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The Power of the Pact

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

The Power of the Pact

Three troubled teens join forces and thrive.
Tavis  Smiley
Tavis Smiley More by this author
Jul 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

You know I read a lot of books—but it is rare that I read a book that moves me in the way this one did. Pick up a copy of the book called The Pact, in which three young men make a promise and fulfill a dream. It is a true story of three young Black boys who grew up in the worst part of Newark, New Jersey, and they made a pact in their youth when they found themselves in trouble (at least two of them were in deep trouble). They made a pact that they would become achievers; they were going to put their troubles behind them and get off this track of youth crime. They came together as friends and made a pact that they would make something out of their lives—we speak today of Dr. Sampson Davis, Dr. George Jenkins, and Dr. Rameck Hunt.

Some of you know this story because a couple of years ago they were honored with the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award, and together the three of them have created the Three Doctors Foundation, which offers a unity scholarship to a promising Newark student entering a four-year college. This book is the most inspiring piece I have read in a long time for a number of reasons.

The Pact is a positive story about the possibilities that young Black men hold. I like the book also because they keep it real in this book. Two of these young brothers were already into a life of crime as youths: One of them was in a juvenile detention center for attempted murder, another was in a juvenile detention center for armed robbery, and yet today they are doctors. I also liked this book because it talks about the power of positive peer pressure. When we talk about peer pressure, we always assume that peer pressure is negative.

There is negative peer pressure, but there is also positive peer pressure, and George convinced his two other friends, Sampson and Rameck, that just because they found themselves in a juvenile detention center, they were still friends, and their friendship was more powerful than the situation they found themselves in. If they came together and if they loved one another and supported one another and looked out for one another and studied with one another, then the three of them could make something of their lives. 

What I like about these men also is that after doing all that they have done, after all they accomplished, they took their Black behinds back to Newark, and everybody in Newark knows these three young brothers. Their story is now national thanks to this book, but all the folks in Newark know these cats. They still live in Newark, they work in Newark, they talk to folks in Newark, they work with young kids in Newark—they went right back to their community.

If you only read two books this year, one of them should be The Pact. Three young men make a promise and fulfill a dream.

About Author
Tavis  Smiley
Tavis Smiley is a broadcaster, author, advocate, and philanthropist. Tavis Smiley continues to be an outstanding voice for change.  Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smile Continue reading