Dear Black Dad

Dear Black Dad,

I have to take a moment to acknowledge Juneteenth because it is a day of celebration. And because it is the day my dad was born! Happy Birthday, Whitmo! Who loves ya, baby!!!

Juneteenth deserves its own blog but today I would like to take just a moment to talk to Black dads…

I know that we watched yet another Black man gunned down in the street like a dog and I know that this world is really showing its ass right now. I know that you probably feel attacked and alone. Angry, frustrated, and even helpless, at times. I know that’s how I have been feeling. I understand you. I know you.

Black man, when I was little you were my superman. I remember sitting up a little straighter when you told your friends they couldn’t curse around me, I knew I was special to you. You have always protected me. As I grew older you taught me so many things. I remember you explaining that everyone would let me down at some point because people are human, even you. Thank you so much for being brave enough to be vulnerable and honest with me, I was prepared for life because of you.

Black man, you are always fussing at me to make sure that I have a weapon and that I practice and know how to use it. My safety has always been your main concern, I made sure that was a dominant trait in the dad I would choose for my children.

I am quick to say, “my daddy didn’t raise his voice at me” because you set all of the boundaries early and reinforced them often. Disrespect is not to be tolerated. Now you are a Gemini, so let’s be clear, you will yell and cuss and disrespect a mug in a hot minute. Just not ME! Lol! I could tell that story about that one time that we both lost our Gemini minds and clashed but I prefer to focus on all of the amazing fun memories I have.

I remember road trips and amusement parks. Balboa Park was our spot. We love the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and exploring La Jolla coves. I am an animal lover and an explorer because of you. As I’ve grown up, you’ve become one of my closest friends and most trusted advisors. I can never thank you enough for all that you did to prepare me to be a productive citizen, a decent person, and even a good wife.

Black man, the first time I saw you with our children I understood what true love means! When you didn’t think anyone was watching and you beamed with delight teaching our son the art of dribbling a basketball. When you didn’t care if anyone was watching as you danced with full out joy with our daughter to Dance Revolution. When you didn’t bother to cover up the nail polish on your toes because it made our granddaughter so proud that she got it perfect.

I understood that I had chosen the ideal dad for my children that first Halloween when I refused to leave the house in the cold and snow and you got out there and trick-or-treated for hours. You have been the most amazing provider, but not just material things. You have provided us with a place of peace and a sense of protection. You have made us all laugh with your never-ending dad stories and your countless hours of hip-hop and wrestling recollections.

There aren’t enough words in the human language to express our gratitude for you!

Black man, I was not your daughter. No one could ever tell. From the day that I walked into your house at 20 years old, already married to your son, to this day, I could not have EVER asked for a more amazing Black Man to be my bonus dad!!! It is no wonder that my husband is the man that he is because you are the perfect example of what a man should be. I love the way you have always taken care of all of us! The kids love wrestling and walking and just being around you! I had no idea getting married meant that I would also get another amazing dad! I am truly blessed!

Black man, the first time I saw you, my child, holding your child, my life was forever changed. This was the day Glamma was born and everything in the world shifted. I have watched you struggle and seen you fall prey to some of the pitfalls and obstacles meant to hold you down in this world. Just know, Black man, that I love you and until my very last breath I will hold you up.

There are so many Black men that I would like to celebrate on Father’s Day but this blog would be pages long with names! Just know, Black dads, that your sister sees you! And she loves you!!! And I thank you!

Uncle Amos, Uncle Robert, Uncle Lloyd, Uncle Lionel, Uncle Teddy, Uncle Herbie, Uncle David, Uncle Bernard, Uncle Gary, James Jr, Jamel (congratulations on the newest addition), Orlando, Darnell, Derrick, Terrence, Dre, Jay, Leon, Erroll, Kellen, Lance, Robert, Juwan, Rhionell, Jarod, Marcus…

To ALL of the dads, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

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