GUEST BLOG POST:
StoryCorps launches America’s largest oral history project. Today, we debuted our brand new animated short, A Family Man. It’s a touching story that is sure to spark lively conversation about everyone’s childhood! In 1955, John L. Black, Sr. started his job as a janitor for the Cincinnati public school system. He regularly put in 16-hour days to provide for his wife and eleven children. At StoryCorps, his son Samuel talks with his wife, Edda Fields-Black, about his father’s lasting legacy and the power of a look.
Samuel’s interview is a part of StoryCorps Griot, an initiative to ensure that the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity. All interviews recorded as part of the Griot Initiative will be archived at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in addition to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Tag Archives: black fathers
We love to talk about the strong black woman and how she is often the mother and father to her children, but while we applaud her we need to address the lack of fathers in the home. “Actresses Ashley Shante and Squeaky Moore are hoping their new film “Father’s Day?” will encourage discussion about what they call “the elephant in the room,” namely the absence of black fathers from an alarming number of African-American homes.”No one is mentioning the elephant,” Moore, coproducer of the film, told The Huffington Post. “We want to hit them with a story to understand the emotional impact.” The short film was produced by Dear Diary Productions, a film production company Shante founded, whose objective is to raise awareness about the impact of fatherlessness on the black community.” Do movies like this actually help the problem? Most people are aware of the issue does discussing it help solve it? Tell me what you think.
Have you ever watched Maury Povich? Don’t be ashamed most of us have. His show is like an accident you want to look away, but you can’t. He highlights life’s train wrecks and his most famous line is “you are not the father.” Far too often the hearer of this line shows signs of jubilation like turning a cart wheel, high fiving the audience or other obnoxious displays of glee. They simply don’t want to be fathers. They don’t mind doing the deed they simply don’t want responsibility for the seed, but today is about the men who want to be dads. We salute the fathers who protect, direct, discipline and encourage. To the dads that love their children and let them know it we tip our hats to you. I salute my husband who constantly encourages our children to do their best, to my late father who worked hard for his daughters and took pride in all of our accomplishments. Fathers don’t get the kudos that moms get on their day, but today I say give your dad a hug, and let him know he is not only worthy of celebrating, but that he is loved for all he does.
As a young girl I was blessed to have parents that encouraged me to reach for the stars. They made me feel not only smart, but beautiful. My grandmother was another story. She was what was called “high yellow” and if you weren’t which I was not you could not be beautiful. Throughout my childhood I can remember her saying “you think you are cute, but you are not.” My mother forever my defender would always intercede. I grew up in the child should be seen not heard era. So I could count on my mother to set her straight. We live in an era now where beauty has many shapes and styles, but we still find our daughters needing us to encourage them to love themselves. My daughter will become a teenager later this month. She attends a school that is predominantly white and when I say that I mean imagine a plate of white rice with just a little black pepper sprinkled on it. That is a picture of her school. She goes to school with a lot of petite girls. My daughter is growing into a beautiful young lady, but she has become obsessed with her weight. Last week she told me she wanted to lose some weight. I asked her how much expected her to say 5 pounds, but she shocked me by saying she wanted to lose 30 pounds. At the time I was driving and I had to get a grip on the steering wheel as I told her she did not need to lose 30 pounds. I told her she was beautiful and at this point in her life her goal was to be healthy. I told her she and I could walk together or exercise together, but I had to let her know she was fine. Our daughters see so many images of beauty that do not look like them, but we have to assure them that although they will never look like the CW Gossip Girls they are beautiful, and that is our job as mothers to make them believe it.