The black father is a station like none other on the planet. He is under constant scrutiny and racially profiled by police. He is stereotyped as a deadbeat, down low, irresponsible, uneducated, and now cannibalistic humanoid. But, the real stories don’t make the headlines and we know that this is not true for MOST.
Atlanta Black Star has made a week-long celebration out of Father’s day. They have invited some of our most celebrated black women authors and journalists to weigh in on fatherhood. Journalist and author, Joyce E. Davis, who is also the associate director of publications at Spelman College shared her story on what makes the black man a great father in her essay titled Black Fathers: Building and Sacrificing to Lift Their Families.
She touches our heart strings as she explores her relationship with her own father and the fathers she’s noticed taking an active role with their children, especially their daughters:
“There is nothing more attractive to me than seeing a black man spending time with his children. If I spot one at a PTA meeting, it takes all the effort I can muster not to stare…
“I know a brother who took a braiding class so he could hook up his daughter’s hair.”
The most important aspect of her essay, in my humble opinion, is that men and women should understand that it is not necessary for a man to show extreme acts of heroism to be a good father:
“To sacrifice means to give up something you really desire for something else you value more. But sacrifice doesn’t always have to be as monumental as that of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Sometimes it’s the small things I’ve seen black fathers do, like ditching a night hanging with the fellas because they’re needed at home.”
These essays and video interviews with fathers tell stories of black fathers that are detrimental to the spirit of the African American family. We need to know, when no one else will tell us, that we do not have father’s leading us to our own destruction, but men trying every day to be fathers that they want their son’s to be and the man they want their daughters to marry.
Read their poignant essays here. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY FELLAS!