There are a lot of people who have a whole lot to say about Black fathers. A lot of which are negative stereotypes that have been used to generalize an entire group of people. But Black folks in general should be used to that, right? Wrong! I’m sick of it, quite frankly. Contrary to what Karen may believe, Black fathers are breaking these stereotypes every single day. So, let’s talk about the REAL characteristics of Black fathers. You know. Those characteristics that they choose not to highlight on the news and in the media.
Ready to face and endure danger or pain. Black fathers go out every day into a world that is not designed for them to succeed. Quite frankly, it’s a world that hates the very essence of who they are. They know they have a target on their back every time they leave the house, but they do it anyway. They brave the streets of white supremacy for the sake of providing for their families. Danger and pain are inevitable parts of life for them, and they don’t run from it. They tackle it head-on because they have no choice.
Black fathers hold various important leadership roles. They are leaders at home, on their jobs, in their churches, and in their communities. And when they lead, they lead well. Their wisdom, knowledge and skill set grants them the respect every leader desires.
Arousing or deserving respect and approval. Respect and approval. These are two things that Karen refuses to give you, but Keisha will shower you with both all day long. Why? Because you deserve them. We respect your hustle, your drive, and your willingness to do whatever it takes to care for your family. We approve of you as a person, as a man, as a Black man. You are perfect just the way you are. Never try to conform in hopes to be accepted by the Karens of this world.
Displaying kindness and concern for others. Black fathers take this principle beyond their family unit. They care for their friends, their church families, their neighborhoods, and their communities at large. They care for those they love and even for strangers they don’t even know.
Descendants of royalty. Black fathers are kings. They wear their invisible crowns, and they fit into them well. They walk with confidence and swagger because they know who they are and WHOSE they are. You can not strip them of their identity and pride, no matter how hard you try.
Black fathers are fighters. Don’t be nervous, Karen. Let me explain. Black fathers fight for what’s right. They fight for equality and justice for themselves, their families, and their people. They fight for jobs and then fight for equal opportunity on those jobs. And if they have to, they will fight to protect the people they love. NOW you can be nervous, Karen. Black fathers fight tirelessly for the things they deem important.
Having or showing a confident and forceful personality. This is what makes Black fathers great leaders. They are not cowards, and they do not shrink in the face of adversity. They walk with their chests out, heads held high, and command attention when they speak. This is often mistaken by Karen as anger or aggression.
Black fathers teach their sons how to be men, how to treat women, and the value of hard work. They teach their daughters what true love looks like, how to be independent, and how to protect themselves. They teach ABCs, 123s and skills needed for daily life. All while providing the perfect balance of tough and love.
Black. Fathers. Are. Human. Inside that tough exterior is a person with real feelings and emotions. Even though the emotions may not manifest on the outside, they feel them on the inside. Black fathers need a safe space to be human, to feel, and to emote without fear of ridicule or judgment. Whether they realize it or not, they need it.
Don’t get it twisted. Black fathers are not out here doing great things all on their own. They have a strong village behind them that’s empowering and pushing them to be their best self. Whether it’s love from their significant other, support from their family and friends, or the prayers of their grandparents, they are covered. They take risks because they aren’t afraid to make mistakes. Because even if they do fall, they know their village will be there to catch them.
Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Black fathers do not wallow in their struggle. They don’t have the luxury to do so because they understand that time waits for no man. Just ask their ancestors. Yes, resilience is in their blood. It’s flowing through their veins. They can not and will not be stopped.
This is something that Black fathers do willingly on a regular basis. They push their own desires to the side in order to fulfill their obligations as a father. Every morning, they get up to work on these jobs where they are unappreciated, undervalued, and underpaid, for the sake of their family. They smile in the face of adversity because to do otherwise could cost them their livelihood. Being a Black father in these Divided States of America is a sacrifice in and of itself.
I’m going to keep it brief because I refuse to have extended conversation with you. As you can see, these stereotypes that you’ve allowed to dictate how you handle our Black fathers are not a valid concern. We are sick of you and your assumptions and preconceived notions that are based on the nothingness in that empty brain of yours. We are tired of your victim mentality and your unwarranted cries for help. Learn to stay in your lane and mind your business.
I can already hear some of y’all saying, “All Black fathers are not created equally! I know personally because my baby daddy is trifling!” Listen. Just like you can spot a trifling baby daddy in the Black community, I can spot one in every other racial group. The time of generalizing and bashing all black fathers has got to end, and it’s got to start with us. When I say us, I mean black people. We’ve got to focus on building our Black fathers up and not tearing them down.
The only way Black fathers can continue to go out into the world and break stereotypes is if we speak life into them. So today, I challenge you to do just that. Speak like into a Black father. Let them know that you see them, you acknowledge them, and you love them. Let them know that they are indeed a king, a son of the King of Kings. And please be sure to let them know that we need them. The Black community needs them.
Black Fathers Matter,