Idowu Damola grew up in a poor family in a very bad neighborhood in a large New Jersey city.1 He recalls walking along the glass-strewn block where he lived, “with people yelling and screaming and fighting. It was a pretty run-down place.” His big break came when he won a full scholarship to an elite all-boys prep school in Connecticut. After he graduated, Idowu went on to study business and finance at Yale University, one of the top ten universities in the United States. At the time I spoke with him, Idowu had just started working as an investment broker on Wall Street. To get there, he had taken advantage of affirmative action opportunities available to black people in the United States. His progression from a “run-down” street in urban New Jersey to a coveted white-collar job on Wall Street is an American success story, a story that exemplifies the promise many immigrants see in America....
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