Black Fathers Show Affection

Updated: Jan 9

Growing up, I don't remember ever hearing my father tell me he loved me. I also never questioned his love for me or my siblings. I knew from his actions that love for him was the unspoken. For him, love was an action, and he continues to prove that today by what he does for me and the people that I love. It took some time to recognize how he chose to receive and accept love. As a father I now must be aware of how my children receive and give love. I must also remember to continue showing them physical love and affection. It's important that we hug, kiss and love on our children, so we can ensure they too are emotionally intelligent.

This Father’s Day I wanted to show that black fathers can be affectionate. Love and affection for men in the African American community, is at times an anomaly. It’s either we don’t know how to show love or the way we show love isn’t accepted by society. It comes off as intense, aggressive or tough. For most black men, love and affection can be confused for being “soft” and anger, aggression and celebratory happiness are the only emotion that are accepted by society.

Fatherhood allows us to fully express our emotions through our children and it is here, for some, that we have the opportunity to love unconditionally and for that love to be fully accepted by society. The fathers you see are showing their children that black men do love, black men are affectionate and black men can express their emotions. During each photo shoot the fathers and I talked about the joys of fatherhood and how life for all of us changed when we became fathers. We also discussed how we must continue showing our kids love so they too can learn how to accept love appropriately as they grow.

Thank you to all the fathers who participated in this project.

Here's some advice from these fathers for any new or soon to be fathers:

Martin Faison- "My advice is twofold: 1. Be okay with not having all the answers. 2. Love unconditionally."

David Garvin- "The children grow fast. Enjoy the moments, take a lot of pictures, but most importantly, make TIME! "

Kenneth Hyman- "Being there for your child is key. Spending time with your child is greater than any amount of money."

DeLeon Hudson- " Stay patient even through the toughest of times. Be there, take advice when given and enjoy the journey. You will never fully be prepared for fatherhood because kids grow and evolve day by day. Watch your behaviors because kids are very smart."

Micheal Smith- "Lead with love."

Travis Jones- "It’s the greatest calling that you will ever receive. Answer it, and be ready to do whatever it takes to help your child succeed."

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers, mentors, dads and fathers figures.

Remember, it’s ok to show love and be loved.

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