The Unsung Heroes: A Celebration of Black Fatherhood


By Ronald Falls, Jr., Esq

Father’s Day is always such a sentimental holiday for me. My son and I always spend Father’s Day together and we always make an adventure out of. Always together. This year we’re going on a cruise with his maternal aunt, uncle and cousins. Fun times because we’re cruising to Mexico. A bunch of happy memories aggregated into a happy childhood is what you hope for. It’s what I’m hoping for each time we make one of these awesome adventures happen. Father’s Day is celebrating that work to make that magic happen. The day we are appreciated for being more than just providers and protectors. Human beings…  and especially to those black fathers who statistically spend more time with their children, parenting their children and not just babysitting them, than any other demographic. I love what the numbers say about involved fathers.

It’s also a tough Father’s Day this 2024. Some of my good friends are without their fathers for the first time. My brother Calvin lost his legend of a father this year. He’s remembering all of what his father poured into him this Father’s Day. My good friend George lost his hero of a father a long time ago. I know Father’s Day is always hard for him too because he had such an awesome dad for the time that he was here. My heart goes out to those sons who have lost their fathers this Father’s Day. 

As a man who’s been all over the world and made friends with some amazing men who came from strong fathers or themselves became fathers, I can tell you one thing for sure: fatherhood is the bedrock of a community. Every June, we celebrate dads with barbecues and heartfelt messages, but for deeply involved fathers, Father’s Day carries a deeper weight. It’s a day to acknowledge the unique challenges we face, the silent battles we fight, and the unwavering love that binds us to our families. We show up for these children like super heroes and sometimes there’s no “Thank you!”….no one is saying “Good Job, Dad. Keep going”

We are the first male role models a lot of our children see (or don’t see), the ones who shape their sense of self-worth and teach them how to navigate a world that can be both beautiful and brutal. We are the nurturers, the ones who offer a safe harbor in the storm, the ones who whisper words of encouragement before they head out the door and hold them tight when they return, hearts bruised by life’s lessons. We are the coaches on dusty basketball courts, the mentors guiding young minds, the volunteers pouring our time and energy into seeing the next generation soar.

And let’s be honest, it ain’t easy. The weight of responsibility can be crushing. We fight for our families while battling the very systems designed to keep us down. We see our friends and brothers struggle to endure and keep getting up. Sometimes thanklessly. Yet, we persevere. We do it for the smiles on our children’s faces, the pride in their eyes when they achieve a goal, the unwavering faith they have in us, their heroes. We do it for the community, knowing that strong fathers build strong families, and strong families build strong communities.

So, on this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the unsung heroes: fathers. Let’s uplift the stories of the men who defy the odds, who pour their hearts and souls into their families and their communities. Let’s celebrate the everyday acts of love and sacrifice that go unnoticed but are the foundation upon which our future is built.

This isn’t just about barbecues and greeting cards. It’s about saying fathers are enough for just being but sometimes the hero stuff is cool too.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. We see you, we celebrate you, and we stand with you.