Sampson Davis: Living and Dying in Brick City

Each day in China includes a long walk to work. Most times I have to figure out a way to occupy my mind beyond just playing music and trying to ignore the rude stares from the passersby (my curls are pretty fascinating, I guess). So, I spend quite a bit of time listening to NPR Books or NPR’s Most Emailed Stories podcasts. I’ve even tried to listen to audiobooks, but if I’m not inside a car taking a cross-country drive, I just don’t have the attention span.

Sampson Davis, co-author of both The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fullfill a Dream and The Bond: Three Young Men Forgive and Reconnect with Their Fathers recently penned a new memoir. In his new book, Living and Dying in Brick City, Davis returns to discuss his work in the E.R. of the same Jersey hospital that stamped his birth certificate. Unfortunately, Davis’ homecoming includes an unexpected run-in with a former childhood friend in the hospital morgue. More on that story from NPR:

Living and Dying in Brick CityHe was a young guy that I grew up with in the streets of Newark. And my past wasn’t always perfect. I grew up in a single-parent home with five siblings [in a] drug-infested community. And I always had hopes and aspirations of doing more with my life, but I often say you can’t aim for what you can’t see. Growing up, I was surrounded by so much negative peer pressure and negativity, it wasn’t long before I became a part of that fabric.

Snake and I was a part of a team that committed an armed robbery when I was 17 1/2. And I often say 17 1/2 because had I been 18, my story would have been written differently. But it was that life experience that changed me around. I was sentenced to two years’ probation. And I started back in high school and … earned straight A’s in high school, went off to college, and went down a different side of the fork in the road towards education. And Snake — Don Moses — stayed down the same road of crime, and he was in and out of jail.

And it so happened that I finished college, I went off to medical school, came back home for my residency, and the first day … I looked up at the board, and ‘Don Moses’ [was] written on the board in the trauma room. I’m like, ‘Wow, I know that name,” and right below was written the word ‘deceased.’ So, I’m sitting in there, looking at the board and thinking, ‘What are the chances that this is the Don Moses that I know?’ And unfortunately, I sprinted down to the surgical ICU and his body was taken away, but his family was there. It was the Don Moses that I knew from childhood.

When I read the summary for this book, I was instantly reminded of Dr. Ben Carson (do your research). Read more about these doctors and share it with a young impressionable male.

Happy reading, y’all.


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