by Wendie Blair
This month’s article was not easy for me. For one, I could never know what it’s like to be a father. Second, so much has happened in the recent days/weeks, toward black men, that I’m finding it difficult to address the topic of professional development from a general stance. So, I’m not going to. In this month’s article I would like to talk directly to black fathers.
I said that I can never know what it is like to be a father, but, I can also never know what it’s like to be a black man. As a black female I can relate to the systemic racism that is shown toward our culture, yet it does not compare to that which is directed toward our black men. Judged not for your education, content of character, status, etc. but by the color of your skin and the intimidated perspective that comes with your shade.
What I, and many others, need you to know is that we need you. Black women, your sons, your daughters, your neighborhoods, your culture needs you. You are not what they say you are, even if your behavior sometimes resembles the names you are called. I know that your frustration toward what seems to be a never ending battle contributes to your behavior and expression. I also know that you are better than this. You are stronger than this. You are deserving of happiness and freedom. We need you to take your place!
How can you do this? You must rise above anything petty. Show your strength and ability by educating yourself. Take responsibility for your actions at all times. Let your behavior reflect what you want to see for your culture and in the world. Teach your children the importance of your presence. Show your companion the importance of your presence. Lead in a way that you yourself would gladly follow. Recognize that strength itself has no ego. Humble yourself. I believe in you! We believe in you!
I know this is easier said than done. Especially when the odds that are stacked against you constantly challenge you. This requires self-discipline. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ll say it again, strength has no ego. There are many of people and programs out here that would be willing and able to assist you in the betterment of your future and the future of your children. Your children are watching you closely. More than they are listening to your words. It is your actions and behavior that will play the largest role in the type of adults they become. At the same time, the future of our society is reliant on the type of adults your children become. This is the same as saying the future is in your hands. We are depending on you.
Lead by example!
Please feel free to reach out if you need or would like help with anything mentioned in this article. If I am able to help I will. If I am unable to assist you I will put you in contact with someone who can. Stay strong black men.