By NICK CHILES
Ah, Fatherhood week is finally here! Tomorrow is the official publication date of my next book, Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, which I wrote with NBA veteran Etan Thomas. This is a week I’ve been awaiting for more than a year, ever since I got a fateful phone call telling me that Etan Thomas was looking for a writer to help him put together a book that could serve as one of our generation’s definitive statements about fatherhood.
Let me stop tripping. The early hopes for the book weren’t quite so lofty. We were hoping to come up with something that was readable and timely—something that both of us would be proud of, that we would be honored to have our names adorn its cover. But then the men started signing on.
Prominent, successful, introspective men who were eager to be a part of our mission to define and describe fatherhood, to reveal its pain and promise. Men like Ice Cube and Michael Moore, Taye Diggs and Andre Agassi, Chris Paul and Isaiah Washington, Baron Davis and Grant Hill, Kevin Durant and Stuart Scott. Some of the most celebrated men in our society; men with powerful views on the exciting rollercoaster ride that is fatherhood.
Once we were done, both Etan and I realized that we had far exceeded our early hopes. We had come up with a book that could serve as a guide for fathers new and fathers old, future fathers and current fathers who are struggling to slough off the effects of their own fatherless childhoods and to be there for their own children so that they aren’t forced to endure the same ordeal. As Etan said in the pages of Fatherhood, what we produced was the book that Etan wishes he had when he was a boy grappling with intense anger and confusion because his father wasn’t there in his house everyday.
There is no more appropriate place to herald the publication of Fatherhood than MyBrownBaby, a site that my wife Denene created specifically to explore and celebrate the joy and anguish of parenting children of color. For four years, MyBrownBaby has been delving into many of the issues we address in Fatherhood, making this a match made in publishing heaven.
For the entire week, we will be sharing excerpts from the book, an exclusive interview with Etan Thomas, and picking out some of the most explosive essays in the book by our celebrated contributors. And, of course, we would be honored if you chose to go out and pick up a copy of the book—or just click here and have it immediately delivered to your house.
Please come back tomorrow and see what Fatherhood offering we have for you on the official publication day. Thanks much!