Tahree Carroll, Temple University
Society often speculates on why the progress of males in the black community in America has stagnated in the past few decades; with higher rates of illiteracy, unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration. While institutional factors attribute to these circumstances, it is my firm belief that the lack of fathers in the black household has played a major role in producing this decline.
Black scholars like Iyanla Vanzart believe that sharing our experiences with one another may be the first step to building stronger relationships in the black community. If this is the case, then there’s probably no better place to do this than on sites like True Culture University which were created to help us reconnect and reestablish ourselves as a people.
Growing up in the inner city of Philadelphia can be rough and challenging. The structure of the public school system is inadequate, the resources are few and the poverty is high. Include not having a male figure in your household to the mix and you have catastrophe on your hands.
Reflecting on the past has allowed me to forgive the people who’ve caused me pain- like my father. Below you will find a few reasons in this article to perhaps help those reading to also forgive their fathers and other people who may have hurt them.
Reason 1: He Was Young
My dad was only 17 years old when I was born and when I see how immature and lost most 17 year old males are it makes me understand my father’s mindset during that time in his life. I now see him not being around as less offensive and understand how he was also a child himself.
Reason 2: His Father Did the Same to Him
Looking back on the few times I spent with my father as a child I remember how I only saw my grandfather once, which was unintentional on my father’s behalf. I never heard my father talk about him before or afterwards, to this day I still don’t know my grandfather’s name. Recognizing the poor relationship that my father had with his father makes me appreciate the little bond we had; I mean at least he tried to be better than his father was to him.
Reason 3: He Thought he Was Right
My father grew up in a neighborhood in North Philadelphia where most of the youth spent their time cutting school, drinking forties, and chasing women. Knowing what he was involved in, he might’ve felt it was better for me and my brother to stay with our mother, who by all means was considered a “home body" . My father was young, misguided, and reckless and I’m honestly glad I didn’t get to see that side of him with my own eyes; although I’ve heard stories.
Reason 4: I Became a Father
When I became a father I inevitably began to look at the world through the eyes of one. When the mother of my child and I separated, I began to experience the struggles of co-parenting, which at times can be extremely difficult. I can only imagine what my father, who now has 10 children with various women; was going through during the time of my upbringing.
What I’ve learned from my analysis of my past is that sometimes what our parents give us is all they have to give us at that moment. So we should appreciate them for it and learn from their mistakes.