These three medical doctors are on a mission to rewrite the narrative surrounding black men and black success. At first glance, some people wouldn’t think that Dr. Pierre Johnson, Dr. Max Madhere and Dr. Joe Semien are all board-certified physicians. That’s why they’re making it their lives’ work to make sure other black men know they can do it, too!
“If we had a dollar for every time someone said ‘you don’t look like a doctor’ we would be billionaires,” they told TSR. “There is a perception in society that doctors can’t look like us, and we want to destroy that first.”
The men, all graduates of Xavier University of Louisiana, recently released their first book, “Pulse of Perseverance: Three Black Doctors on Their Journey to Success.”
“All of us ‘made it out’ from urban environments because we were naturally driven, but we were still in a transition period in our lives,” they shared of their college years. “The book not only lays out all of our trials and tribulations on this path, but also some of the solutions on what we can do as a community to help change those daunting statistics.”
“We want to empower and inspire all the kids who come from our neighborhoods and who look like us that they have way more realistic options at success. None of those options have to do with what the media glorifies: sports and entertainment,” they said. “Our overall mission is to change the narrative, shift the culture, and redefine the negative portrayal of the black male. The book is just the first step.”
They went on to say that “the world still views black men in a negative light” and “this is why we can be unarmed and shot like dogs in the street, and a large segment of our society still looks at those situations like we are somehow deserving of that fate.”
“The book highlights some of the barriers that black men face as a whole while trying to be positive contributors to society and reach the highest levels of achievement,” they explained, “so do not judge us for falling short if you know that our path is overwhelmingly filled with pitfalls.”
When asked what advice they’d give to young black men trying to make it, they said “the power of positivity and a supportive village is real.”
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TSR STAFF: Myeisha E.! @myeisha.essex