Posted on: June 13, 2024 Posted by: Christina Bronner Comments: 9

Todd L. Belcore, Executive Director of Social Change, loving father of daughter, Skyla

Celebrating Black Fathers: Honoring Their Legacy and Love

Written By: Kevin E. Hooks

We stand on the shoulders of the enslaved men who, despite a world that saw them as little more than livestock, fought against incredible odds to be fathers to their children. These men, forced to endure emasculation and humility during the Jim Crow era, alongside our amazing Black Queens, birthed leaders like Dr. King, Malcolm X, and even a President – Barack Hussein Obama. Their courage and resilience are the foundation upon which today’s Black fathers continue to build.

Dr. Malcolm Walters, proud father of his two sons

As we approach Father’s Day, let us honor Black fathers within the broader context of Black history and culture. Their struggles and triumphs echo in the hearts of today’s Black fathers, who continue to fight for a better future for their children despite systemic efforts to emasculate and remove them from their families—from slavery to wars, to government subsidy programs that barred fathers, to the impact of the drug war and the prison industrial complex. Still, we rise in support and love of our children.

This Father’s Day, we acknowledge the oft-overlooked and underappreciated Black fathers who tirelessly strive to protect, nurture, and love their families despite the stereotypes and societal challenges. Contrary to the pervasive myth of the absent Black father, data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a more nuanced and hopeful reality. Seventy percent of Black fathers who live with their children are actively involved in daily caregiving activities, surpassing their White and Hispanic counterparts. This includes bathing, dressing, and nurturing their children every day.

Kevin Hooks, Author of the op-ed, Father of Kai Michael Hooks, Junior at UC Santa Barbara

These acts of care extend beyond mere statistics. In the home, our love language often includes sharing a meal with our children. Black fathers are more likely to engage in this daily ritual, fostering emotional connections and imparting life lessons around the dinner table. Even for those fathers who do not reside with their children, their presence is felt through meaningful conversations. Seventy-two percent of these fathers engage in regular dialogue with their children, ensuring that their voices of wisdom and love resonate in their children’s lives.

Take, for instance, James, a Black father from Chicago, who wakes up every morning at 5 AM to prepare breakfast for his children before heading to work. Despite the long hours and societal challenges, James ensures he is home every evening to help with homework and share stories of perseverance. His story is one of many, reflecting the quiet strength and dedication of Black fathers across the nation.

Sean C. Hamilton with his pride and joy, Iman A. Hamilton

Similarly, consider Darnell, a father in Atlanta, who, after working a grueling shift, spends his evenings coaching his son’s basketball team. Darnell’s commitment to being a present and positive force in his children’s lives defies the harmful stereotypes that persist about Black fathers. His involvement in his community and his family’s life serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of Black fatherhood.

In his powerful book, “Between the World and Me”, Ta-Nehisi Coates recounts his father’s role in his life. Coates describes his father’s relentless dedication to educating his children about their history and the world around them. His father, a former Black Panther, instilled in Coates a sense of pride and awareness, guiding him through the complexities of being Black in America. This narrative underscores the profound impact Black fathers have in shaping the minds and futures of their children.

Jeremy Givens, President of Black American Dad Foundation, father of 5 year old Cohen

Don’t take my word for it. Check out the Black American Dad Foundation, led by Jeremy Givens. It is dedicated to challenging the pervasive stereotypes surrounding Black fatherhood. Through firsthand accounts and powerful narratives, the foundation shines a light on the true nature of Black fathers—committed, loving, and deeply involved in their children’s lives. As Jeremy Givens aptly puts it, “Black fathers are the backbone of our communities, defying stereotypes and nurturing the next generation with unwavering love and commitment.”

Black fathers are present, engaged, and nurturing. They are the unsung heroes whose love and commitment extend beyond their households, shaping communities and inspiring future generations. As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us recognize and honor these men who defy stereotypes and embody love, courage, and commitment.

Let us lift our voices to celebrate these fathers who stand as beacons of hope and resilience. Their love is a powerful force, bending the arc of our narrative toward truth and justice. This Father’s Day, let us honor the Black fathers who are shaping the future with strength, dedication, and love.

By embracing the full, unvarnished truth of Black fatherhood, we not only uplift our fathers but also pave the way for a future where our children can walk freely in the light of their heritage, proud of the legacy we build with every act of love and every word of wisdom.

Leroy Brown, General Manager, Hyatt Place Chicago, Proud father of 3.

Finally, as we honor these incredible fathers, let us also commit to supporting and uplifting them in our communities. Whether through mentorship programs, advocacy, or simply acknowledging and celebrating their contributions, we can all play a part in ensuring their legacy of love and resilience continues to thrive.

This Father’s Day, let us not just celebrate but also take action to ensure the future for Black fathers and their children is bright, filled with opportunities, and free from the systemic challenges that have long sought to undermine their essential role in our society.

Happy Father’s Day to our amazing fathers!!

Please tag a father to let him know that we honor and celebrate him!!

Please feel free to leave your comments and messages to the wonderful Black Men in your Life!!!

9 People reacted on this

  1. Blessings to all the fathers and families noted here. Special shout out to Leroy Brown

  2. Fathers are an important part of our children’s lives. I applaud all the fathers who strive to give their children the best lives they can and ensure there are good citizens to make our world a better place. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers!

  3. I love this articles. it is real, direct to the point and unapoligetically correct. We salute our black men. Society says one thing, but we know the truth. Happy Fathers Day to all our Daddys!!!!

  4. Amazing Articles. Thank you for sharing this with Upscale and its followers. We celebrate and encourage our Black Men as the leaders that they are. Very well written.

  5. It’s so refreshing to see and read about black fathers who are being celebrated for their contribution to community and family ! Thank you for this article and this perspective!

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