Monday, June 22, 2009

Memory Monday- Remembering Dad




Yesterday was Father’s Day and for the first time on this particular day since he died in 1990, I really thought about how much I missed my Dad. Usually this holiday doesn’t affect me, but Sunday, I found myself a little melancholy.

Two African American women were at a college conference where several references were made to the lack of black fathers being a factor in a student’s education. These women countered by letting those expressing these opinions that this was not their reality, nor that for many blacks. Out of that momentous occasion came an anthology, Our Black Fathers: Brave, Bold and Beautiful. I was blessed to contribute my story, “A Dad’s First Born.”

My reality was my father was present and accountable, and truth be told, most of my peers, friends, and cousins had the same reality. True, this was back in the day but I do not want to forget nor take that for granted but by all means I do not think this far from the norm, even these days. There are many black fathers in their children’s lives; it is simply one-sided and provincial to assume that the majority of black fathers were MIA.

My story is particularly important to me because I had written the draft several years ago and had submitted different version to different venues requesting father stories but could not seem to get it accepted anywhere. I was pleased that editor, Anita Royston and Joslyn Gaines Vanderpool saw the value of the piece and got what I was trying to portray; showing a man that while he was bigger than life to me, was just a man; who had insecurities and flaws, because of the lack of a father in his own life. How he rose above his circumstances and became a wonderful provider and mentor.

If you want to read about positive father of African descent, you can read it in Our Black Fathers: Brave, Bold and Beautiful.

https://www.5sisterspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=1&zenid=trphvhmd7rmpfb2aksj2tlhk66

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Black-Fathers-Brave-Beautiful/dp/0981778402/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245695034&sr=1-1

4 comments:

Yasmin said...

'There are many black fathers in their children’s lives; it is simply one-sided and provincial to assume that the majority of black fathers were MIA.'

So true as with anything more attention is spent on the negative (ie deadbeats) rather than those who are doing what's right!

Beverly said...

I am a product of having a black father in my life.
And as always all I need to do is to look around me to see all of the beautiful black men who are being fathers to their children.
As usual they like to emphasize the negative aspects of our lives and make it seem like that is the typical behavior.

Angelia... said...

Wonderful post Dera,

I often wonder who they talk to when they come up with the information...

angelia

Dera Williams said...

There are a lot of assumptions made when it comes to black fathers and black people in general. It is up to us to preach against the assumptions.