A Mayor’s Conversation with Ben Carson, MD – A Review of Black Excellence
2015 Speaker Series

Blog post Randy Seriguchi Jr.

You may know Ben Carson, MD as a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, the first to successfully separate conjoined twins. Perhaps you know him as a best-selling author. How about as a 2016 presidential candidate?

Regardless of whichever accomplishment you relate to him, there is one undeniable and collective identifier—Dr. Carson has defied any challenge presented to him with a tenacious work ethic and an unwavering focus on excellence.

Mayor Kevin Johnson introduced the Southwest Detroit native as a man who personifies “Black Excellence.” This would go on to be an important theme of the night.

“No matter what color you are, there’s one thing people don’t discriminate against: excellence.”

All photos credited to Maria Christie Photography

Mayor Johnson began the conversation with Dr. Carson with questions about his childhood in Detroit. Dr. Carson kept the audience engaged with academic anecdotes, financial struggle stories, and lessons learned from his mother.

“Education changed the trajectory of my life.” – Ben Carson, MD

The day’s featured conversation continued with Carson’s perspective on our nation’s sluggish economy and his vision to help create new jobs and improving the American family’s access to adequate, affordable healthcare. He shared: “Anything that is coordinated through our government should teach people responsibility, not dependency.”

Photo credit: Maria Christie Photography

When it came down to prospective African American support for Dr. Carson in his political endeavors, Mayor Johnson mentioned the hesitance voters might have when entering the polls, especially when we hear African American responses to Carson’s vocalized opposition toward the Obama administration and his disagreements with the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Carson immediately denounced any tension with our 44th president, however; the surgeon considers himself a pragmatic person that insists on doing what is best for the people.

The Mayor and Carson shifted to discussing the importance of education to close out the night’s discussion. “Education changed the trajectory of my life,” Carson said. From writing weekly book reports for his mother to receiving sixty honorary doctorate degrees, it’s safe to say Carson took his education seriously.

The night closed out with a book signing in underground books. Indivizible members had the opportunity to get a quick conversation and photo with Dr. Carson.

Photo credit: Maria Christie Photography

Special thanks to Dr. Carson for spending his time with us in Sacramento, to Mayor Johnson for convening another great meeting, to Capitol Medical Society for hosting our meeting, and to Pastor Darryl Heath for leading us in prayer.

We also have to thank underground books and Mother Rose for their hospitality for overflow, Maria Christie for the wonderful photos, and the rest of the volunteers for their monthly commitment to helping make our meetings possible.

If you value education as much as Dr. Carson, be sure to join us TONIGHT, July 20, for our July meeting. Mayor Johnson is hosting an education discussion panel on a recently decided education civil rights cases in California, Vergara v. California. You don’t want to miss this historical conversation!

Additional writing credit: Miranda Vega, Communications Intern, California Legislative Black Caucus