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NBA, NFL Players, Entertainers Hold Panel on Black Male Fatherhood in Harlem

By Doshon Farad
With the public being constantly bombarded by negative images of black men, one might draw the conclusion that America has lost all hope for this particular group. To counter this, there have been several individuals and groups who have set up initiatives to salvage the image of black men. Syracuse University Professor and Your Black World founder, Dr. Boyce Watkins, is one of the key players in this revolutionary movement. On Thursday, December 6th, he moderated a panel discussion on fatherhood at Harlem’s historic Abyssinian Baptist Church. The event was sponsored by the church’s Youth Ministry Division.  The panel was brought together by former NBA player Etan Thomas, author of the book, “Fatherhood:  Rising to the Ultimate Challenge.”

The panel brought together a very dynamic cadre of speakers and motivators all of whom are fathers playing active roles in the lives of their children. Panelists included NBA player and author Etan Thomas, former New York Giant David Tyree, Last Poets member Abiobun Oyewole, rapper Stic.Man, ESPN commentator Chris Broussard, actor Chaz Lamar Shepherd, and Billy Hunter who is the Executive Director for the NBA Players Association.

During the discussion each speaker gave what he felt was valuable wisdom in raising children. They covered character, responsibility, spirituality, economics, as well as Hip-Hop culture’s role in raising families. Former Giant, David Tyree, explained the importance of discipline as it pertains to fatherhood.

“Fatherhood comes with the mantle of self-denial”, he explained.

He clarified by saying that any negative thing a father is doing in their personal life should be eliminated as it will impact their children.Tyree also emphasized spirituality as it relates to parenting. He expressed that his life as a devout Christian has played a key role in his child rearing, citing the example of Jesus as being his guide. Chaz Lamar Shepherd chimed in by asking,

“Can we start out with the foundation of being a good person?” explaining that good character is key in being a father.

He also grabbed the audience’s attention when he mentioned that there is a difference between fathering and parenting.

“We have a lot of fathers but not enough parents.”

Shepherd also advised black women not to allow angry attitudes to affect the relationship that their children have with their fathers.

“Make sure that your emotions don’t determine what’s best for the child”, he said.

He made this comment in reference to the negative stereotype of black women using their children to hurt their fathers. Dr. Watkins, while moderating, posed the suggestion of black men mentoring black children who are currently being raised without fathers.

“Just as we had a Wall Street bailout, we need to have a fatherhood bailout”.

At the conclusion of the discussion panelists took questions and comments from the audience. Each panelist agreed that more initiatives would be born out of the night’s conversation.

 

Doshon Farad

About Doshon Farad

Doshon Farad is a staff writer for Your Black World and Your Black Bloggers. He writes for several publications. He’s also a broadcast journalist. He can be followed on twitter @doshonfarad. And on Facebook www.facebook.com/doshon.farad You can contact him at jarogersscholars@hotmail.com

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  1. Ever notice that white folks (including those who identify as Hispanic) never hold “panels” made up of big-name white men to promote fatherhood in the so-called “white community”?

    Yes, I know there are some white men that don’t stand up to the plate and do what a father should do for his kids. But we all know that such behavior is comparatively uncommon in the white community, while failure to be a “dad” is quite common among black men. At least half of all black women have absolutely no morals whatsoever — they will crank out baby after baby without even a thought that they are in a legit “relationship” with the baby daddy. In fact, that’s why he is called a baby-daddy, instead of a husband or boyfriend. That’s right, half of the black women out there will just spread them for any black man who has a little game; they know the guy is a player, but they don’t care. These women see having a baby as a way to get a check . . or a bigger check. As for a majority of the black men, all they want is a place to dip their wick — it is black slut #1 today, black slut #2 tomorrow, and if he can score a white slut the next day, he will do that, too. Black women will do it with most any black man, and black men will do it with most any woman, regardless of her color. There are no morals anymore. Even the so-called leaders, like the phony “reverend” Jesse Hijackson, have a known history of overt immorality, and not just when he was a teenager.

    I find it truly sad that as program promoting fatherhood in the black community is considered to be a “revolutionary movement,” as clearly stated in this article. You would never see a program targeted at Hispanic fatherhood or white fatherhood be labeled as revolutionary. For all groups other than people of African descent living in the USA, fatherhood is pretty-much the normal thing . . . they don’t need a program to tell them that they should be fathers, they just do it.

    Almost every person on that panel actively supported Barack Hussein Obama for president — TWICE. They have no credibility in holding a forum on fatherhood, as the welfare system actively discourages people from behaving in a moral fashion (granted, the welfare system doesn’t MAKE them behave immorally), and Barack Obama has expanded the number of people on the welfare system by a a fulll 50% since he took office four years ago. (No, I wasn’t a fan of Romney, either, just pointing out an issue that black people don’t like talking about.)

    If black people (as a group) don’t return to some semblance of morality and personal responsibility, no amount of forums, panels, or meetings will matter.

    • IMO: If Belcher & Kassandra had been white, most likely he’d have killed not just her, but the baby & his mother too. Why do I say that? – Because there’s too many past examples of crazy white guys snappin & killing their entire family before turning the gun on themselves!

      Malcolm X once said that it his observation that white prostitutes would voluntarily do sober what you could NOT get Black ones to do- even when drunk. The problem is Black people have been exposed to the decadent American way of {non}Life for so long that too many of America’s perverse habits have rubbed off on too many Blacks. And what about all those true red, white & blue white fly-boys that are involved in scandalously Military rape traditions like ‘Sky-Hook’ or Abu-Ghraib, etc?!?

      I don’t know what your back-ground or real agenda is BUT FYI: When I was growing up in Chicago in an all Black neighborhood not so long ago, I’d say 70% – 80% of my peers in the ‘Hood’ had their fathers at the home – as functioning hard-working fathers as husbands! But some-how in just 2 generations that flipped to now 67% – 75% of urban Black house-holds are headed by single women, while too many young Black men end up in the Prison Industrial Complex- based on the phony War on Drugs- generally for non-violent marijuana beefs [like white folks don’t smoke plenty of hash – they just don’t go to jail for it – IE: Bush Jr’s twin daughters & niece]. So the real question is how in the H*LL did that happen in just 25 – 35yrs?!? Obviously it can NOT be genetic, because this situation only recently became the ‘norm’ in urban Black house-holds!!!

      • PS: In case there’s any doubt about what I said that mass killers are almost always White Guys – FYI: From http://news.msn.com/us/ore-mall-shooter-used-stolen-rifle-police-say – RE: the recent mall shooting in Portland OR:} On average, there are about 20 mass murders every year, and the trend has been steady since the 1970s, said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University in Boston and author of five books on mass murder.
        The typical mass murderer is a socially isolated WHITE Man in his 20s, 30s or 40s. He has no criminal record, but his life has been marked by failure and frustration, and he decides that his family, boss or co-workers must pay with their lives, Fox said. {

        In other words these White mass murderers are Failures as Husbands & Fathers, on the Job & in LIFE- who decide to kill everyone in his family, at work, at school, or strangers just walking down the street or shopping in a mall!

        • You are correct. The majority of the mass-murderes here in the US are white males under the age of 50. If the article had been about the Oregon mall shooter, then I wouldn’t have minded at all to mention that. I will note that a great many of those white males that shoot up a crowd like that actually aren’t fathers or married, but I digress. However, this article was about black men and fatherhood, so I went with that topic. I’m in my 50’s, and I fully understand what you are saying about the way it once was. I grew up in small town in the south, yet the story is the same — we went from most families having a dad who held down a job and supported his family to mostly homes headed up by a never-married women, and quite often a welfare queens.

          When I was a kid, morals still mattered. We went to church, and the people there actually believed the message. It wouldn’t be unusual for someone to use the Bible when giving someone else advice on something happeing in their life. These days, people still go to church, but church is now just a social club where nobody really gives much thought to what the Bible actually teaches, except for a few convenient verses that are used to cast white people in a bad light. Now, if we would only learn to follow that verse that says “get the log out of your own eye, so that you can see more clearly to get the speck out of your brother’s eye” . . . .

          • So-called ‘Welfare Queens’ is a Reaganite Repug hyped- race-baiting meme!
            FYI: White women were/are the biggest beneficiaries of welfare. Likewise white women were/are the biggest beneficiaries of so-called Affirmative Action Progs, as confirmed by Slick Willie Clinton during his so-called [phony] Welfare Reform debate- where he cut a deal w Repug Next Grinch-witch.

            I’ll Repeat: Too many Black folks have lost their moral compass, due to over-exposure to & wanting to embrace ‘The American Way’ of a Decadent {non}Life-style! And this has been exacerbated by concerted economically devastating, police-state, drug-war, prison industrial complex- attack that’s been unleashed on the Black & Brown communities!

  2. For All Black People in America & Africa Believing In and Anything The White Race Says & Does Along With Their Stealth Trojan Horse Black Helpers Like Obama & Many With & Long Before Him, Read the U.S. Memo Below Similar To Recent Ones Today Like It. Finally See & Understand The Danger We Are In By Refusal To Unite Ourselves Together Under & By Power of Almighty God To Organize & Resist White Race Evil Deliberately Ever-Seeking Our Total Weakness & Complete Destruction. Pls. Read, Copy, & Send This U.S. Memo To Every Black Person You Know on Earth. Peace!

    NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEMORANDUM-46

    MARCH 17, 1978

    Presidential Review Memorandum NSCM/46
    TO: The Secretary of State
    The Secretary of Defense
    The Director of Central Intelligence

    SUBJECT: Black Africa and the U.S. Black Movement

    The President has directed that a comprehensive review be made of current developments in Black Africa from the point of view of their possible impacts on the black movement in the United States. The review should consider:

    1. Long-term tendencies of social and political developments and the degree to which they are consistent with or contradict the U.S. interests.

    2. Proposals for durable contacts between radical African leaders and leftist leaders of the U.S. black community.

    3. Appropriate steps to be taken inside and outside the country in order to inhibit any pressure by radical African leaders and organizations on the U.S. black community for the latter to exert influence on the policy of the Administration toward Africa.

    The President has directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Africa perform this review. The review should be forwarded to the NSC Political Analysis Committee by April 20.

    (signed)

    Zbigniew Brezinski

    cc: The Secretary of the Treasury
    The Secretary of Commerce
    The Attorney General
    The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
    ——————————————————————————–
    ________________________________________
    NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
    INTERDEPARTMENTAL GROUP
    FOR AFRICA

    STUDY RESPONSE TO PRESIDENTIAL SECURITY
    REVIEW MEMORANDUM NSC-46
    BLACK AFRICA AND THE
    U.S. BLACK MOVEMENT

    Objective of our policy toward Black Africa is to prevent social upheavals which could radically change the political situation throughout the area. The success or failure of our policy in the region depends on the solution international and internal issues whose importance of the United States is on the increase.

    II. A. U.S. INTERESTS IN BLACK AFRICA

    A multiplicity of interests influences the U.S. attitude toward black Africa. The most important of these interests can be summarized as follows:

    1. POLITICAL
    If black African states assume attitudes hostile to the U.S. national interest, our policy toward the white regimes; which is a key element in our relations with the black states, may be subjected by the latter to great pressure for fundamental change. Thus the West may face a real danger of being deprived of access to the enormous raw material resources of southern Africa which are vital for our defense needs as well as losing control over the Cape sea routes by which approximately 65% of Middle Eastern oil is supplied to Western Europe.

    Moreover, such a development may bring about internal political difficulties by intensifying the activity of the black movement in the United States itself.

    It should also be borne in mind that black Africa is an integral part of a continent where tribal and regional discord, economic backwardness, inadequate infrastructures, drought, and famine, are constant features of the scene. In conjunction with the artificial borders imposed by the former colonial powers, guerilla warfare in Rhodesia and widespread indignation against apartheid in South Africa, the above factors provide the communist states with ample opportunities for furthering their aims. This must necessarily redound to the detriment of U.S. political interests.

    2. ECONOMIC
    Black Africa is increasingly becoming an outlet for U.S. exports and investment. The mineral resources of the area continue to be of great value for the normal functioning of industry in the United States and allied countries. In 1977, U.S. direct investment in black Africa totaled about $1.8 billion and exports $2.2 billion. New prospect of substantial profits would continue to develop in the countries concerned.

    IV. BLACK AFRICA AND THE U.S. BLACK MOVEMENT

    Apart from the above-mentioned factors adverse to U.S. strategic interests, the nationalist liberation movement in black Africa can act as a catalyst with far reaching effects on the American black community by stimulating its organizational consolidation and by inducing radical actions. Such a result would be likely as Zaire went the way of Angola and Mozambique.

    An occurrence of the events of 1967-68 would do grievous harm to U.S. prestige, especially in view of the concern of the present Administration with human rights issues. Moreover, the Administration would have to take specific steps to stabilize the situation. Such steps might be misunderstood both inside and outside the United States.

    In order to prevent such a trend and protect U.S. national security interests, it would appear essential to elaborate and carry out effective countermeasures.

    1. Possibility of Joint Action By U.S. Black and African Nationalist Movement.

    In elaborating U.S. policy toward black Africa, due weight must be given to the fact that there are 25 millions American blacks whose roots are African and who consciously or subconsciously sympathies with African nationalism.

    The living conditions of the black population should also be taken into account. Immense advances in the field are accompanied by a long-lasting high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth and by poverty and dissatisfaction with government social welfare standards.

    These factors taken together may provide a basis for joint actions of a concrete nature by the African nationalist movement and the U.S. black community. Basically, actions would take the form of demonstrations and public protests, but the likelihood of violence cannot be excluded. There would also be attempts to coordinate their political activity both locally and in international organizations.

    Inside the United States these actions could include protest demonstrations against our policy toward South Africa accompanied by demand for boycotting corporations and banks which maintain links with that country; attempts to establish a permanent black lobby in Congress including activist leftist radical groups and black legislators; the reemergence of Pan-African ideals; resumption of protest marches recalling the days of Martin Luther King; renewal of the extremist idea national idea of establishing an “African Republic” on American soil. Finally, leftist radical elements of the black community could resume extremist actions in the style of the defunct Black Panther Party.

    Internationally, damage could be done to the United States by coordinated activity of African states designed to condemn U.S. policy toward South Africa, and initiate discussions on the U.S. racial issue at the United Nations where the African representation constitutes a powerful bloc with about one third of all the votes.

    A menace to U.S. economic interests, though not a critical one, could be posed by a boycott by Black African states against American companies which maintain contact with South Africa and Rhodesia. If the idea of economic assistance to black Americans shared by some African regimes could be realized by their placing orders in the United States mainly with companies owned by blacks, they could gain a limited influence on the U.S. black community.

    In the above context, we must envisage the possibility, however remote, that black Americans interested in African affairs may refocus their attention on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Taking into account; the African descent of American blacks it is reasonable to anticipate that their sympathies would lie with the Arabs who are closer to them in spirit and in some case related to them by blood. Black involvement in lobbying to support the Arabs may lead to serious dissention between American black and Jews. The likelihood of extremist actions by either side is negligible, but the discord may bring about tension in the internal political climate of the United States.

    3. Political options

    In the context of long-term strategy, the United States can not afford a radical change in the fundamentals of its African policy, which is designed for maximum protection of national security. In the present case, emphasis is laid on the importance of Black Africa for U.S. political, economic and military interests.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    In weighing the range of U.S. interests in Black Africa, basic recommendations arranged without intent to imply priority are:

    1. Specific steps should be taken with the help of appropriate government agencies to inhibit coordinated activity of the Black Movement in the United States.

    2. Special clandestine operations should be launched by the CIA to generate mistrust and hostility in American and world opinion against joint activity of the two forces, and to cause division among Black African radical national groups and their leaders.

    3. U.S. embassies to Black African countries specially interested in southern Africa must be highly circumspect in view of the activity of certain political circles and influential individuals opposing the objectives and methods of U.S. policy toward South Africa. It must be kept in mind that the failure of U.S. strategy in South Africa would adversely affect American standing throughout the world. In addition, this would mean a significant diminution of U.S. influence in Africa and the emergence of new difficulties in our internal situation due to worsening economic prospects.

    4. The FBI should mount surveillance operations against Black African representatives and collect sensitive information on those, especially at the U.N., who oppose U.S. policy toward South Africa. The information should include facts on their links with the leaders of the Black movement in the United States, thus making possible at least partial neutralization of the adverse effects of their activity.

    V. TRENDS IN THE AMERICAN BLACK MOVEMENT

    In connection with our African policy, it is highly important to evaluate correctly the present state of the Black movement in the United States and basing ourselves on all available information, to try to devise a course for its future development. Such an approach is strongly suggested by our perception of the fact that American Blacks form a single ethnic group potentially capable of causing extreme instability in our strategy toward South Africa. This may lead to critical differences between the United States and Black Africa in particular. It would also encourage the Soviet Union to step up its interference in the region. Finally, it would pose a serious threat to the delicate structure of race relations within the United States. All the above considerations give rise to concern for the future security of
    the United States.

    Since the mid-1960s, when legislation on the human rights was passed and Martin Luther King murdered, federal and local measures to improve black welfare have been taken, as a result of which the U.S. black movement has undergone considerable changes.

    The principle changes are as follows:

    *Social and economic issues have supplanted political aims as the main preoccupations of the movement. and actions formerly planned on a nationwide scale are now being organized locally.

    *Fragmentation and a lack of organizational unity within the movement.

    *Sharp social stratification of the Black population and lack of policy options which could reunite them.

    *Want of a national leader of standing comparable to Martin Luther King.

    B. THE RANGE OF POLICY OPTIONS

    The concern for the future security of the United States makes necessary the range of policy options. Arranged without intent imply priority they are:

    (a) to enlarge programs, within the framework of the present budget, for the improvement of the social and economic welfare of American Blacks in order to ensure continuing development of present trends in the Black movement;

    (b) to elaborate and bring into effect a special program designed to perpetuate division in the Black movement and neutralize the most active groups of leftist radical organizations representing different social strata of the Black community: to encourage division in Black circles;

    (c) to preserve the present climate which inhibits the emergence from within the Black leadership of a person capable of exerting nationwide appeal;

    (d) to work out and realize preventive operations in order to impede durable ties between U.S Black organizations and radical groups in African states;

    (e) to support actions designed to sharpen social stratification in the Black community which would lead to the widening and perpetuation of the gap between successful educated Blacks and the poor, giving rise to growing antagonism between different Black groups and a weakening of the movement as a whole.

    (f) to facilitate the greatest possible expansion of Black business by granting government contracts and loans with favorable terms to Black businessmen;

    (g) to take every possible means through the AFL-CIO leaders to counteract the increasing influence of Black labor organizations which function in all major unions and in particular, the National Coalition of Black Trade Union and its leadership including the creation of real preference for adverse and hostile reaction among White trade unionists to demands for improvement of social and economic welfare of the Blacks;

    (h) to support the nomination at federal and local levels of loyal Black public figures to elective offices, to government agencies and the Court.

    This would promote the achievement of a twofold purpose:

    first, it would be easier to control the activity of loyal black representatives within existing institution;

    second, the idea of an independent black political party now under discussion within black leadership circles would soon lose all support.

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