Spare the Rod: A Black Father Spanks His Daughter and Vows Never To Do It Again


A couple of years ago, I was very deeply involved in putting together an anthology entitled Ass-Whooping’s Greatest Hits: Reflections on the Spankings We Received. As a new father, I felt it was important to explore this hot-button parental issue. I solicited 83 people to contribute, and out of that 83, every single Black person responded with a resounding “yes!” Latin, Arab and White folks were less enthusiastic (about 19% “yes” from all), but many of those folks I asked to contribute didn’t respond at all.

At the time, their silence didn’t bother me. I’d still have 80,000 words and would be able to produce a hilarious book that many folks would be able to relate to. And why would folks relate to spanking and find it hilarious? Well, every time anyone I know tells of a time they were spanked, they turn it into an episode of Chappelle’s Show. They choose their words carefully, the comic beats are on point. Through the telling of the story, most people make it sound as if it happened in an alternate universe. Afterwitnessing this on far too many occasions, I chalk this up to being a coping skill. How else could anyone integrate the idea that someone they loved, and was supposed to love them, intentionally hurt them if not through the distancing power of humor?

My mom beat the crap out of me and it wasn’t funny…

Read the rest of Shawn Taylor’s [Father/Hood] post, “Spare the Rod,” on


1. Father Who Beat Daughters With Cable Wire For Twerking Should Be Charged With Child Abuse
2.  Videotaped Beatings and Child Abuse Handbook Show Why Hitting Kids Is Dead Wrong
3.  A Reformed Spanker Reveals Why She Wishes She Would Have Spared the Rod.
4. Spanking, Time-Outs and the Soul Train Line: Getting To the Discipline That Works For Us
5. What Beating A Child With A Cord Looks Like (Newsflash: It Is NOT Good Parenting)

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

One Comment

  1. I feel many use ‘spare the rod’ out of context. I believe the text inferred the ‘rod’s was the rod of correction not a literal weapon. At least, that’s how I choose to see it. Sure, I was spanked as a child but I don’t think my mom knew any better. That’s how she was raised. How does the saying go? When you know better, you do better.

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