Celebrating Black Fathers: Honoring Their Legacy and Love 

Black Facts.com

BY Kevin E. Hooks

We stand on the shoulders of the enslaved men who, despite a world that saw them as little more than livestock, fought against incredible odds to be fathers to their children. These men, forced to endure emasculation and humility during the Jim Crow era, alongside our amazing Black Queens, birthed leaders like Dr. King, Malcolm X, and even a President. Their courage and resilience are the foundation upon which today’s Black fathers continue to build.

As we approach Father’s Day, let us honor Black fathers within the broader context of Black history and culture. Their struggles and triumphs echo in the hearts of today’s Black fathers, who continue to fight for a better future for their children despite systemic efforts to emasculate and remove them from their families—from slavery to wars, to government subsidy programs that barred fathers, to the impact of the drug war and the prison industrial complex. Still, we rise in support and love of our children.

This Father’s Day, we acknowledge the oft-overlooked and under appreciated Black fathers who tirelessly strive to protect, nurture, and love their families despite the stereotypes and societal challenges. Contrary to the pervasive myth of the absent Black father, data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a more nuanced and hopeful reality. Seventy percent of Black fathers who live with their children are actively involved in daily caregiving activities, surpassing their White and Hispanic counterparts. This includes bathing, dressing, and nurturing their children every day.

These acts of care extend beyond mere statistics. In the home, our love language often includes sharing a meal with our children. Black fathers are more likely to engage in this daily ritual, fostering emotional connections and imparting life lessons around the dinner table. Even for those fathers who do not reside with their children, their presence is felt through meaningful conversations. Seventy-two percent of these fathers engage in regular dialogue with their children, ensuring that their voices of wisdom and love resonate in their children’s lives.

Take, for instance, James, a Black father from Chicago, who wakes up every morning at 5 AM to prepare breakfast for his children before heading to work. Despite the long hours and societal challenges, James ensures he is home every evening to help with homework and share stories of perseverance. His story is one of many, reflecting the quiet strength and dedication of Black fathers across the nation.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out the Black American Dad Foundation, led by Jeremy Givens. It is dedicated to challenging the pervasive stereotypes surrounding Black fatherhood. Through firsthand accounts and powerful narratives, the foundation shines a light on the true nature of Black fathers—committed, loving, and deeply involved in their children’s lives. As Jeremy Givens aptly puts it, “Black fathers are the backbone of our communities, defying stereotypes and nurturing the next generation with unwavering love and commitment.”

Black fathers are present, engaged, and nurturing. They are the unsung heroes whose love and commitment extend beyond their households, shaping communities and inspiring future generations. As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us recognize and honor these men who defy stereotypes and embody love, courage, and commitment.

Let us lift our voices to celebrate these fathers who stand as beacons of hope and resilience. Their love is a powerful force, bending the arc of our narrative toward truth and justice. This Father’s Day, let us honor the Black fathers who are shaping the future with strength, dedication, and love.

By embracing the full, unvarnished truth of Black fatherhood, we not only uplift our fathers but also pave the way for a future where our children can walk freely in the light of their heritage, proud of the legacy we build with every act of love and every word of wisdom.

Finally, as we honor these incredible fathers, let us also commit to supporting and uplifting them in our communities. Whether through mentorship programs, advocacy, or simply acknowledging and celebrating their contributions, we can all play a part in ensuring their legacy of love and resilience continues to thrive.

This Father’s Day, let us not just celebrate but also take action to ensure the future for Black fathers and their children is bright, filled with opportunities, and free from the systemic challenges that have long sought to undermine their essential role in our society.

About

Kevin E. Hooks is a dynamic and visionary leader who specializes in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). As the Founder and Chief Inclusionist at CEOLIFE Unplugged, Kevin has become a pivotal figure in crafting and implementing innovative DEIB strategies that foster inclusive workplaces and societal equity.

Kevin embarked on his professional journey after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from Missouri Southern State University. His academic prowess led him to graduate from the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholars program, an initiative backed by four U.S. Presidents, and he was honored with the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater.

In his transformative role as CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League, Kevin dramatically increased the reach and financial health of the organization, enhancing its services to support over 300,000 individuals and growing its revenue to $42M within five years. His tenure at the California Department of Justice as the first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer saw him spearheading strategic, organization-wide DEIB audits and updates.

At CEOLIFE Unplugged, Kevin’s innovative leadership has led to the creation of “Project RE-DO,” an award-winning DEI training program, and the launch of the “Equity In Focus” podcast, which discusses pressing DEI challenges and promotes dialogue across various audiences. He has also developed crucial resources like “The Ten Commandments of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion©” and DEI Toolkits that are instrumental in shaping inclusive corporate cultures.

Currently, Kevin is expanding his impact as Head of Diversity Initiatives & Strategic Partnerships at Rolling Out Media, where he boosts engagement through DEI-focused content and strategic alliances that enhance the brand’s influence and commitment to diverse representation.

An author, producer, and revered inclusion strategist, Kevin Hooks continues to inspire change, advocating not just for policy shifts but for a transformative approach to how organizations and societies embrace diversity and inclusion. His leadership is a beacon for anyone committed to making a significant positive impact in the world.

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