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A Difficult Shout Out to Amazing Black Fathers

Father's Day is always a little tough for me.

I'm reminded of all the doting, involved fathers and how my children are missing out on that experience. Mostly because he lives 3,000 miles away in London, but the other part is just because of who he is(n't).

So I like to bury my head under a pillow for Father's Day, try not to blame myself for cheating my children by not picking a better spouse in the "Father" department and just wait for Monday to come.

This year, I wanted to make sure I put my own feelings aside or more appropriately, pushed past those feelings, to say something very important and personal to every black father. And to my personal "village" of black fathers who have shown fatherly interest and concern to my children.

But first my message to black fathers:

Please hear me: You matter!!

What you do matters.

What you say matters.

When you show up it matters.

Your hugs matter.

Your kisses matter.

You being their biggest cheerleader matters.

You saying that you believe in them matters.

I know that sometimes the media and the statistics, and unfortunately, even black women are telling you that you don't matter. That your contributions, even the small ones, don't matter.

This is not the truth.

I know this is not the truth because I see my children longing for their father in different ways everyday. I know this because the only children who say their father didn't matter are usually speaking angrily from their jail cell–which only proves that their father did matter. Could have mattered.

Your children need you. And do not ever tell yourself otherwise, even if your money is funny and even if you have baby mama drama and even if your child is mean-mugging when you show up (they may be being influenced by other people and things but later on they will always remember that you showed up. Trust me)

I also know that there so many more black fathers doing positive things, being active parents, involved parents and holding it down, sometimes giving Mom a run for her money.  You may not get your media coverage, but I know there are thousands of you out there. And I applaud you.

Many of them are my family, friends and colleagues. Some of them I hope you know, like, Eric Payne of Makes Me Wanna Holler, Lamar Tyler of Black and Married With Kids, MochaDad, and Nick Chiles, husband to My Brown Baby's Denene Millner–they are actively and publicly promoting positive black fatherhood and I'm a huge fan.

But there are so many other amazing black fathers in my life who've touched my children's lives who don't have a web presence or a social media platform. Men like my own father, James Seals,  who is the best grandfather ever; my Uncle James, who is always there for us; Greg Morris, who was the best father-figure I could ask for; my friend Malcolm Whitten who always includes Michael on every DIY project he helps me with; Dwayne Bastiany, who keeps my children thinking about music and gives me great parenting (and co-parenting) advice. 

I am grateful to these and many more of my male friends who are fabulous fathers in their own right and have shared their insights with me (even checked me) as I raise my young black male and my daughter and who have generously shared their fatherly spirit with my children. 

I appreciate all of you very much. You have mattered in my children's lives in ways I can't fully express.

Enjoy your much-deserved Father's Day along with all the other many, many black fathers doing their thang! Thank you!!

Do you have a black father or father-figure worthy of a shout out? Do it here!!  Are you a single mom blessed to have positive father figures in your life? Are you as grateful as I am?





3 Responses to “A Difficult Shout Out to Amazing Black Fathers”
  1. Wadiya says:

    S/O to my dad, Alfred C. Scudder, my uncles Bitsie, Jakey, Robert and countless other (made up uncles). To my brothers, Red, Steven and Alfred for showing up and being a positive role-model for my kids. To my male friends, Bobby, Carter, Carlton and others who’ve been holding it down before it became popular. I thank God that I know more real “FATHERS” than the “baby daddy variety”. May you all have a Blessed Father’s Day

    • Kimberly says:

      I love this! And yes, shout out to all the “made up uncles” –love them–and all those fathers who hold it down (and been doing so) without wanting the proverbial Chris Rock “cookie.” 🙂

  2. Terrence says:

    Being a father is so much more than being a provider for the family. I think that this mentality was the first step to fathers believing that they did not need to be in the homes. Technically, you can provided from anywhere. However, one of the real purpose for fathers is to help the child learn to establish good relationships with people and he does that by establishing HIS relationship with the child first. When the father is not there then that child build animosity towards their relationship with father. It is that same animosity (towards their father) that they begin to target towards other relationships. It is that same lack of a father’s love that drive them down paths we don’t want our children to go. Drug, sexual and gang activities (amongst others) all have strong correlations to missing fathers. As men, it is time we stand up and take our rightful (and much needed) place in our families right beside the mother and raise our children together because that’s what they both want and NEED!!!!

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