Father’s Day has just passed. Many fathers received gifts from loving children and spouses. Some fathers enjoyed lavish meals consisting of several courses. By the end of the day fathers all over the USA were feeling appreciated and loving towards children and spouses. In celebration of the African American father let’s give him one more gift. Lets give the African American father the permission to grow up.
For years on Father’s Day many fathers have received gifts that wind up on shelves or in closets. Examples of such gifts are: golf clubs or ties that are rarely used or worn. In the African American community fathers eat meals that contribute to a high cholesterol count, then watch television. As one parting gift let’s give the African American father permission to grow up.
The African American father is usually one of the most miserable things on the planet. In many cases the African American father is just a paycheck to the household. The majority of African American fathers only have as much say as their wives allow them. The typical African American father usually isn’t even in charge of discipline in the home, quite the opposite. The average African American father usually receives discipline from his loving wife. The African American father may rise up every once in a while, but he then tucks his head and sits down. These are the actions of a child.
The outlaw African American father, the deadbeat dad, is similar to a child also. This version of the African American father runs and hides until the law catches him. Then just like an unruly child, he is punished. Like a mother taking her son’s candy, the judge takes the African American father’s money. It’s time for the African American father to grow up.
Many African American men believe that paying the bills and coming around the child makes a great father. This is partly true but how damaging is it for a son to see his father treated like a child by his mother? No one is suggesting the father dominate the house because this is damaging to the daughter’s psyche. What the African American male needs to establish is a presence of manhood. This is much more valuable than paying the bills.
The majority of African American fathers dress similar to children. How many times have you seen grown men wearing baseball caps to a dinner date? It looks perverse because the female is dressed up and the male is dressed like he’s headed to shag fly balls. It looks like a mother going someplace with her son, not her husband. A son growing up looking at this from his father has no concept of when to stop dressing like a child. Sadly, females have grown accustomed to men dressing like this.
When you see African American males out shopping with their families, who is doing the leading? In the majority of cases the female is doing all the talking and directing of the outing. The African American father is just there to pay the bill or be watched like a child by the mother so he doesn’t get into trouble. How does this shape a young boy’s image of how a man should act? More importantly how does this image shape how a young female’s perception of men?
Our final Father’s Day gift to the African American father is permission to grow up. All African American men, father or not, can partake of this gift. From now on it is okay for you to behave like a man and dress like one. African American fathers can put the gym shoes up and take the baseball caps off. More importantly African American men can be a man to their children.
Frank James IV © 2014
The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. Being Frank is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.