Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Thank You Note to My Father and Black Men Everywhere [Guest post by Charles J.]

I received this post from my good friend Charles J. last week. This post is responsible for me reconsidering my point of view and taking the time to [re]find and refine my voice. Sometimes even an old, stubborn man can learn from a young, wise man.

Before I sat down and began to write, I wasn’t sure what to write about. I was going to write about how black men need to step up and be fathers to their children. I was going to talk about the numbers of brothers in jail. I even started along these lines, but before long I bored myself and felt as though I was sounding redundant.

Then I thought about my own childhood. I grew up in a two parent household. My father was there for me and still is here for me now, so instead of writing and downing more black men ala Bill Cosby. I just wanted to say thank you to my father and to the other Black fathers (biological or otherwise).

Too often we hear there are no more good Black men out there, but I disagree. I feel too often we tend to extend our appreciation to those who have been indispensible to us throughout our lives only when they are dead instead of giving them their accolades while still here on earth. So here goes…

First I would like to begin with my own father. Thank you, Dad, for loving me and allowing me to make mistakes. Thank you for trying to teach me how to throw a ball even though I never got really good at it. Thank you for enrolling me in acting classes at the age of ten when you saw that I preferred music and arts better than a bat and ball. Many fathers would have been disappointed at my preference, but you were not. Thank you for being a living example of how to treat my future wife by treating my mother with the utmost love and respect.

When I needed you, you were there. When I cried, you dried my tears and calmed my fears. You taught me manhood is not about what’s between my legs but what’s between my ears. Because of you I walk taller and work harder. You don’t think you hear this enough.

And this message is also for every good black man out there who is doing it right. It seems we hear most often about those who are not acting as men. We hear about those who have selfishly shrugged off their responsibilities. But as a son, nephew, cousin and mentee of many good black men, thank you all for just being you. Keep up the good work.

Charles J


msladydeborah said...

I have maintained for a long time that we have to tell our story. Not the one that is told about us. But the one that we know contains the truth.

There are a whole lot of Black fathers who are doing it right. There were a whole lot of Black fathers before them who did things right. When you do the right thing and met the expectations of the overall society-you get overlooked. Too many of our fathers have not been held up as the example to follow.

This is a great post. We have to continue to be the ones who spin our tales out into the light.

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