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Family firsts

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I set a number of firsts in my immediate family.

I was the first male to attend college, once I enrolled at Northwestern University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Communications.

While the members of my mother's family, due to their heritage, were more fortunate in their social interactions, my father's side always slaved away in chains of servitude - mostly due to intrinsic racial insecurities.

Luckily, I was born of talent and vision as, early on, I learned that Earth is not the kindest place in the universe for mere mortals. Of course, there are patches and pockets of paradise within, but they are tough to locate amidst the low vibrations and selfish agendas of most humans.

The second first I am responsible for is being the first musician in my immediate family. It is a badge of honor that I wear proudly, as they just did not have many opportunities to practice the sophistication necessary to perform within the structured confines of music. Discouraged from immersing themselves in theoretical knowledge and the practical application thereof, their potential was, indeed, limited by agents both inside and outside of their own hearts and minds.

Once their disapproval of my own career choices came to fruition, I learned to not listen to such negativity and to continue down the road I defined for myself from day one. The simple fact remains that, while no one else in my immediate family was given an opportunity to do anything respectable in life, fortunately for me, personally, music spoke to me in such a metaphysical way that pursuing a life in entertainment, regardless of opposition, was never in question.

Follow Marcus Singletary on Twitter at @IAmSingletary.