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Black Fathers are Real

Notice that I used the word father instead of daddy.

You can become a daddy by mistake, but a father handles his responsibilities whether it was planned or not.

A father is supportive of his child. He teaches, he spends time, but most importantly, he listens. The problem with most parents is thinking that spending time is buying kids what they want instead of selling them on what they need. Things like morals, love, discipline and self respect. Honestly, a father is the closest thing to God in his family. No, I'm not trying to be blasphemous, but it's the truth. A father is the head of his family; his voice carries weight, and he's respected differently than anyone else.

He molds you, scolds you and in your toughest time, he's there to pick you up. It's the reason why when mom says, "I'm going to tell your father," a kid straightens up.

Sounds godly to me!

A father brings balance to his children's lives. He gives them hope and compassion.

Society makes you think that black fathers are null and void and every household is a single parent home. There's no good depiction of the black man; in movies he's a slave, a thug, a drug dealer, a prisoner, a no-good daddy or they feminize us all together.

When I was a kid, we had good family shows like The Cosby Show, Family Matters, Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and My Wife and Kids. All strong family-centric shows. Although Good Times was based on a family from the projects, they still had a strong family foundation with a strong father figure. Today's shows are filled with drama and ignorance.

When will we stop falling for this rhetoric?

Why, as a culture, do we allow others to tell our stories when they should be exclusive to us? If we don't get to tell the story of slave masters, then why should they be able to tell the stories of slaves?

The Black man is royalty. He is the descendant of kings and queens, so his story should reflect that. It is up to us to inform our children of our rich history. Our kids knowing these things, this part of history, would help birth change in their mindset. As black men, we have a tough job to teach our sons and daughters how to navigate a world where all the roads lead to a dead end.

The only people with a tougher job is Black women. If we don't do our part, they are left with the daunting task of raising a boy to be a man when they've never been one themselves-- and raising a girl to love and respect herself, without the first man she'll ever love being present. A father is a girl's hero, her true first love.

So, Black fathers. I challenge you. I also challenge myself…

To do better. To be better and instill core values in our children that will build and strengthen our communities. Black fathers shouldn't be seen as unicorns. We should be seen as diamonds, a precious gem that forms under extreme pressure adding immense value to anything it is associated with.

Now's the time to be prevalent in our children's lives. It's time to be pillars in our communities. Let's give them something, someone to look up to as a positive and exemplary figure because we play a major role in determining their future.

A future that should be bright and filled with limitless opportunities.

The word father is not a title, it's an obligation. It's not a job, it's a responsibility.

Yes, Black fathers are real. We're alive and well, and I think it's time to let the world know we're not going anywhere!

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