To the African American Father: You are Appreciated
To the African-American Father:
Dear Fathers, rest your weary minds a moment..I’ve got something to tell you. I just wanted to send you some words of encouragement….because I know you need them.
I know you face unique and complicated challenges across many fronts, but today, and as long as I breathe, I will recognize you.
I know that many hold tightly to the belief that “all black men” or even the majority of black men are either terrible or non-existent when it comes to fatherhood. I am also aware that defining all black men based upon the observed or perceived actions or inactions of some, is one of the consequences of racism.
I am aware of the numbers, and I know the statistics, but I also know that the many stories which tell of your greatness are not being told.
It must be difficult to continue the work you do in the face of so much criticism and so little validation. It must be hard having to fight against the false reputation that so often seems to precede you. Your job is often thankless, but today I say thank you.
Because of the physical and psychological blows you receive daily, I am not asking you to remove your armor completely. Today, I simply ask that you lower your shield. You have nothing to fear from me. I do not see you as a part of the conveniently labeled “majority”. I do not believe, nor will I tell you that you are like all the rest.
I am not talking about “them”. I am talking about you. The Fathers all over who are living and breathing counterexamples to the carefully selected narrative from the “mainstream”. The ones who have been, and continue to defy every psychologically damaging stereotype disseminated as truth through music, television & movies, and even some forms of research.
Today, I recognize you. I also wish to encourage you because you truly encourage me in so many ways.
I know you exist because I’ve seen you. You are not an anomaly. You are not a rare occurrence. You are here, have been here throughout history, and will continue to be here. Keep doing the great work you do. I can only hope that when my turn comes around, someone will be able to see in me what I see in you..that someone will be able say to me what I say to you…
Dear Fathers: You Are Truly Appreciated! Be encouraged!
Grace & Peace,
“Is there someone in particular that has been a mentor to you or; played a role in where you are today who has helped shape your philosophies and personal development?”
“I can attribute much of my strength, resolve, and the positive development of my character to my father. Through living his life, he has taught me without teaching. He has shown me what it means to make wise decisions, to maintain composure in adversity, and remain humble in everything I do. His consistency has taught me to be true to my word, and his selflessness has instilled in me a will to give back. His lessons will be with me always.” ….Relando Thompkins
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins