I don’t know that I’ll ever understand the desire of people to broadcast their disdain for their fathers on Father’s Day. It is suppose to be a day of joy, love and celebration and you can respectfully abstain from the holiday without belittling the importance of fathers and then men you aptly fill that role. I personally do not celebrate Christmas, because of the pagan origins of the holiday, but I understand that the holiday means something to other people and I don’t need to knock down their belief system to empower my own. Same goes for Mother’s and Father’s Day.
And now companies take a controversial step in publishing marketing campaigns on Father’s Day directed at single mother’s because click bait is a real thing. But part of this dad’s are inherently a bad thing because their not around or just shitty human beings, is a direct attack on the image of the Black family. When companies are amplifying this message of Dad not being around to put more coin in their pockets, it also amplifies the message of the feminization of poverty and Black people not having nuclear households. There are plenty of healthy and happy Black families, active Black fathers and men who are not biologically the father but fill that role of a positive male role model. So let the day matter for those who father figure’s in their life.
Not to say that any one is who is a single mother or the child of a single mother should be ashamed or hidden and ignored. Absolutely not! Celebrate your mother full throttle for taking great sacrifice in raising you and if you want to make her feel special on Father’s Day do that as well. The same for single fathers. Just keep it in the spirit of joy, love and upliftment.
I’ve done a video previously discussing my relationship with my father. And in honor of Father’s Day I want to take the time to thank him for being awesomely, influential in my life. Here’s a few of the great lessons that my Dad taught me.
1. Thank you for that time in 3rd grade where I had to create a family tree poster and the night before it was due my Dad stayed up with me to create my “family slave ship” tree. Anything less than an A would be racist and my Dad taught me some things about drawing.
2. Thank you Dad for teaching the importance of doing my research (pre Google) and being resourceful. If I really wanted it, I would figure out how to make it happen.
3. Thank you for imbuing the joy of reading into me, with nightly bedtime stories and discussions.
4. Thank you for your patience in disciplining, that I always remember your words more than the actual spanking.
5. Thank you for loving to cook. We ate so good growing up. (Now I’m hungry).
6. Thank you for the peach cobbler recipe.
7. Thank you for making homemade corn bread for my 4th Grade pow-wow, paying homage to our Blackness and that dash of ‘I Got Indian in my Family’.
8. Thank you for teaching me how to use my hands to build things.
9. Thank you for teaching me about race politics and how white people eat differently.
10. Thank you for taking me to get an egg roll that one time I slapped a boy after he called me a bitch and ended up getting suspended, because you understood that I had just watched The Color Purple the night before.
11. Thank you for giving me that bun ‘do I wanted so badly, now known as a top knot, when Mom swore up and down my head was too big, hair was too nappy and too thick to be put in one pony tail. The struggles of being 10 years old.
12. Thank you for the love.