This paper presents the results of a small qualitative study of the social origins of black physicians from poor urban and southern communities. The study examines contextual factors in the communities of these high achievers that help to explain their great academic and professional success as young adults. We argue that it was the community that identified and nurtured these gifted children, thus making it possible for them to attend college and professional school. Within many communities there were indigenous traditions and resource that were mobilized for star students.