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The United States of America is indeed an exceptional country. Although one could make an argument to the contrary, considering the experience of blacks, indigenous, people of color, immigrants, and women. And our struggle for equity, diversity, and inclusion continues. However, we can all agree that the United States of America is one, if not the only country on God-created Earth, out of a handful of countries where individuals and communities can still redefine themself or themselves.

Let me use the adaptation and transformation of JAY-Z as an example. Recently, JAY-Z released a music video with DJ Khaled - GOD DID (Lyrics) ft. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend, Fridayy - Bing video. In his music video above, Jay-z (an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and billionaire) narrated his transformation from the street to becoming a billionaire. Although, you could also argue that Jay-Z uses his poetic lyric to highlight injustice and the inconsistencies in applying the law regarding the war on drugs. As equally significant was JAY-Z's adaptation and transformation, one of our community's best examples of redemption and rag to riches.

The reason JAY-Z's transformation is so compelling and impactful is that I feel JAY-Z's transformation and his impact and influence on people and our community is a testimony and a result of the quality and strength of his mindset. Furthermore, his transformation is a testimony to the redemptive power of his willingness to change his perspective and apply God-given skills to effect change when the opportunity arises.

With his music video "GOD DID," you can rest assured that many Genz, millennials, and generations yet to be born would celebrate JAY-Z for speaking out against the unequal application of the law regarding the war on drugs (which they should). However, JAY-Z must be seen not only as an icon and mover in the BIPOC communities. I believe his transformation and success must be noteworthy, celebrated, and shared with students as a model to illustrate the power of transformation, redemption, and success from rags to riches in the BIPOC communities. JAY-Z's life story is inspirational and should serve as a model for all interested in transforming their lives and society into something greater than themselves.

Although I recognize that you could argue that JAY-Z is not the only successful person of African descent. You could argue that there are many successful African Americans and Africans globally. That is true. Here are a few notable ones in the United States. JAY-Z and his wife (Beyonce), Serena Williams, Tiger woods, Lebron James, Oprah, Tyra Banks, Rihanna (Fenty), Tyler Perry, the late General Collin Powell (former Secretary of Defense to the United States, may his legacy be memorable), Lloyd James Austin III (secretary of Defense to the United States), Michelle Obama (the former first lady of the United States of America), President Obama (the former President of the United States). In addition to the people mentioned above, I would also add that there are many more exceptional and successful people of color, and women that need to be seen, mentioned, and celebrated in our communities!

These transformational figures in the BIPOC community must also be seen and celebrated. Their achievements, success, and stories need to be chronicled, shared, celebrated and brought to the limelight to serve as a model for those aspiring to transform their life and the next generation.

I recently discovered that more and more African Americans are millionaires in the United States Highlighting and celebrating the transformation and success of African Americans and Africans could go a long way in helping our students in the BIPOC community to see successful people like themselves and helping them envision themselves being successful in whatever industry they aspire to pursue. They must see how hard work, forming necessary and valuable relationships, and understanding and applying the right to a free market based on our laws could be transformational.

To surmise the point, I know that the struggle for equity, diversity, and inclusion continues. But as the saying goes, we need to celebrate our small successes as we move towards larger ones. Moreover, highlighting and celebrating JAY-Z's success and that of others in our community should not only gauge our progress as a community but also remind us about the transformative strength of our people in the BIPOC communities. Let it serve as a foundation we continue to build and reflect on. It should also serve as a model that encourages the young generation to emulate in chanting their destiny.

Thank you, JAY-Z, for being a model of an inspirational TRENDSETTER!

Authored by Dr. Olufade

Think STEM Careers! You Have the Opportunity to Create the Future and The Privilege of Deciding What’s In It! ~ Dr. Ayo Olufade, PhD

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