I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again:Â I’m not an academic.Â No one will everÂ say my name in the same breath asÂ Cornel West’sÂ or Skip Gates’.Â I know what I know through reading and living.Â That’s all.Â I write what I feel and I hope that othersÂ will eitherÂ be able to relate, or at least find me marginally entertaining.Â
I’m not sure if I’ll ever accoplish anything with this blog.Â But for some reason I keep writing.Â I want to challenge stereotypes, upset the status quo.Â I don’t want to piss people off too much because angry people don’t listen.Â (I learned that from being a dad.)Â I want to talk about my foul-mouthed son and how much I love him despite the fact that he is the black three year old equivalent of Simon Cowell (he has actually said to me “your behavior is horrible daddy”).Â
GodÂ I loveÂ my boy.Â We share a face although he’s much cuter, and sometimes smarter,Â than his dad.Â He’s my mini-me.Â I know thatÂ my sonÂ needs and loves me by the way he looks at me when I pick him up from preschool after a long day apart.Â And I need him.Â Â That little typhoon of emotion and energyÂ makes me a better man.Â A better black man.Â I dream big dreams because he exists.Â
I’m not original; there are many others like me.Â Â Nevertheless there is a black dad crisis in America.Â You don’t have toÂ have a degree in Black Studies or be friends with Tavis Smiley to know that it’s true.Â Just look around.Â The next few times you areÂ out and aboutÂ consciously look at the people around you pushing strollers and holding little hands.Â Really look.Â My guess is that the crisis willÂ become clearer, but true understanding will still be murky and opaque
Excellent post- your blog is one of the best I’ve come across in quite some time. You definitely represent what boys today need to see- a strong, well spoken and caring black man. Black fatherhood is so rarely reprented in this country let alone in the blogworld I applaud your effort here and definitely look forward to reading more.
On the watching who you see with a stroller- one of my favorite things about living in Atlanta was everywhere I went in my neighborhood I would see tons of fathers with their children. Whenever I’d hit the grocery store in the evening it would be full of men pushing carts full of kids around doing their shopping. Definitely something I will miss as a commonplace thing that really isn’t so commonplace anywhere else.