Movie Suggestion: The Pact
If you’ve ventured to my website, then I’m going to assume that you’ve at least heard of this book before: The Pact. The story of George, Rameck, and Sampson as they grow up in inner-city New Jersey dodging some of life’s regular challenges growing up young, black, and male in America. They made a promise to eacher to become doctors, and today they’re more than just that, their mentors to kids and professionals alike. I don’t exactly remember when I read the book. I want to say I had to be about 21-ish. So about 7 years ago. It was a great story showing that even the smartest and most motivated young black boys experience challenges that often times throw them off the track to success. Or at least prolonging their journey.
I just so happened to land on Netflix this weekend and saw that the movie was finally made available to stream. Immediately I clicked play, and took out my notebook to take notes on what I saw. I don’t remember too many details from the book, a sign that I need to go back and re-read it, but I was blown away by the huge following the doctors have amassed in so many years. The movie is shot in documentary/reality show style. Following Sampson, George, and Rameck through what seems like a month in their lives.
Their bond bleeds through the screen, their professionalism is encouraging, and their humanness is evident and inspiring as they still encounter challenges in their everyday lives as black men aiming to inspire all those around them. I invite you to grab a notebook, a chair, and learn from the movie.
– The scene where the doctors meet an inspired young man and his mother at a book signing is one of the most powerful scenes of mentoring/role modeling I’ve seen portrayed on screen. Seeing black men mentor black boys is truly a beautiful site, and a duty all educated black men deserve to their communities – yes, including you!
– I wonder what it feels like to be the doctors. How do they manage their abilities to have an impact to so many youth and adults?
– I want to have an impact like this! How do I get myself to the point where I can have this kind of impact?
– The doctors feel as though they are practicing role modeling, and want other men to join in and do the same. What do you think it means to practice role modeling?
– I need to get a bunch of college banners and hang them around whatever space I teach in next year. No wonder Malique is so focused on education, his room is a breeding ground of college pennants. And shouts out to him for his first and second choice schools! Way to shoot for the stars. I wish I could get an update on what this young man is doing right now.
– How do you go about spreading your positive message/knowledge to the people around you?
– I wish I could get a better look at what it’s like to be the doctors. How did they begin doing their outreach? How do they maintain their outreach efforts now, especially given their professional obligations as doctors? On paper, what does a typical weekly schedule look like for them? This will help me see how I can better manage my time as I grow this and my other platforms.
– Rameck says “Busy is good, there’s a reason why I run like this, because there’s a need for what we do. If there wasn’t a need I wouldn’t be running like this.” Does this scene influence you to make any changes to your own push for greatness? Does it make you frame your work/life any differently?
– What does Rameck mean when he says “We have to get out there ourselves and do something to help ourselves.”?
– “Don’t wait for someone to give you something. You go get what you want them to give you.” This is a big reason why I started this blog. Be the change you wish for others to make. At times it seems like I’m doing this for my own good, which actually helps because it helps me reflect and document what I do and how I think. There wasn’t a guide I felt was representative of black men as I began the journey of becoming a teacher… So I made my own.
– Cosby parenting video clip: This is essentially how I am with my students. Caring, direct, fatherly, matter of fact, emotionally invested, and fully invested in their development. More than they even are for themselves. My students are 16-18, and they think they have it all under control. From their perspective they run their worlds. But they don’t understand that the world is far larger and more complex than they can comprehend at this point in their lives. They don’t understand that the decisions they make now impact their lives now, AND sets the bar for where their lives can go in the future as well. What often gets in the way for them is their narcissism, cockiness, or selfishness. Extremely common for teens, but still, it serves as a barrier to deep academic and social development in the actual classroom. At this point in the school year intense student interventions look similar to how Cliff and Theo interact after Theo calls Cliff back into the room. Students ARE afraid to try for a multitude of reasons, its not acceptable and getting in that ass, as any big brother would, is my way of showing them tough love in the classroom. Followed by the regular signs of warmth and love as a mentor in their lives. Which reminds me to look into more of Bill Cosby’s written works.
– Who can you develop your own pact with to help push you to be the greatest you can be? Who can you team up with to hold each other accountable? Who is on your team? I’m starting with my frat brother as we build up Creative Dreamers. We’ve grown together for 8 years, and have each other’s back similar to the Doctors.
– Think about ways to document and share your journey like Sampson, George and Rameck have done with their various books, website, and now movie. Don’t hold on to knowledge, tips, tricks, understandings you have come to know and depend on. Think about how useful it would have been for you had you learned these lessons earlier in life. Pay it forward and share yourself with others.
– Cute Granny alert!
– What sacrifices are you willing to make when your work life interferes with your out of work ambitions?
– Cling to the positive friends and family you have. Help each other become the best versions of yourself that you can!
— Available on Netflix —
2006 – NR – 85 minutes
After making good on a high-school pact to become physicians despite extraordinary odds, three friends return to their tough hometown of Newark, N.J., to practice medicine and inspire at-risk youths to stay in school and off the streets.
What were some of the key points from your perspective? Share in the comments section.