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The Brotherhood Journal_Dr Benjamin Carson

Dr Benjamin Carson

In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, an African-American pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, gained worldwide recognition for leading a team in the successful separation of conjoined twins.

The surgery lasted 22 hours and was the first of its kind to separate twins joined at the head without fatalities to either infant.

Born September 18, 1951 to Sonya and Robert Solomon Carson, he was the younger of their two sons. Ben and his brother, Curtis, grew up in the hardcore climate of inner-city Detroit.

Ben was eight and his brother, Curtis, was ten when their parents divorced.  His mother had dropped out of school in the third grade.  She took on two or three jobs at a time in order to provide for her sons.

Sonya got their clothes from the Goodwill and offered to pick corn or other vegetables in exchange for a portion of the yield for food.  Her actions, encouragement and faith in God proved to be a tremendous influence on her sons.

She taught them that anything was possible if they worked hard enough.  And when Ben and Curtis became discouraged, she would always remind him that “you can do what anyone else can do, except better.”

Ben told his mom early in life that he wanted to be a doctor.  They were on medical assistance, and on many occasions, they would have to wait for hours to be seen by one of the interns.

As they waited, Ben took notice of how the doctors and nurses were going about their routines.  He would listen as a doctor would be paged as they waited, and he fantasized that one day they’d be calling for a “Dr. Carson.”

At one point, Ben and his brother had difficulty in school, and Ben was at the bottom of his class.  He became an object of ridicule by his classmates which caused him to develop an uncontrollable temper.

Determined to turn her sons around, their mother, Sonya, limited their TV time and refused to let them go outside to play until they had finished their homework. She was determined that her sons would have greater opportunities than she did.  She required them to read two library books a week and give her written reports.


Dr. Benjamin Carson

Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson is now director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is a philanthropist and in 2008, was recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He, like many others, endured many obstacles to get to the position that he now holds. He credits his personal faith in God, perseverance and his mother’s influence in his education to his success.

Now, when making speaking engagements, he always leaves his listeners with the call to think big and allow God, your talent, knowledge and compassion to lead them and just simply “Be nice” to others.

I hope you got to watch the movie, “Gifted Hands”, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., which aired on INSP during the month of February.  It was an absolute inspiration for all and another reflection in African-American history.

Filed Under: Featured


About the Author: I am excited to be a part of the Brotherhood Journal team, as it allows me more opportunities to explore and write on different topics. However, my favoirte subject would be "biographies', it seems that God has given me a love and interest in people and their lives.

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