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Saturday, June 14, 2014

An African American Man's Reflections on Father's Day

A writer writes!

Tomorrow is the American tradition of Father's Day.  Thinking historically I wonder how an African American man's father's day would be if Black men came to this country willingly instead of in chains in slavery?  How would a Black man's Father's day be if we had not been seen as property and not placed into the American institution of slavery?  What if we had been freely allowed to raise a family instead of having wives and children taken away by the evilness of slavery and those who practiced the cruelties of being a slave owner?  What if we were just seen as people with a darker hue of skin color?

I wonder if the descendants of slave owners pause on Father's day to think of the African American women whom were raped and used as sexual tools by their great-great-great grandfather and other descendants?  I wonder if that part of their family history is ever discussed openly?  I wonder if Caucasian men who today see light complexioned African American women really understand how these light skinned Black women came to be when African Americans long ago had dark skin?

How would today's African American man's Father's day be if their own father had been able to fully explore the gifts God gave them instead of being held back by prejudice, racism, and hatred?  Would there be as many African American families without a father present in the house?  Would there be as much Black on Black violence news if originally African American families had been able to establish a semblance of normality instead of being thrust into American slavery?

Well, the past can't be changed.  But, those who point fingers at situations where strong African American fathers are not in households, need to ask themselves if any descendant in their family was once an owner of slaves.  Did someone in your family lose control of themselves and use an African American slave to fulfill their sexual desires?  Did someone in your family help to ensure an African American family never had a chance to establish a firm family foundation?

Overcoming the past can take many years.  But, I am convinced that the evil of others that begun some 400 years ago can be overcome.  Then one day the descendants of the slave whose family was torn apart will live in a stable environment.  They will be free to pursue life using their God given gifts.  They will be able to achieve all that their descendants were not allowed to achieve.  Dreams broken centuries ago will be fulfilled.

Then more African American males will have a joyous, reflective Father's day.  Those fathers will be surrounded by their children and grandchildren.  Although moving on is necessary, we still need to reflect on the trials that were overcome by those who came before us.  We need to remember.  Just as those whose ancestors disrupted so many families need to be humbled with information that their family history is not as pure as they would think.

African American men everywhere....have a Happy Father's Day.  If not already begun, start the journey of healing within your own family.