There is no question that there is an abundance of fatherless children all across the country. 365 days of the year there are statistics, studies, and stories which highlight the lack of fathers in the black community. While we definitely need to discuss these issues, I would like to use this time to salute our real men. Father’s Day should not be a day in which we showcase the short comings of other irresponsible males but rather lift up the real men who are “handling their business”. I salute them because their contributions often go unnoticed.
You don’t have to have be the biological father of a child to be considered a father. There are endless men who serve as role models and mentors to individuals all the time. They donate their time and wisdom to help the under-served. These men range from basketball coaches, youth program workers to leaders within the community who have guided many to become strong and civilized people. Young boys and girls who were roses that grew from the concrete due to the influence of strong men are stories we don’t hear on the news.
To fathers who parent their own children, I salute you as well. Many fathers who are working multiple jobs, providing the best they can for their families are the backbone of our communities. Others who take the responsibility of guiding a child that is not their natural seed need to be celebrated as well. Just as there are many men who don’t provide for their own, there are also just as many who step up and give those children the same love that they need.
To those who are paying their child support and still participate in their children’s lives despite obstacles that may try to discourage them from participating, I salute you as well. There is no question that laws and government social programs provide incentives for men to be absent and for the single mother syndrome to continue. These men not only pay their child support, but will fight to the depths of hell to make sure they are not only a source of money but also a loving presence.
We focus on the negative so much that we forget to celebrate our leaders and heroes who are doing real work everyday. If there is a man in your life that has helped you in some way, let them know everyday and not just on Father’s Day. While these strong men don’t perform their duties for applause and praise, your acknowledgement of their influence will be well appreciated.