Artist: Larry Poncho Brown

To the African American Father: You are Appreciated

Artist: Larry Poncho Brown

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

 

Ubuntu,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins

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I'm a Social Worker, Educator, and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. tunisiajolyn84 says:

    I can’t believe you don’t have more love for this wonderful post! You may want to do a throwback Thursday and repost this. I enjoyed every word of it. Thank you for showing appreciation to Black fathers. I am thankful for my dad and all he has instilled in me. Thanks for sharing this with me! It really made me happy to read this.

    • Thank you! Yes, I remain so thankful for the valuable lessons my father has taught me too, and I’m glad that reading my letter made you happy. The letter was pretty popular in terms of shares a few years ago, but unfortunately, after I switched from my old domain name, google treated the new domain as an entirely different website so my shares were reset to zero. I will definitely follow your advice and either repost this, or redirect readers to it in another post.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments!

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