At 9:41 AM on November 16th, 2017, after numerous hours of waiting, my first child was born into the world. I had joined the society of fatherhood. There are many ways to approach the responsibilities that accompany being a father. I’m honored enough to have my dad with me still to this day, but sadly that is not the case with everyone. With the lack of fathers being present in past generations, many were not given an example of how to handle those responsibilities. The blind leading the blind will never get out of a dark room.
There have been a plethora of cases where mothers were abandoned, then left to deal with the responsibilities of raising a child on their own. In many of those situations, she is forced to strain herself to be the provider, nurturer, and teacher. There are plenty of mothers who are able to balance the roles perfectly. Sadly, their efforts don’t always bear fruit. Having both parents in the child’s life will have a much bigger impact than just one.
When both parents are present, children are less likely to develop mental issues that can accompany being abandoned at a young age. This is why more fathers are needed in the Black community. The lack of guidance puts our children in a bad position, leaving them unable to deal with the trials they will inevitably face because of the melanin rooted within them. While growing up, I have seen and experienced many fathers and father-figures within the Black community that not only guided their children, but also provided guidance to other children in the neighborhood. These are the type of men we need. They stay with their families and help shoulder the responsibility of nourishing the next generation. They should definitely be praised by the communities they help to grow.
As a man that has just had a child, I can honestly say that without the support and knowledge that my dad taught me, I’d definitely be lost. Children are not the only ones that need support in order to grow. Currently I am 23 years of age. There is a lot that I am still learning on a daily basis. Without the continued support from my father, I’d probably be on a different path. Plenty of fathers are currently incarcerated who need that same support. Without that support, that guidance, they will continue to lack the knowledge and skills needed.
After countless years of being persecuted, dehumanized, hated, murdered, and oppressed by the same system that’s supposed to protect us, the Black community has been filled with a void and is in need of good fathers. There are many broken Black men in our communities who do not know how to ask for help, so before the proper support is given, we need to first learn how to ask for what is needed. Sometimes pride can get in the way, but there is no amount of pride that is worth more than the well being of your children. Without that extra help, even if the father is present, he may still be lost. Even though he wants help, he may be struggling to ask. The first step towards success is unification of our people. We won’t be successful as long as we remain divided.
Fathers that stay and take care of their responsibilities should be praised. Leading by example is the best way to lead, and teaching responsibility is a fundamental principle that all should learn.
The community should give thanks to the fathers that expand their reach outside of their own children. In this world, no one is perfect. We need to be supported when we are lacking, whether it be in the form of teaching or just a shoulder to lean on. Fathers must realize that asking for help does not make you any less of a man. In fact, wanting to be better than you were yesterday is admirable. When I was a little boy, my father said to me, “I don’t want you to be like me, I want you to be better than me.” ‘Til this day, I strive to be a better man and father so I can show him that his efforts were not wasted.