Black Fathers are our Superheroes. Period. Point blank. End of story.
Actually, it is not the end of the story. On the contrary, it is a story that needs to be told constantly. A story that needs to be passed around from hood to hood, block to block, suburb to suburb, cul-de-sac to cul-de-sac, state to state, coast to coast. The word needs to be spread all over: there are an abundance of EXCELLENT Black fathers out there and we should be celebrated!
There are currently several examples of great Black Fathers in the public eye. Athletes and their dads, actors, movie stars, comedians, and even President Barack Obama, all serve as great exemplars of what an extraordinary father looks like. However, this is only half of our story. The other half is the Black father who isn’t on TV or movie screens on a daily basis. The other half remains obscure and not celebrated the way it should be. The other half is under-appreciated, often overlooked and even forgotten.
The forgotten Black Fathers aren’t actually forgotten though. Very rarely are they left empty handed on Father’s Day, sad and gift-less. No. That wouldn’t be fair, to accuse of such a crime, all of the mothers, children, and others who love and appreciate the black men in their lives. However, the praises of Black Fathers continue go unsung. In a culture where too often the black man is absent from the household for various reasons, the current generation of Black Fathers set out to reverse that trend. The new generation is stepping up to the plate by any means necessary. Unfortunately, this home run of great parenting is often hit in a stadium full of empty seats. Where are our fans? What happened to our cheerleaders? Are we not worthy of being presented with trophies? These are all very valid questions that need to be addressed.
I am Black. I am a father. I am a Superhero. We all are. I think it is time we be acknowledged.
Black Fathers possess out of this world, larger than life qualities that need to be showcased more often. The father who never misses his sons’ basketball practice OR games. The dad who plays house with his daughter and her favorite dolls. The father who wouldn’t dare allow his son to sit in the barbershop with his mom and miss an opportunity to bond as males while waiting to get haircuts. The dad that reads to his kids every night, no matter how busy his schedule is.
These are our Heroes.
What are our super powers? Thought you would never ask! We possess the power of being there when our son needs us, faster than a speeding bullet. The ability to read our daughter’s mind and make her smile with telepathic abilities. The super human strength to lift our kids up to help them reach their dreams and the supersonic speed to run alongside as they chase them. The vertical ability to leap over stereotypes and misconceptions of Black Fathers in a single bound! Yes, like most superheroes, we have our weaknesses. This should not overshadow the fact that we are heroes. We need to be celebrated as such.
I say we often because I am, in fact, a Black Father. I am a former single father. I am currently a father of three super cool kids for whom I would do anything in the world. I have friends who are also great fathers that could not fathom not being there to raise their sons. I have friends who would not allow another man to influence their daughter in a non-positive way. Friends that take pride in having a relationship with their kids that is the antithesis of the relationship they had with their own fathers. My friends actually frown upon our peers who are not involved in their kids’ lives on the daily basis. My friends cannot possibly befriend men who do not take fatherhood as seriously as we do.
My mission is to display Black Fathers in a light that we have rarely been shown in before. I am on an even greater mission to highlight the abilities of single Black Fathers and the super powers they possess: the ability to have a lifelong impact on our children. I am Black. I am a father. I am a Superhero. We all are. I think it is time we be acknowledged.