New York City is one of the world’s greatest metropolises.
A city where one can find love, happiness, joy, sadness, fame and all the material things the world has to offer. Every man, woman and child wants to visit New York City to fulfill their wildest dreams. Of course, getting to New York City is just a metaphor for reaching one’s dreams and aspirations.
Your “New York City” might be obtaining your Ph.D., M.D. or D.V.M. degree, or becoming a renowned scientist, engineer, lawyer, entertainer, entrepreneur or athlete. No matter what your “New York City” is, you will have to travel several roads to get there.
If you look at the road map you will see that there are many roads to New York City.
The one you take is purely your choice.
Your choices will consist of superhighways (graduate and professional schools), state roads, a state road faster than a country road and a country road faster than a city street. Before you embark on your journey to “New York City,” you must first determine which road you are traveling and where you are on that road.
You will find African-Americans and other minorities on all the roads that lead to “New York City,” and many of them will eventually get to “New York City.” However, the speed at which we reach “New York City” is where we, especially African-Americans, are falling short. There are very few “black cars” traveling the superhighways to “New York City.”
Naturally, you must first travel a city street, county road and state road before you get on the superhighway to “New York City.” It does not matter whether you get on these roads from Sugar Hill, New York or Jump-off, Georgia , the trip to “New York City” will still require passing through many junctions and obstacles, both seen and unseen. These obstacles will include envy, jealousy, racism and sexism. And they will come in black and white and all colors in between.
Regardless of the color, if you want to get to “New York City” you better keep on traveling. Some obstacles may be impassable and require you to take detours, but even with detours you should still keep moving towards your destination, “New York City.”
One obstacle that may keep you off the superhighway is not man made, but self made. It is the obstacle of fear. Too many minorities think the cars travel too fast on a superhighway (graduate and professional school), and choose not to use this route to expedite their journey to “New York City.”
The graduate road to “New York City” will be a long one, and it will be rocky, too. But with courage and faith in yourself you can still use this route to reach your “New York City.” And once you reach “New York City” all your dreams may come true.
Charles Magee, Ph.D. is a FAMU professor and director of the Biological and Agricultural Systems Engineering (B.A.S.E.) Program. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.