As a father to four beautiful children ranging from the ages of young adulthood to young adolescents, it’s been both a GIFT & CURSE being the father of my young kings and queens. Growing up in the USA as a black man was a very arduous process, but when you’re raising one, it’s even more difficult.
The “GIFT” of being a black father for me is the fact that God has blessed me with the opportunity of raising my angels to be better than me in all aspects of life. It’s a GREAT feeling for me to debunk society’s notion of black fathers such as much that we are all deadbeats, which is totally false. So I do my best to continuously be apart of the daily lives of my children. I’m constantly embedding in their minds that they are GREAT and that there is nothing in this world that can hold them back from attaining their visions and aspirations. I let them know that achieving “BLACK EXCELLENCE” should be their end goal in life. I teach them about all the black heroes who came before and who set a terrific precedent, despite the hardships.. With the information I provide to them, I also let them know that I want them to not only be GREATER than our black heroes, but to also strive in achieving “BLACK EXCELLENCE.” I wish that not only for my kids, but also every black child in this world!!!
The “CURSE” of being a black father, especially in AMERIKKA…..it’s so much to talk about. First off, just being a black man in the USA feels as if you are destined to be either 6 feet under, incarcerated or become a rapper/sports player. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, you are still looked upon as inferior to white people. I grew up in a rough environment in Brooklyn, NY and wasn’t easy. Daily, I thank the “Man Above” for being alive and not in prison like I once was years ago. When it comes to raising my sons, I’m constantly in prayer, talking to them and chastising them when need be. I want them to avoid the same pitfalls I fell into…as well avoid the path of embracing the streets as I once did when I was younger. It’s even more difficult in this day and age when police brutality is at a All-Time high, as well as gun violence in the urban community. I’m saddened by the fact that I have to constantly warn my boys to be careful of young black men who look just like them, who can take their lives with just a single squeeze of the trigger or a plunge of a knife into their bodies. The cops, who are supposed to be serving the community and I have to constantly teach them to be respectful of them at all times whenever they are approached by one. When they go out to hang out with friends, I fret that I might get the call that they lost their life to either a gunshot wound or a stabbing. That’s not the way I should think, but it’s so hard not to. All in all, the only thing I can do is to continually remain in their lives and help them understand that life isn’t fair; but despite it not being fair, they have to do the best they can to live their life to the fullest and not be afraid to make mistakes…as long as they learn from them.
I would like to talk more on this topic, but stay tuned for Part 2 as I expound more on the Gift & Curse of being a Black Father. Hope you enjoyed the read and stay tuned!!!