We have a history in this country that is often over looked, under played, and ignored. But the effects of slavery is still evident in many ways these hundreds of years later. The random tearing apart of families was something only done in American slavery. And that is why our experience is so very different from those of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora. Husbands and wives sold to different plantations, children taken from their mothers, siblings separated and we’re simply told, ‘that happened a long time ago, so get over it’!
There are those black families who were able to heal form the devastation and who have generations of nuclear families intact, with dedicated fathers present and accounted for. There have been black fathers who were not just in the home physically, but who were totally engaged with their families, emotionally, physically and spiritually available, a bedrock for their wives, children and extended family, loving, providing and sustaining in every way. These men contribute to society in many ways, not only to their immediate families. Yet you rarely see images of them, of these loving, supportive black fathers. They live across the street and next door to you and me. They are family members and members of many organizations that we admire. But if you’re looking for signs of their images in America, keep looking. They are rarely seen, but they are there.
So this is my small tribute to Black Fathers. I was without my own father from age 8 and it was around my 28th year, that my father came back into my life. I’m glad he’s back now. But his absence during those formative years still has its impact, an itch that I can’t seem to scratch despite our relationship today.
Still I swoon at seeing other black men with their children. It’s like a healing balm for that itchy place in my heart.
Since this is a blog site about hair, you’re probably wondering, ‘What does all this have to do with hair’? Well, I’d have to go all the way back to slavery and it’s kind of a long and complicated story to explain that one… I do remember as a small child my father not wanting my mother to hot-comb (straighten) our hair. He thought it was best, just the way it was.