Monday, June 11, 2012

“Baby Mama” Drama to “Nanny State” Trauma

Once, while I was meeting with a brilliant young man, the conversation turned to marriage and fatherhood.  To my surprise, the young man admitted that from his formative years through his young adulthood, the concept of marriage was nowhere on his radar screen.  The shocker was that just a few years ago, though he had committed his life to Christ and had become and active member of his church, marriage was still a completely alien concept to him.  He admitted to me that he assumed the only way he could ever be a father was to become a “baby daddy,” replete with the concomitant “baby mama” drama.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

“Daddy Did My Hair” – Weaving the Nature of Fatherhood

My father always seemed larger than life.  A booming baritone who made the first Great Migration north with his family after the Stock Market Crash of '29, he worked throughout his schooling to help support his mother and numerous siblings.  My father finished Hampton University, and served his country during World War II as one of the first African American army captains leading an all-White company in the Pacific theater.  This was a man who integrated the public school system along with a group of brave high school teachers, who with my mother at his side was instrumental in exposing unfair housing practices and the need for the Housing Discrimination Act of 1968.  As an Industrial Arts teacher, he was so proficient at carpentry that he could design and build just about anything with his seemingly unlimited imagination and skill.

One morning, my father faced a daunting, never-before-performed task ... doing his daughters’ hair.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

‘How We Be’ – An Offbeat Look at Ebonics

There are many rich things about being African American that give me a warm smile.  Among these are our innovative, ‘good for the soul’ foods (taken in moderation, of course), our pioneering spirit that has created an entire series of history-making ‘firsts,’ and our multitude of globally imitated genres of music and dance.  These and many other things are reflective of our unique style that continues to grow out of our incredible resilience and adaptability as a people. 

Our ever-evolving linguistics is no exception.