BLACK SONS SPEAK
O Girl Media is committed to telling OUR stories. Black Sons Speaks was created to showcase Black Fathers. I want their story told from those that know them best, their children. Enjoy the following stories from BOLD men who answered my call for submissions. Happy Father’s Day to all the men who have cared for or mentored a child. Use the hashtag #BlackSonsSpeak on social media to share these stories! –ODS
Sylvester Fulton, 35
Separation from anything for a short amount of time is life changing. But can you imagine 33 years, 7 months of estrangement? I cannot only imagine, but I lived it. My Dad was in prison the first 33 years of my life. Over the years, I grew a outer shell over the part where I missed someone so that the pain could stop. There is still no words to describe how I felt when I got the call that my father would be released soon. I felt happy, excited, angry, relieved and much more all within 1 seconds. I’m asking myself “Do I know how to be a son?” I think that was the hardest question. Then the day comes, he is finally out, I’m so nervous wondering what I’m going to say or do. How are my kids going to react to him? All that went out the window when we embraced each other with a huge hug, and my kids just jumped on him like he never was gone. I don’t think we actually sat down and talked until the 3rd or 4th day he was out. That was the best conversation I have had in my entire life. We were learning about each other and he was seeing that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. He ended up having to live with me. That wasn’t the first plan for him but my kids and father thought that was the best plan. It’s funny because we stay in the same house but we would go a day or so of not seeing each other. Not because of schedules but because we didn’t want to get on each other nerves, that’s what we both was thinking. He was getting use to a cellphone and texting so he texts me a lot, even if he is in the next room. He gets a chance to do things with my kids, he didn’t do with me, like ride bikes, go to the park, and buy junk food. He can be gone all day and tired but as soon as my daughter or son ask him for anything, he is on it. He can be busy and they have a ceremony but he will put it on hold to go to the ceremony. He told me he missed all of mines and my sisters, but he will not miss theirs. By me being raised by my grandmother, I really see that love she showed me, in my kids and father. I’m really proud of him getting out and starting school. He gets up every day and just catch the bus or ride his back, he thinks google maps was the best thing created since he was gone. Our relationship grows slowly by the day, we really not rushing it, just letting it happen. We are about to start our own business. I told him fail or succeed, this is going to be an awesome time in our lives. Happy Father’s Day Pops!
Keith Woolridge, 33
I remember when I was a little boy, my father had this charcoal gray Chevy Nova. The smell of the leather seats would always pierce my nose once the car door opened and we would get ready to head to our destination. The early 1990’s in Fort Worth, TX was a violent time. Gang Violence was taking over the city and you questioned was it even safe to be outside. My father didn’t want me to have that image engraved in my mind. He wanted me to know that there was more to life than what was going on right outside our front porch. He did this by simply telling me, “Come on. Let’s ride.” Strapping on my seatbelt, I never knew where we would end up but it always ended up being an educational experience. He drove me to Louisiana one day just for the hell of it. We’d stop at historical landmarks and he would explain to me what events took place at the various locations. Till this day he doesn’t know how much that meant to me.
Now that I’m a husband and a father, I find myself doing the same thing. When I hear that one of the neighborhood kids has suffered a loss in their family due to gun violence, my wife and I take them under our wings and tell them, ” Come on. Lets ride”. I feel those car rides saved my life. It showed me that there is more to life than what many experience in poverty stricken communities. There’s a whole world out there to be explored. Once you get out and see it, then you notice how senseless life is taken advantage of. I feel our youth are killing each other because they simply don’t know any other way of living outside their neighborhoods. They’re trapped there. Education goes beyond the classroom and if we can do a better job as adults showing them a different way to live outside the barriers of their communities maybe they can then realize there is a life out there worth living. I’m fortunate and I’m grateful that I had a father to invest that kind of time in me. The small things can lead to big impacts. Happy Father’s Day Dad!
Tim Cannon, 35
My Father’s Day Tribute
It was just like yesterday
We were laughing and talking about our day.
But now you have transitioned on
To a better and heavenly home.
Now that your gone
Your memories continue to live on.
You always remain in our hearts
And no one can break us apart.
Happy Father’s Day !!!