Mother’s Day may just be one of if not the most celebrated holidays known to American culture. (As it should!) I mean, really this day of thanks shouldn’t be restricted to just 24 hours, but how else would we show our appreciation with expensive restaurant food, cheesy Hallmark cards, rides on the Philadelphia Spirit or endless bouquets of flowers. We use this time to thank our Queens for being there for our first step, dance recital, championship basketball game, first heartbreak, and so on. We also owe our success for being both the mother and father in a generation where single-parent households are more common. Our mothers never cease to amaze us with making sure all of our Christmas gifts make it from our precious list to under the tree, or making sure we get to school with the hottest gear while paying all the bills and then some. We live in a time where it’s very normal for our mothers to do all of this single-handedly without missing a beat and still looking fabulous as they do so. But, what about the opposite family structures out there where fathers are filling in not just their role but the role of the mother as well. This set up is hardly ever talked about because of the common misconception that in African-Americans households are typically absent of a strong male force. A recent study in 2011 by the 2011 Census Bureau reported that an overwhelming 64% of African-American families are missing the role of the father.
I find this study to be both alarming and surprising being that a large majority of my friends not only have fathers but have fathers with a strong presence mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. Personally, I have a lot to be grateful for when it comes to my father. He made sure that I not only knew who he was but also knew that he loved me more than his own life. Whether it was a midnight ride through the city, or him showing up just in time to see my solo part at my dance recital, my dad made sure that I knew him in person and not by word of mouth or memory. And while we had a few bumps through my teenage years like most father-daughter relationships, the love I felt from his presence has helped shaped me into the young lady I am today. I think as children were often groomed to not expect much from our fathers and to overlook the good especially in comparison to the women who brought us into this world. So this piece is dedicated to all the fathers who are there but aren’t getting those expensive restaurant dinners, cheesy Hallmark cards or Philadelphia Spirit rides and are content with not getting it.
words by: Saudia Durrant
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