Nehemiah Mabry has long imagined a world where people of color have fuller representation inside the world of science. That vision started with him. The experience put Mabry on a path to becoming a structural engineer. Mabry started his journey in higher education at an HBCU, or a historically Black college or university. The comment, in all of its plain-to-see racism, energized Mabry rather than discouraging him.