Black Fatherhood, and Legacies

Chicago was the recipient of its first snow of this winter last night, twelve hours of it in fact.  About four inches of whiteness now cover the entire city, with three-to-four more inches expected this coming weekend.  I’m in my element, of course.  In a buoyant mood.

Quite obviously, its been a long while since I’ve been able to focus on my writings.  People all over the country, some that I know well, and others not at all, keep telling me that they read this thing, which honestly continues to fascinate and confound me.  I simply find it therapeutic to vent here, but darkcitychicago evidently has built an audience.  So, here I am now, hoping to somehow capture all of the wonderful things that have transpired for me of late.

I finally got to hang out with my son last weekend, after about seven months apart.  We had a blast being together, as we always do.  Don’t ask me to explain why his mother does this, why she is so possessive of him and so guarded about a black boy’s relationship with his father.  I can’t.  At almost 14, Kimani stopped being anyone’s “baby” a long time ago, and I remind him of that all the time.  Young black men just don’t have that luxury growing up in this country.

My son gets much-needed lessons, wisdom and discipline from me, and yet at the same time he and I are very demonstrative of our affection for one another.  No one, not even a mother, can ever change what we have.  The media will never tell you how many black women do this.  It’s so much easier to always just perpetuate that black men are absent willingly.  Those who know better, know that’s far from being the case.

In October, I was inducted into the Hall of Fame of my alma mater, Grambling University of Louisiana, representing the School of Journalism there.  I was honored, to say the least.  It was quite a humbling experience—even moreso because my dad traveled all the way from Colorado to be there with me, and to witness the ceremony on campus.  Though he had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer in September, he once again made one of his children a priority.  He always has been a presence in this life.  And that, I will never, ever forget.

In late September, I had the honor or working with history’s “Little Rock Nine,” managing the public relations for their 50th anniversary celebration in that city.  All nine of these courageous individuals are still living, so once again my career has given me audience with truly towering black American icons.  In my years, I’ve gotten to work closely with the late Rosa Parks, former Chicago mayor Harold Washington, legendary Grambling head football coach Eddie Robinson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and several others.  I pray that my work has been worthy of their legacies.

I’m anxiously looking forward to Christmas this year.  This season is usually a lonely one, and pretty depressing for me, but I’m feeling the spirit for the first time in a long, long time.

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