This is a love letter to Black Dads. But really this letter stands as a love letter to any young Black boy in this euro-kkkolonial wilderness; this is a love letter to Black boys that will be privileged enough to grow into Black men.
Black Dads mean so much more because Black Dads have been strategically ripped away from our People. This is because in true communal fashion Black Dads serve as a demonstration of what fathers look like not just for our individual family but for the community as a whole; they bring a presence to our community that is needed. Our People learn through observation and participation — that translates as our young men learn how to be fathers and men from the older Brothas that influence them. Whether that be their dad, unkle, older cousin, coach, friends pops, grandfather — remember Afrikans are indigenously a communal people. We have lived with Ubuntu culture for thousands of years. So as Black Dads, we must remember that whatever we show our children and community will be the way we shape our next set of Black men.
It is the love I have for the Black Dads who shaped me; the tradition my father passed down, that pushed me to write this. My dad was the best father I could have ever asked for, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t come with flaws, shortcomings and toxic patriarchal behavior at times. In true double Gemini fashion, my pops was a character and had many different sides of him. To love him though, was to love ALL of him; at least that’s what he taught me — to love the person even if we hate their actions. He taught me that love was bigger than a feeling, it was a commitment to another person. I met his best friend from his time in Vietnam and I heard story-after-sorry about how seriously he took those words from John 15 in the Bible, showing his love through his actions to save his comrades in battle. He taught me about the times he learned first-hand about the power of prayer and just how much a praying mother can save.
I saw my father cry when he spoke about his friend Ratcliff whose slain body was picked up by the same helicopter carrying his discharge paperwork. See, my father taught me to see the good and the bad in everything and to learn from it all; that it was up to me to take away the good stuff, keep it and make it mine. My father taught me to embrace all of my humanity and the…