Black dads share secret blessings of fatherhood
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When assessing the energy children put into Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we all know, there’s no comparison. Mother’s Day is not only a holiday, it’s one of the busiest travel days and largest revenue generators, as we engage in actions to show our mothers how much we love them. Father’s Day, on the other hand, which this year is Sunday, June 19, is pretty much just another day.

Don’t believe me. Just check the songs. For mothers: “Dear Mama” (Tupac), “I’ll Always Love My Mama” (The Spinners), “A Song for Mama” (Boyz II Men), etc. For fathers: “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (The Temptations). Wow.

And on top of that, Black fathers, in particular, have been so demonized by society that we (Blackfolk) regularly repeat all the negative tropes others use to label Black dads, even though a 2015 study by the CDC showed that Black fathers are involved in the lives of their children just as much, and in many cases, more so, than white, Latinx and Asian dads.

For generations, there have been Black fathers showing up and showing out for their families. And in so doing, dads say there are blessings that come with fatherhood —realities that are unable for a person who is not a father to comprehend until that day comes.

Here are some of those blessings shared by Defender dads.

“Being a father and grandfather, and being able to witness births! I cried like a baby.” (Steven Foster)

“You learn how to love without the need to control. It also gives me confidence in my decisions because anything that rocks the family boat unnecessarily is something I know I can do without.” (Kambui Moore)

“Hugs from the little ones are the best! Also, when they are showing signs of learning, especially when you are teacher, is heartwarming. Knowing that they will ultimately (even if they don’t want to in the moment) be looking to you as the earthly example, makes your job that much harder, but worth it. It also makes you always think big picture and less about yourself and more about them.” (Jeffery Oribhabor)

“Protect. Provide. Repeat. I’ve learned that being a girl dad is a balance between teaching them that they can do almost anything without pushing them so hard that we break something. Hugs are more powerful than hollering. And daughters have the unique ability to see when fathers are afraid. And that’s when they grasp and hold your hand.” (Kamau Mason)

“Let your children be their own person. No matter what you teach them, you won’t be able to dictate who they will be. If you can dictate who they will be, then you have robbed them of becoming great in their own right.” (Sen Olushola)

“Growing up in Galveston, my dad wasn’t around much, but my two uncles Marvin and David Scurry gave me many life teachings on being a man. The simple act of playing catch with a baseball and a football…I not only learned how to catch and throw, it gave us time to talk about expectations of a Black man in America. I also pass those times to my two sons in the same manner.” (Ronald Scurry)

There’s a fearlessness you gain from fatherhood. Fear is no longer a factor because you must protect and provide for your offspring by any (legal) means necessary. (Gee Joyner)

How do you and yours celebrate Father’s Day?

The Defender asked you, our faithful Defender community, how you normally celebrate Father’s Day. Here’s what you had to say. And FYI, we’d love for you to share pics with us of your Father’s Day 2022 experience to be featured on our Community Central Channel @ www.DefenderNetwork.com. Please send to aswad@defendernetwork.com using the heading “My FATHER’S DAY 2022 PICS.”

Honoring brothers. (Chekesha Monroe)

Personally, I didn’t grow up with my dad so it’s not that important to me to be honest, however my family would just honor uncles or others who are fathers. (Vanessa Latrice)

I simply honor my Daddy. That is reflecting the whole day how he’s impacted my life … If he comes in town to visit me… I cook his faves… other than that… he gets gifts and always a tribute. (Jocilyn Portuondo)

Sacrifice 100 Cows!!!! Lol we just have a barbeque. (Italo Bugat)

My father passed when I was a teen. I usually celebrate by attending church with the male role models in my life. I’m blessed to have a Bonus Dad – my friends kindly shares their Father with me and we eat, laugh and enjoy time together. We also celebrate my brothers. (Vannessa Wade)

As young children, my sisters and I would gather my Dad’s handkerchiefs (he preached so he needed at least four each Sunday), washed them, ironed, folded them neatly, and put them in a gift box. When we gave it to him, he acted like they were new and we were so elated. Now that he’s passed on, I speak to him in the Spirit with gratitude. I send cards to my children’s fathers and treat my son, a father, with a gift—dinner and/or money. (Dr. Shelley McIntosh)

Peace and quiet and a nice meal of his choosing. (Sharon Watkins Jones)

I eat the big piece of chicken. (Danyahel Norris)

It’s Father’s Day every day. We honor our 96-year-old dad by loving on him and thanking God for having a God fearing, loving, and supportive Dad. We always cook and bring gifts to the throne of dad. (Dr. Angela Anderson)

Same as Mother’s Day!! Church, Food, Fun, Fellowship! Mama liked 2 go out 2 eat, but Daddy liked a home cooked meal. So, we would gather and cook a meal with Mama at tgr house. After she transitioned, we would go and cook 4 him. But we had FUN ALL THE TIME. EVERYDAY WAS MOTHER’S & FATHER’S DAY. I miss Him soòooooooooooo much. (SisterMama Sonya)

On Father’s Day, we would do the things that were important to my dad: attending church, singing together as a family (some of us), gathering at his house for dinner. So, that’s what we did. This will be our first Father’s Day without him. (Norma J. Thomas)

Best advice received from your father (or best advice you’ve given as a father)

Don’t share your personal business with just anybody and don’t let anybody call you “Chief”! (Mike Meade)

Don’t play where you make your money. (Kenneth Haynes)

My dad advised me to make an honest living. (Michael Jones

Pops told me years ago that U shape your life by what U believe and give energy to…U always have. (Seyoum Osaze)

Work doesn’t do itself. (Charles Gooden Jr.)

Son, I need you to listen, not just hear me. (Perry Banks)

A smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. (Brian Doucet)

Dad told me that a man`s word is everything. (Alan Sims)

The worst thief is the thief of time. Time is the only resource that you will never get back. (Reginald Charles Adams)

Get up every day and be on time for your business or your job. That’s how you take care of your family. (Brian Kefing Moore)

Be able to deal with outcome or consequences in any situation your put yourself in. (Kalvin Young)

His advice when going to college, which can also be applied to life in general was: “Work hard and party hard, in that order.” I find myself repeating it to my children as well. (Danyahel Norris)

Momma may have and Papa may have, but God bless the child that got its own! One of many lessons my Great King/Father Edward Howard Rodgers taught me. (Shaqula Lumumba)

Hugh Lawson G. Miller – He once told me to be careful what I put on my face because no man wants to see all that nonsense on a women’s face. In his thick Barbados accent. He also told me to be careful what I eat because I have some thick women on my biological mother’s side of the family. Apparently, I didn’t listen. (Barbara Yaminah Miller)

“Find someone that will help you push the wagon, not someone that will sit on it and drag their feet.” (Wendell Shepherd)

Advice from my father about people. ” It takes all kinds of nuts to make a fruit cake.”

Advice I give my son as he maneuvers this world. ” Keep your head on a swivel.” (Charles Sadiki Brown)

Hold your head up! I must precious thing I can give you is my name. Cherish it and keep it safe. (Angela Anderson)

“There’s always room for improvement” and “pray quietly.” (Akinyi Adoyo)

“Be your own Man, true to yourself, and you will always be free.” (Sol Ramsey)

Your life unfolds in accord to the decisions you make daily. It’s what I say. My dad said “Everything that looks good to you, ain’t good for you.” (Doc Blak)