Black Men : Fathers and freedom: a tribute to black dads on Juneteenth and Father’s Day


Aug 28, 2015

President Barack Obama walks with daughter Malia outside the White House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

For half my life, I’ve been a father.

I’ve been an African-American for twice as long.

On Sunday, I, along with millions of other black fathers, get the rare treat of celebrating two milestones: fatherhood and freedom.

That raises an interesting question: What does it mean to be a black father in America today?

It means we’re still fighting stereotypes, some of which are grounded in unpleasant realities — such as the 1 in 12 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 who are incarcerated; and others that falsely suggest black men aren’t involved in the lives of their kids.

We in the media — from Hollywood to your local dailies — have played a huge historical role in shaping the public’s perception of black men in America. We too seldom shine a light on those who’re doing it right — men who are successful and fully engaged in the lives of their children.

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Well-Known Member
Jan 28, 2001
the near north
being a father has taught me to be a better person. once you've accepted the role you have to play in your child's life--nurturing, molding, encouraging--you take on the position of "role model." children look at what you do, more than what you say. if you're being hypocritical, they're going to pass judgement on you...and stop listening to what you have to say. once I embraced my role in my children's lives, I had to make some changes to my own; none of us are perfect going in to parenthood.

to any perspective parent, I would tell them to listen to their children. as my children grew, they taught me how to be a better father...and the youngest reeps the benefit of the older ones teachings. mostly, I learned to get out of the way...and let my children live their lives. as young fathers, we sometimes get hung up on the "i'm the boss" mentality...and have everyone in the household uptight. but removing yourself from that self-imposed throne, allows you to enjoy your family...and them to enjoy you. it also lets the family grow together, learn together, and laugh together. we all make mistakes along the way, but that's just an opportunity for growth.

I don't know if being a father, today, pose any more challenges than it did in past years, but it's every father's responsibility to direct, to challenge, to encourage, and to support our children in whatever their hearts tell them to do.

Happy Father's Day.
Happy Juneteenth Celebration.

THANK YOU, for bringing this forward.:)


Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2016
Becoming a father brought my life into sharp focus. Initially I was out there just surviving with no real direction. Once I was aware I was going to be a father it changed me radically. I begin thinking about the future and how I didnt want my child to go without or live in the environment I was in. When my child actually arrived I was again changed for the better. I felt an overwhelming sense of protectiveness and responsibility every time I looked at the trusting face of my daughter. I worked my butt off to give my child a better life and through sheer grit and grind I did so. I became way less selfish and went without unnecessary and frivolous trinkets. Interacting with and watching her grow confirmed to me that this was what I was made for. Being a teacher and protector fulfilled something in me I didnt even know existed.
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