Father Serving Salad on a Plate

This Sunday is Father’s Day. For some it will be a day to rejoice, to reminisce and to recount those many moments that your father showed you how much you were loved.

For others, sadly, it will be a stark reminder of the void that remains in their lives — an empty space in which “father” is nothing more than a name, an infrequent visitor to their mother’s home or a man who inflicted more pain than joy into his children’s lives.

Still, whether your father “walked on water” or was little more than a “rolling stone,” we are called to “honor our fathers [and mothers] so our days may be long upon the earth.” The question remains, what will you do to honor your father, the father figures in your life or the memories of those men who have gone on to glory?

Black fathers face overwhelming odds. They find themselves running up the down staircase. Many long for ways to fulfill desires but struggle just to provide basic needs. And then some, who have never known the love of their own father, don’t know what to do, what to say or how to act when asked to take on the role of “breadwinner and provider.” They just don’t know how to love.

We understand why children tend to shower all their love on their mothers, especially if theirs was a woman who, like so many before her, sacrificed all for the sake and betterment of her progeny. But fathers also make sacrifices, enduring harassment and humiliation in a world that almost never looks kindly on men of color.

Collectively, however, we have somehow survived. Fathers have moved mountains. Fathers have made the impossible happen. Fathers have taken three pennies and turned them into a fortune. Fathers have cried in the darkness for their children. But these stories cannot be found on the front pages or on the evening news — not often, that is.

But Black fathers are here. They love. They work hard. They sacrifice. And they matter. We encourage you to say thanks to one of these men, even if he’s not your biological father — a man who stood in the gap for you. Show him the honor he deserves.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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