Too often, the word absentee is used, when speaking of Black fathers. As the publisher of the LA Progressive, I don’t often talk about my family. But my father deserves to be acknowledged. He was a teenager when I was born and we lived in the projects in the Bronx. However, my life story is a successful life story, in large part because of my father. When my father was not at home with us, he was at work.
Today is the day we honor our fathers. Many would say I’ve chosen a peculiar way to honor mine. I won’t be having dinner with him. In fact, I will not see him today even though he lives 60 miles away. I will be in a class all day – a California bar review class – as I prepare to take the California Bar Exam. I am a middle-aged woman who has had three major jobs and is now beginning a fourth as a people’s lawyer (after passing the bar) and my father is one of the biggest reasons I push myself the way I do.
My father got up at 4:00 a.m. for 25 years and came home 12, sometimes 14 hours later, only to go to bed and get up and do the same thing again so that our family could have the comforts of life. The lesson he taught me, by his actions, is perserverance. I don’t remember my father taking a sick day. I learned, through his example, that we can do most anything if we show up.
So thank you, Daddy. And Happy Father’s Day. You should know that without a father like you I would not be the woman I am.