some have died. And even though a few of us are doing fine, none has come remotely close to reaching our full potential.

A couple of us are rising stars but most people from our group will be handing out shopping carts at Wal-Mart well into their senior years. I hate to say it but it’s true. What a sad indictment that is against the first generation born on the other side of the civil rights era. True genius that remains untapped and complacent right where it started in the ghetto.

The older I get the more I am coming to realize and understand a painful dichotomy. Namely that you and I can come from similar situations, face identical challenges, have an equal opportunity to succeed and end up on opposite ends of the achievement gradient.

I now know that Booker T. Washington was right when he said, “The circumstances that surround a man are not important but how he responds to them is; ultimately it [his response] is the determining factor in his success or failure in whatever he endeavors to do in life”.

Most people respond to challenge with fear driven excuses about why they can’t overcome and succeed. But I want to encourage you to keep dreaming even when it makes no sense, actually, especially when it makes no sense.

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. Faith is the power of life to affirm itself in spite of life’s challenges. The ranks of high achievement are occupied by folks that find the strength to persevere.

Staff Writer; James A. Dickerson

This brother can be reached on Facebook and twitter @JamesADickerson.



3 Responses to “Harnessing the Ghetto Genius.”
  1. hoodgirl says:

    Great Article. I am currently working with several Ghetto Geniuses that range in age from 19 to 27 to Build Wealth.

    The goal is to have at least ten to attain millionaire status before they reach age 40 by following the “Total Money Makeover” which is a book written by Dave Ramsey.

    Currently, three have reached Baby Step 4, Investing 15% of their gross income towards Retirement and five have completed Baby Step 2, Declare War on Debt and are now Debt Free.

  2. Monica Renee says:

    Preparation, Perseverance and Faith, what an encouraging reminder of what it takes to turn dreams into reality.

  3. Carol Durante says:

    Very interesting article!!

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