Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A War of the McKnights.

August 27, 2019 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) In a previous article, I quoted a statuette in my house that reads “Any man can be a father but it takes a special man to be a dad.” I maintain this to be true and to be something that needs a definite distinction. Folks use the term “baby daddy” when the dude might just be a father and does nothing a dad will do. Some guys are both the father and the dad. Then you have that third guy who sits on the fence. He’s a father, he pays his child support but he’s not particularly involved in his kids’ lives.

Sure, junior and baby girl have their stuff for school and utilities are paid to keep them in a functional home but they’re not involved. Whether it is the mother preventing it or the father showing no interest to be involved, they can’t really say they’re a great dad. “Father” is biological, it’s legal but that’s it. It’s like saying a retired athlete was a great player but they’re not Hall of Fame great.

A War of the McKnights

This brings me to the situation with R&B legend Brian McKnight and his children, Brian Jr. and Briana. Brian McKnight, Jr. recently took to Twitter and Instagram (the post has been taken down) to discuss his siblings’ relationship with the elder McKnight. In the posts, he discussed neglect from his father and how his father pretty much moved on from cultivating a relationship with his older children after remarrying.

“I can’t imagine abandoning my children man. Its hard not to imagine the psyche of a man who can truly just turn his back on his actual sons, on his actual blood, and creations. It’s mind boggling to me,” he wrote. “I don’t think there is any situation that merits the way my father has chosen to treat my brother, my sisters, and his grandchildren, one of which being his first born’s, first born son, who also bares our name.”

And that was just part of what he wrote, Straight From The A has the post in its entirety as well as Briana McKnight’s version of their childhood and relationship with their father. Needless to say, they echo each other. When these kinds of accusations surface, it’s not unusual for the accused to emerge and defend themselves—which Brian McKnight did in a video.

Punching Back

He says he gave them a lot growing up, he looked after his sons in their 20s, helped with their early careers and never missed child support. McKnight also said that his kids were disrespectful to his new wife even when they claimed to want the traditional big family. He sums up his approach to parenting as “tough love.”

It should be pointed out that McKnight doesn’t shy away from shade on his kids. He said that his sons didn’t really do anything with the help he and his wife gave him, pointed out a seedy sexual situation his daughter had among other things. McKnight makes sure we know his sons are in their early 30s and late 20s and if they feel he cut them off, so be it.

It should be noted that there are horror stories of working for Brian McKnight professionally. They’ve existed for decades and paint as someone who is difficult to work for—then again, there’s a number of artists with the same reputation. The thing is that doesn’t always translate to an artist’s personal life.

One of my things with the elder McKnight’s side is mentioning that never missing child support payments makes his a great father. Normally, I’d say “Nah” but I deal in semantics. By law and what he’s supposed to do as a father—provide stuff for his children—he would be a great father. Now, you shouldn’t get a plaque or Father’s Day card for fulfilling your legal and natural obligations but alright.

Doing that doesn’t make him a great dad. The guy who teaches life lessons and is there emotionally when you need him. Then again, Brian Sr. said he was there during the early phases of their entertainment careers and got them in via projects with him. Depending on their family dynamic, that would be a good dad.

In listening to both sides you’ll find that a man can exist as both a great father and an absentee dad. What you won’t find is who is actually telling the truth or if it’s a mix of all of this and viewpoints alter what their relationship was like after reflecting.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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