THE INSTITUTE FOR BLACK MEN
Message To Black Dads: A New Father’s Day
We’ve started a new tradition for Father’s Day and are inviting all Fathers, ‘Step-Fathers’, ‘Adopted Fathers’, 'Foster Fathers', ‘Surrogate Fathers” and any other type of ‘Fathers’ to participate with us. Ordinarily, on ‘Father’s Day’, Dads’ are expected to receive gifts and other pleasures from their offspring. Of course, we have never gotten anywhere near the level of goodies that Mothers’ get on their day, (our ‘lobby’ isn’t as powerful as theirs), but that’s not what this is about. What we’re proposing is something entirely different. We’re starting a tradition of Dads’ giving their children a gift on Father’s Day: a photograph of themselves.
Over the past few years, we’ve surveyed hundreds of people, especially Black Men, and found that most of those asked do not possess a single photo of their Father that was given to them by their Dad and many don’t have a photo of their Dad at all. The numbers are very different when it comes to their Mothers. Virtually all have photos of Mom. (As mentioned before, they have a much more powerful lobby).
To be clear, this is not meant as a competition with MotherWomen, as there is no comparison to what each contributes to the offspring. It is a way to address a generational divide that has contributed to the serious isolation of Black Men from our families and communities.
Most Dads have photos of our children which follow them from childhood to adulthood. This is an important part of documenting their lives, their histories. We know when and where the photos were taken and what was going on in their lives at that time. Our children should be able to do the same with us, for themselves and for their children, so that no matter what the situation was/is with the Mothers, the children will know something of their Fathers and pass it on. And even if the children are grown, it’s not too late to start doing this passing on, for that’s what a tradition is, a passing of elements of the culture from one generation to the next.
KNOWLEDGE STRENGTH COURAGE