To ensure that this year’s Father’s Day conveys the message that both Black fathers and Black lives matter, a Black history committee in D.C. has joined forces with more than a dozen civil rights, religious and community organizations to create the DC Black Fathers Matters Project.
The DC Black History Committee is asking District residents to show their solidarity by displaying a black balloon or black ribbon in front of their home, making it visible from their balcony.
“We need to remember that many of the unarmed men that were killed at the hands of the police [and others] — George Floyd, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Ahmaud Arbery — were fathers, sons, uncles or brothers,” said Chuck Hicks, who co-chairs the project. “This project will also serve to remind D.C. citizens that the majority of those infected and dying from the COVID-19 virus in the city are Black men.”
The committee is also asking residents to create banners, yards signs or other displays to show support and to display them as early as Sunday, June 14.
Balloons and ribbons should be displayed on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21.
“The city has shown that the many different racial groups can demonstrate peacefully together,” said Frank Smith, founder and director of the National African American Civil War Museum and co-chair of the project. “We are inviting all those same people to display a balloon or a ribbon to make this project a city-wide success and say that Black Fathers Matter and Black Lives Matter. In addition, surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia are invited to participate in their own way.”
DC Black Fathers Matters Project sponsors include The Washington Informer, National African American Civil War Museum, 100 Black Fathers, the Washington Teachers Union, Coalition of Black Trade Unions, DC Downtown Cluster of Churches, Greater DC Chapter of the National Action Network, Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC), the MLK Jr. Parade Committee, Union Temple, Faith Temple, the Church of Scientology, DC Host Committee, and Bread for the Soul.