The D. R. Glass Library at Texas College began the 2019-2020 academic school year with the launching of the Common Book for the semester, “The Pact.” In this powerful story, three young black men make a pact to help each other to beat the streets and become doctors despite the adversities that are placed in front of them.
Dr. Edward J. Robinson, history professor at Texas College , in his article “The power of a pact, part I” has so eloquently summarized how these three young men committed to the pact they made with each other to set a goal and fulfill a dream. Attached is the article written by Dr. Robinson, please enjoy your reading.
The Power of a Pact (Part 1)
The book, The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream, tells the fascinating story about three young black men—Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt—who formed a pact that they would help each other succeed “no matter what.” All three young men grew up in broken homes. All three grew up in drug-infested neighborhoods in Newark, New Jersey. All three had brushes with the law and spent time in jail. Rameck was arrested after he stabbed a crackhead. Sampson was charged with armed robbery and sent to a juvenile detention center. Their lives, however, changed when they met at University High in Newark and learned about a Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Plus Program at Seton Hall University, a program designed to recruit minorities to the medical field. Faced with insurmountable odds, the threesome stepped out on faith, enrolled together in the pre-med program, and emerged as medical doctors. God’s grace permeates the stories of these three African American males. First, the trio realized that God’s mercy repeatedly rescued them from many “dangers, toils, and snares.” When prosecutors chose not to pursue charges against Rameck, he readily confessed: “I felt as if I had been racing blindfolded to the edge of a cliff just about to drop when the hand of God snatched me back to safety” (page 86).
Second, the story of these three young men illustrates the power of friendship. The story of Sampson, George, and Rameck also demonstrates the veracity of Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” When asked how he avoided many destructive traps in his environment, George acknowledged: “I’d have to say that the kinds of friends I chose—positive guys who wanted to do the right thing—made a huge difference in how my life turned out” (page 107). Scripture again asserts: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).
Young people, it matters who you keep company with. An old adage goes: “If you hang out with trash, you start to smell like garbage.” Solomon observed: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). The great apostle warned: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Young people, as you enter this new school year, keep company with people who are going in a positive direction. I plan to share Part 2 next time, Lord willing. Dr. Edward J. Robinson, Professor of History, Texas College