Monday, June 22, 2009

The Goddess Files: My Mama Made My Daddy...Happy Father's Day

I love my father, but he is a bit much. Throughout my life I wondered how my mom put up with this guy who was for most of the time, an over-the-top husband with a huge heart and a big ego. Quite the Leo, his bravado and showmanship was hilarious and sometimes, made me wanna tell him to go sit in the corner. He was the disciplinarian and macho truck-driver, blue collar brother in my early years, and now is the comfortable house husband who can gossip with his 91-year-old mother-in-law like the best of them.

As I have settled in my own relationship, I understand that a woman makes a man. We mold and shape who they are. This is not just our mates, but also, as mothers, sisters and daughters. My father has 5 girls, and we have shaped him just as much. Also, relationships are balance, and my parents balance every day. It is my father allowing a woman who loves him and not coddle him, to cultivate his manhood.

I wrote and performed a poem called Black Super Hero, for my father and all the black fathers who are the unsung heros. At the same time, I wrote something for the black mothers, inspired by my mother, called Mama, In Your Honor.

I am praising our daddies of the community who are caught up for being the burdens of the American social plight of the "absentee father". This history, this history is so funny. There are millions of us who are the great-great-great grandchildren of absentee sperm donors who took liberties of raping black women or forcing them into sexual affairs that produced millions of babies during the enslavement era.

With that said, I wanna wave my hand to the daddies. Happy Fathers Day. Blog on...kns

An Essay I wrote for my father to win the 2006 Judge Mablean Father's Day Competition in Los Angeles

He is love, my father. He is also evolution. He is a superhero, not just of the ghetto, not just of his race, but for humanity. I am proud that I chose to come through this man. He is one of the many African-Americans in South Central Los Angeles who aren’t celebrated or highlighted by media. Nevertheless, he stands—rooted, brilliant and humble. Even after dismal broadcasts point to my community, and ruthlessly portray black and brown men as animals and savages, my father illuminates majestic truth.

In order to fully know the essence of this man, his story must be told. Born and raised in Vicksburg , Mississippi , he saw some of the most blatant forms of volatile, brutal racism. After his father died unexpectedly, my daddy started picking cotton with his mother and other siblings at eight-years-old. Later, he witnessed his mother die in his arms when an all-white hospital refused to service her as she suffered from a stroke.

With his siblings scattered, and he now an orphan, my accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Southern University in Louisiana . There he met my mother and married. Shortly there after, the children came. This August, my parents will celebrate their 35th Anniversary.

My father never graduated from college. He was expelled for leading a Civil and Human Rights protest several months before graduation ceremonies and jailed for his political activism. For years my father could not get a job and sold popcorn balls and homemade popsicles to provide what he could for his growing family. In spite of his tribulations, he supported and encouraged my mother to go further with her education. She pursued graduate school at Ohio State University , while he took care of the three children they conceived in three years.

As the family expanded even more so, we moved to Los Angeles where we were engulfed with the joys, as well as the calamities of South Central. My father heard there was work at the Long Beach ports and would go early in the morning to vie for a job. With no money sometimes he would eat discarded lunches out of a nearby trash can. Finally, he secured employment at this company where he still works today.

What shines in my memory is the depth of love my father gave all his six children and wife. When he could have been bitter about his journey, he grabbed onto love and faith to continue carving his path. He taught us the sweet, tenderness of marriage, along with the sacredness of commitment. Also, he was real and let us know relationships were a lot of work and that life wasn’t a crystal stare. He pushed his children to excel in education, but balanced us, with involvement in a variety of sports and community projects. He volunteered as a coach on all our sports teams and attended every academic, church or community venture after a long day of arduous back-breaking labor. Additionally, my father gave us history lessons so we clearly knew our roots.

Oh yes, I remember the rough nights in my neighborhood. Yet, my father kept us safe and spiritually sound. He was the community dad, even to the bangers that sought guidance. He’d caste no judgments, for all he saw were young, black males in need of love and direction.

On the salary of truck driver, all of his children have attended college, with the youngest graduating from high school this year and preparing for college admissions. Three children have bachelor degrees; two are in graduate school (both will start PhD programs Fall 2006); one is in her last year of undergrad; one is a medical doctor practicing in South Los Angeles; one is a longshoreman; and one is journalist and teacher. Guess where I fall?

My father is still a blossoming soul, but solid in whom he is. We talk about him protesting the closing of the King Drew Trauma Center , or the latest social concern or race issue, but he is an open book ready to learn and grow to do more. His love is deep. He is our superhero, ready to fight for the common good and justice for all.

0 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista: