An open letter to Black Men: “Embracing fatherhood isn’t easy but you are the man for the job”.
If I am not for myself, who is for me? If I am for myself alone, What am I? If not now, When?
I welcome you to this crisis you find yourself in and thank you for signing up to participate in this madness. You see, we must evolve or die and that could mean unlearning, relearning, and learning how to be a father all over again. If you have it all together as a father and is doing very well for your family, this still applies to you because we need teachers, mentors, and educators like you in the communities. In Tony Dungy’s seminal work ‘The Mentor Leader” expresses that “Especially in tough times, people will want to know if your actions measure up with your words. So, you don’t have to run around town yelling that you are a good father; just be there for your kids and encourage their growth and development.
You have to make it your business to learn something new each and day about your children, world, family, and or experiences that you find yourself in. The rules have changed and we have to rethink the institution of Marriage, family and fatherhood. You are not crazy, deranged, or a dead beat dad although certain ills in society would have you to believe so. It is ok to be afraid, hurt, confused, upset, and distraught by all the hardships that have taken place over the last 400 years within the psychology of our minds. To be quite honest I still need a healing in my own mind because I am still a little bitter and can still somehow feel those scars, bruises and blisters that our ancestors felt amongst their journey; so I can relate and say that we still must rise.
George Santayana (1863-1952), a Harvard educated poet and philosopher quoted “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. I am sure you have heard this quote about 1000 times because it is a sentiment that rings true within our communities. But, the truth of the matter is that change and transformation is occurring all the time; and we must evolve if we are to understand what is taking place in and around our world today. Yes, the clarion call has been sounded to embrace fatherhood and to understand your role in the 21st century landscape of “Information Technology”.
I would like to take it a step further to express that you have been in a crisis since that first slave ship landed in America and nothing has changed. It has been the same old ole oppressive system but with different modes of operation. If we are ever to capture the true essence of our psychological process we would do well by killing all of our issues at the root of the matter.
A study of the past will definitely help us to start the reconditioning process of the mind; which will begin to remove the lies, deceit, and deceptions put on us by our oppressors.
We are intellectually gifted teachers, philosophers, advisors, dreamers, idealists and the thousand others gifts and talents that God doesn’t want us to bury (like the unwise steward). So, what this means is that we must deepen our awareness of who we are, reflect upon our experiences, build reserves and spend time alone. Yes, I said spend time alone as Meditation will become an important staple of our future growth and development as a people. In the book of Joshua 1:8 he spoke “but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do accordingly to all that is written therein”. These words came after the children of Israel were freed from bondage. Joshua understood that even as you were physically free you would need a greater work to free your mind of the slavery bondage that was placed upon you; and that caused you to forget who you were. You must nurture, provide, and educate your children(s) on the fundamentals of being a trailblazer and leaving a legacy.
Our old parents built colleges, universities, businesses, towns, and the like through lots of sweat blood and tears. So, it is only befitting that we grab those sentiments and take them to the next level; and this all begins with embracing your call as a father however the case may be.
To all of the fathers out there with the silent victories of triumph and the principle-centered leadership; who fight depression, financial woes, relationship conflicts, the penal system and the racism of our day; I say “Thank you” on behalf of us who appreciate all that you do behind your veil of anonymity. You have just endured the last 13 years of this millenium and you are still here to tell about it. Although, some will say that their last few years have been amazing they are still asleep to the fact that; we (The black community) must work with higher ideals versus dollars and cents. We must look within ourselves and see us as being brave, black, accountable, and reliable. The truth of the matter is that you are embracing fatherhood but at a frequency that may not be understood. I am with you as we will not look at the statics but at the “transformational leadership” that is displayed by all black fathers everywhere.
Your road has definitely not been easy with all that you have been up against within the societal ills of our time; not to mention the injustices within our own communities. But, don’t give up now as our community is leaning on you in these times of difficulty to represent us to the best of your ability as the “Mighty Men of Valor”. You are the man for the job and now it’s time to come out of hiding and show the world what real black men look like; and we really represent as a tribe of Intellectual soldiers.
You have to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
Old Irish Proverb
Staff Writer; Tyrone Brackens
May also visit this brother online at; http://www.hbcuenlightened.wordpress.com.