Bronx Tales IV: Success Depends on What You Value

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Why you should care

Because success can be measured by a “Mrs.,” or a Ph.D., M.A. or J.D. 

In episode four of Bronx Tales, OZY Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson hits the streets of New York’s most maligned borough to talk about success and failure, race and gentrification and of course, love and hip-hop.

Who is more successful: a single, professional career woman and entrepreneur, or a blue-collar worker with kids? Of course, there’s no way to answer that question without more context, but Noëlle Santos recognizes that while society may praise her managerial job, her master’s degree and her venture to open an independent bookstore in the Bronx, she looks longingly at her childhood friends with “regular” jobs, high school diplomas and children.

Dr. Diana Hernández is another professional who would be considered highly successful by any standards. She graduated high school at 16 and finished college and started an Ivy League Ph.D. program at 19. (“Not bad for a Bronx girl,” she laughs.) Currently a professor at Columbia University, Diana says her family’s move from a working-class neighborhood to a more middle-class one, filled with two-parent households led by parents with no-frills, stable civil service jobs, may have changed the trajectory of her life.

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