Where Are the Black Fathers?

You don’t deserve the right to be happy.

You don’t get to decide whether or not you’re going to be a part of your child’s life because you don’t like his mother.

When you went inside of her raw, probably on more than one occasion you forfeited your right to being selfish.

When she called you or sat you down and told you she was pregnant, at that moment you no longer lived for you.

That mindset is what’s lacking in my community. It’s the mindset that’s lacking in the men I call brothers. Somewhere along the way we got it in our heads that our happiness and satisfaction trumps that of the seeds we created. That if his/her mother doesn’t want to do what I say or act right then let her and her new man take care of that kid. You may know some really good men, I know some really good fathers. But as a whole, the African American community has more single mothers and grandmothers raising children than any other race on this planet. And I mean that literally by the way, on this planet! This isn’t Uganda where the fathers aren’t home because they’re in Civil War. This isn’t Panama where the fathers aren’t home because they’re off in mines working. This is America where black fathers aren’t home because when things get hard they just go create another family.

If you’re reading this… Raise your hand if you know a man that couldn’t make it work with his child’s mother or wife so he just left. Just left and started a new family like that other child didn’t need his love, advice, care, protection. Raise your hand if you know women that are simply happy when their son or daughter gets a phone call.

Look, I could sit up here and blame drugs, violence, the job market, racism, any number of things on a father not being a father in the black community. But at the end of the day when you go to a little league game and it’s 75% mothers out there. When you go to a church event and it’s 90% mothers. Men are around, we’re in the clubs, we’re on Facebook, we’re at Texans games tailgating but you know where we aren’t? We aren’t raising our children…

My father has 14 children by 10 different women. He wasn’t a father to any of us, that’s 14 lives that had to figure it out on their own. 14 lives that couldn’t go to their father for loan money to start a business Mitt Romney. 14 lives that at some point wondered “why doesn’t my father love me?” I was blessed to have a grandfather that showed me the way. Some of the others weren’t so lucky and they just repeated the cycle. That breaks my heart more than I could ever express. Be a father to your sons and daughters or else…

Or else they won’t make it. I’d like to write that most kids from single parent households are just as capable but that’s not true. How can you be capable when you’re worried about your mother? When you’re confused about your father? You lose that ability to unlock all your potential. That’s why children from two parent families do better.

“Where are all the black fathers? They’re somewhere not taking responsibility for the lives they helped create. You don’t get to move to another State to be happy when your son needs you. You don’t get to ignore your daughter because she looks too much like her mother. You forfeit the right to be selfish the moment she shows you that plus sign on the stick.

If you’re doing the right things as a man I salute you and if you’re not fuck you.

I don’t have children but I used the word we in this post because I’m still a black man. And it’s still my right and responsibility to hold these kids down. It’s all our responsibilities.

 

 

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