Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

War Between Genders: A Father’s Love

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A lot is being put on the shoulders of Barack Obama right now.  He needs to fix the financial crisis, bring peace and stability to the Middle East and rectify the image of Americans while also not putting a darker stain on African Americans (all those who want him to claim his white half will quickly clam up if he falls too hard).  He has to be a role model for African Americans and a good example of what an African American is for the rest of the country.

That is a lot to do with just 24 hours in a day. 

And one of his most important jobs is that of father to Malia and Sasha. 

Recently in a public letter to this two daughters he expressed his hopes and dreams for them and every other child in America.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

The lack of fathers in Black households is one of the saddest things that has hit the Black community in the last 30 years.  Fathers are the measuring stick for children; for sons who they can become and for daughters what they should search for in a man.  The lack of fathers have left young men and women bereft and soul searching.

First Sgt. Charles Monroe King and his son Jordan

First Sgt. Charles Monroe King and his son Jordan

There are black fathers out there who are doing what they need to do to make sure their family stays afloat.  There aren’t too many raps or ballads about them, but often good black fathers don’t mind taking the backseat to good black mothers.  It’s what I thought about when I watched the news last week and saw Dana Canedy, a New York Times Editor, talking about her new book,  A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor.   The story was written by Canedy’s fiance while he was serving over in Iraq to his son that he feared he wouldn’t get a chance to see grow up.  He didn’t.  First Sgt. Charles Monroe King was killed in October 2007 in Baghdad.  In the book Sgt King wrote down everything he wanted his son to know and what he expects of him.

Never be ashamed to cry. No man is too good to get on his knee and humble himself to God. Follow your heart and look for the strength of a woman.

It’s not fair to judge someone by the color of their skin, where they’re raised or their religious beliefs. Appreciate people for who they are and learn from their differences.

Things may not always be easy or pleasant for you, that’s life, but always pay your respects for the way people lived and what they stood for. It’s the honorable thing to do.
Fatherhood.gov is trying to encourage men to step up.  With commercials like the one above, billboards and a website that dispenses with facts and encouragement, the organization hopes to make a difference in the lives of children.   But can it make a dent in the hood?  A lot of young black males worry more about cool points with their boys than taking care of their shorties.  But back in the day Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg put off that aura and now both show off their paternal side, Ice Cube with his family friendly movies and Snoop with his reality tv show.
It’s going to take more than just watching Coolio hang out with his mighty mites to make a differnce in black families in poor communities although its a start.  More support and encouragement will be needed as well as raising expectations.
Last week a young man came in with his toddler.  The father didn’t look older than 20.  He needed to write a paper so he jumped on a computer.  He did better with the child than a lot of young mothers I have seen come through here.  He made sure she had something to do and when she got bored he took a break instead of waiting for the child to scream and for us to ask him to leave (you won’t believe how many times that happens in this building a week). 
If there were only more young fathers like him that would be good progress.  But one is a good start.
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Written by rentec

20 January, 2009 at 4:23 pm

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