Tommie Mabry grew up hard in Jackson’s Midtown neighborhood.
He was sh*t twice, arrested for bu*glary at age 11, and expe-lled from seven elementary schools and three middle schools.
So his emotional response to receiving his doctorate in higher education from Jackson State University Friday was understandable.
He sta-res at his diploma, seemingly in d!sbelief. “Excuse the te-ars in this video. But today is one of the best days ever. Allow me to re-introduce myself I am Dr. Tommie Mabry!!! I did it,” he says in a Facebook post commem-orating the occasion.
The post has since gone viral with over 50,000 views as of Saturday afternoon. Mabry, in a recent article published by the Clarion Ledger, recalled his early days. “We modeled what we saw,” Mabry said. “What was cool to me were the guys that were getting all the attention. Those were either rappers, athletes, or dr*g dealers. I wanted to be that.”
Along the way, a realization str-uck him. This path wasn’t paying off. So he decided to change his ways, leaning on his religious faith and inner strength to make a positive difference in his own life and the lives of others.The first in his family to graduate high school and college, he is also an author and motivational speaker.
Excuse the tears in this video ?But today is one of the best days ever. Allow me to re-introduce myself I am Dr. Tommie Mabry!!! I did it ?? pic.twitter.com/W8vzkj44yh
— Dr. Tommie Mabry (@TommieMabry) August 22, 2020
Mabry’s Facebook post, which includes a chronological list of his life experiences, reveals his transformation. As the years add up, it bends from the darkness toward the light.” Please watch my story unfold from the beginning it’s never too late…” he writes.