#BlackFathersMatter

So there’s this guy
He’s been blackballed in our family systems, yet he’s smiling, playing with his baby’s fingers, showing the true definition of strength, melanin glistening from his skin 
Some of us have real images of him, some of us make this moment up in our head, but it’s all still the same
Black father, Baby Daddy, King
We love you
We need you
We appreciate you
You don’t get enough credit
They say, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.
We’ve taken on this saying and applied it to your situation as if it’s applicable
But, it’s not
If anything, the amazing fathers I see bring that batch back to life
See you, you are the apple of your child’s eye
They need you
You help mold them into something that mothers can’t create
Even as amazing as mothers may be
Don’t worry about the many told lies
They paint this image of you that we know aren’t true
Got mother’s celebrating Father’s Day when this day is supposed to belong to you
The many Black single fathers picking up where estranged mothers left off
Struggling to make ends meet
Hustling, I see you hustling
I commend you, even if that hustle includes the streets
See, you don’t get enough credit
The world has taken away the appeal of a Black man actually doing what he’s supposed to do
Got us all applauding like seals in the circus when a poppin’ Black father pushes through
Why?
I’m sick of feeling as if I’m doing back flips from joy when I see a Black father being what he’s SUPPOSED to 
Its not as rare as the world makes us think
Black Fathers Rock, and yes I’m talking about you
Thank you for fighting the system
Thank you for being a King
Thank you for taking care of your family
Thank you for making a way
Thank you to the father figures who step in as well, you don’t get enough
Thank you for being that apple in the batch that may be rotting from the pressures of the world
Yet, you hold on strong to make the others even stronger
I’ll say it again for the people in the back
We love you
We appreciate you
And dammit, we need you
Even if the world tries to give us this distorted image of Black fatherhood, we celebrate you
And for the Black fathers who folded and couldn’t become a diamond from that pressure…
You were still a lesson in a child’s life, and they will be a better parent than you
Happy Fathers Day

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#WhereYoLoveAt

They have succeeded in making us hate ourselves

I know, I know it’s hard. I know, I know they say we need to, “get over it” and move on. I know, I know it can be tough to look down at your skin and wonder why God gave you this “burden.” I know, I know you were taught to hate and bring down your own brother and sister because they’re a “threat” to you and your survival. I know, I know they made you hate yourself so you’re unable to love others. I know, I know …

Take the power back

We have to change the narrative. We have to take the power back. Our greatness is seen as a threat so they made us hate each other so we wouldn’t succeed. Do you know how amazing you are? Do you know how wonderfully you are made? Do you understand how creative you are? “They love our culture, but they don’t love us.” Goodness, I get chills thinking about how great it is to get up in the morning and know someone was so threatened by my greatness that they decided to devise a plan. A plan so intricate that it could last hundreds of years. But you know what? They can’t stop the love, the community, the creativity, the village. No matter how hard they try, we still thrive. We’re still resilient. And yes, there’s still SO much more work to be done, SO much more we have to do to insure future generations thrive and not go through what our ancestors went through, and what we still go through. 
I get so happy thinking about the groups of colored people who support each other wholeheartedly. For example, a group called DMVYBP, which consists of Young Black Professionals in the DMV area, has shown me there’s still some great genuine people out there. There’s no need to compete with each other to get to where we’re going, that’s a mindset we have to throw out completely. We need to uplift each other and move forward. If we got together to make a change, more effective work would be accomplished. We keep re-inventing the wheel because everybody wants to be that person to get the credit, without realizing the bigger picture. It’s okay to play the background, as long as you know your purpose and you’re actually making a difference, who cares?
Also, SUPPORT YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, stop this, “Can I get a deal?” nonsense. No, you can’t get a t-shirt for free. No, you can’t get a discount, stop it.
​This process of taking our power back won’t happen overnight, but we have to start somewhere. We have to move forward strategically and with love for ourselves so we can then love one another. I love you, and you were carefully made with no mistakes. No matter what you have heard, what you have been through, what they say about you, hold your head high… I know, I know they’re trying to stop you, but keep pushing. I know you got this.

To The Brother or Sister Who Stole My Laptop, I Forgive You

To the brother or sister who stole my laptop,

I forgive you.

It has certainly been some trying months since August, and you stealing my laptop took me over the top. I went through the stages of grief. I was in denial, I couldn’t believe someone could take my laptop, filled with my hard work, memories, and things I didn’t even know I needed. I was so angry with you! I was so ashamed to know you were Black. I was so ashamed to be associated with you. I knew there was no way we could be from the same bloodline, the same ancestry, or the same struggle. How could you?

I had to let go. I came to terms with my laptop really being gone and having to start over. I came to terms with the fact that even though you hurt me, I still love you. I still pray for you, and I pray that God puts you in a better situation where you don’t have to steal from anyone else again. My friends and family know the situation, they know how I know that you’re like me. Colored skin, lost in this world and put into circumstances you can’t get yourself out of. They know how I hunted the stolen car down to find my glasses, keys, laptop and everything gone…. Except for those blue flats all bent in and worn. They know the ups and downs I went through, all the turmoil. They know how I bought a new laptop and ran my credit up because I needed one.

I forgive you because you didn’t have a choice. I forgive you because you have a baby and this opened up an opportunity for you to get something you may have needed for your family. My hopes are that this gave you a chance to excel. You know what they say, “They may have needed it more.” I forgive you brother or sister who stole my laptop, I promise I do. I pray that one day we won’t have to be put in situations where doing wrong is the only right way. I love you brother or sister, I do. I hope my possessions did more for you, then they could for me. One day, we won’t have to fight, kill, or steal from each other as people of color. One day, we’ll break through and surpass the systematic racism that has held us down, but for now, my possessions are a gift from me, to you.

Sisterly,

Erica L. Blake