I’ll be honest. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the blog scene. Not a big confession, though, since the dates of the blog posts make it obvious that it has been a minute since I was on the scene.
Fatigue. Chasing the dollar in other places. Survival. Parenting – yup, I do that too. Church. School. All those things that pushed me away from where I should have been.
But I’m back.
And what sealed the deal was a workshop session I gave in Baltimore on April 16. Heal a Woman, Heal a Nation is a wonderful – no, make that tremendously vital – grassroots organization that deals with the real issues and questions facing women who are raising children alone.
By grassroots, I mean that the focus wasn’t a guest speaker who flew across the country to share knowledge – and we can always use that – but this conference had real “I drove in today” sisters, of all denominations and hues, talking about who they were, where they wanted to go, and how their success was so integral to the success of their children. Working-while-powerful people like me and you.
The conversations after a session always allow me to go home uplifted and encouraged. For some reason, though, as a sister talked about an ex-partner who kept taking her to court out of revenge, or a three-year old who had no relationship with his father while she wondered if that would be okay in the long run, or an older, very polished sister who said that successful single-parenting is possible but gee, it hurts…I realized three things.
Black men, black fathers, have a job to do that can be done by no one else. They can pass it off, they can fake it, they can ignore it, but to be done well it must be done by them.
Black women, black mothers, have a job to do to make black fathers welcome in the lives of their children. Fake it, yeah, chant, meditate, pray, hold back that tongue–whatever. Some brothers need that space and permission to do their job.
Lastly, I have to do the job I was given. Bills, students, a case of the it-doesn’t-fit-right, an attack of the is-anybody-listening, none of that matters. I have to do my job, and not where I want to be but where I should have been all along.
improving the dialogue between single mothers and absentee fathers. In support of their children. One word at a time.