I am the daughter of a proud Black man. I am a wife to a man who is a helluva Black father to our daughters. I am the niece and the cousin and the friend of an incredible group of Black men who love on their brown babies hard. Unapologetically. With the might of angels. And they are setting an example for all of our sons and daughters—showing them through word and deed that, despite the running narrative that says otherwise, good Black fathers do exist. That they are possible.
This is why I am so incredibly proud to support an upcoming anthology Bet On Black: African American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama. The book, edited by writer Kenrya Rankin Naasel, features twenty writers who gathered to honor men in their lives who’ve made their own resolutions to be the best dads they can be. The contributors include some incredible voices who are friends to MyBrownBaby, like The Young Mommy Life’s Tara Pringle Jefferson, veteran journalists and magazine editors Harriette Cole, Corynne L. Corbett and Yannick Rice Lamb, writer Keisha-Gaye Anderson and one of my favorite writers, like, ever, Karen Good-Marable, whose essay is excerpted below.
MyBrownBaby is supporting this book not only by pre-ordering a copy but by making an appeal to my incredible audience to support a Kickstarter campaign that will assure the first print run of Bet On Black, which will allow the book to be supplied to local bookstores, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, a mega important mission for an independently published book competing with big publishing houses. Buying the book (or making any donation) also will help donate copies of the book to fatherhood programs across the country.
The Kickstarter campaign for Bet on Black ends in four days. They’re more than halfway toward their $10,000 goal, but to secure the funding, the campaign must raise more than $4,000 by Thursday. ANY AMOUNT HELPS. You can donate as little as $1, but specific amounts trigger amazing perks, from signed copies, to handwritten notes mailed to the dad you love, to VIP status at the Bet on Black New York city launch event. Plus, nothing will match the feeling of accomplishment you’ll derive from knowing that your early support helped wrestle back the much-maligned image of the Black dad and expose it as something that, while not perfect, is a human, loving presence in the lives of our children. Click here to help fund Bet on Black: African American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama.
Here’s what to do:
2. Donate – Click on the green button that says “Back This Project!”
4. Email – Forward this post to your network. Tell them why you support this project and think they should, too.
In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from Karen Good Marable, titled, “A Marriage of Family.”
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By KAREN GOOD MARABLE
Past midnight in Paris, and my love and I are sleeveless in the August night air. We walk freely down cobblestone streets leaning on, then bouncing gently off one another, relaxed by a night of revelry and wine.
He has whisked us away here—me and his 14 year old son Myles, who is back at the hotel, happy to have the privacy of his own small, adjoining room—to this beautiful, old city, so far from Brooklyn. Our first stop was London, for business, then a scenic ride on the Eurorail to Paris. It is Myles’ first international trip, and Maurice (Mo), an Air Force brat, is incredulous that I call myself a world traveler but have never in my 39 years been to Europe. (And, no, my layover in Heathrow on the way to Mumbai does not count.)
On this night, as we journey back to the hotel, Mo slows, pulls out his iPod, passes me an earphone bud for my left ear, and places the other in his right. Then the crisp sound of jaunty, descending piano scales, followed by Nina Simone’s soulful warble and bass:
My baby don’t care for shows
My baby don’t care for clothes
My baby just cares … for me…
If there is such a thing as pure delight, this is it. How dare he play the High Priestess for me on the streets of Paris?! Charmed, I kiss his sweet cheek; he smiles, takes my hand and we dance the three blocks back to the hotel. We gather our room key from the front desk and climb the stairs to the second floor where we unlock the door that leads to our rooms. Before long there’s a knock on the door: it’s Myles, wide-eyed and way too happy to see us.
“Why are you smiling so hard?” I ask. “And why are you up?”
Before he can answer, Mo, lying across the bed, says, “Babe, my back is killing me. Would you mind getting the oil from the bathroom and giving me a backrub?”
“Sure,” I shrug, then turn and walk the three steps to the bathroom, where I see something that stops my heart. On the floating shelf attached to the wide wall mirror just above the basin, I spy a small black velvet box, open and shining.
I actually gasp, dramatized by my right palm flying to within just a few inches of my mouth and staying there. I am physically unable to move. You know that creepy habit cats have of looking around a room without moving a muscle? That’s how I stare through the mirror at the men, who are both staring back at me; Mo on my right, motionless but for the ocean in his eyes, and Myles on my left, his arms crossed, bouncing up and down on his tiptoes and grinning like a fool. I look back at the ring. I look at Mo. I look at Myles. I do this for a full sixty seconds, which, on an occasion such as this, is an eternity.
I did not see this coming.
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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.