In my experience, the journey into fatherhood isn’t celebrated the way it often is for mothers. In a lot of cases, mothers get together with friends and family and have exciting gender reveals and immaculate baby showers. There is a wave of support and excitement around new moms. For expecting fathers, in a lot of cases, it’s the exact opposite. The news is often met with negativity and an obscene amount of pressure to provide, to love, and to protect, as those are viewed as key aspects of being a “man.” But now, it’s being a man and a father, and that puts a lot of pressure on men entering fatherhood, often without community offering them the additional support that they need.
On the clear and warm Juneteenth afternoon, dozens of people gathered at Tukwila Village to march for Black fathers. The Black Fathers Matter March is an event dedicated to honoring Black fathers with a goal to emphasize the fact that despite the stereotypes forced on Black men around fatherhood, many are present and supportive of their children.
by Reagan Jackson, Derrick Wheeler-Smith, and Gregory Davis
In honor of Father’s Day, three community members share reflections on fatherhood.
A Father’s Day Reflection: Tribute to Gene Jackson
by Reagan Jackson
For most of my childhood, our official song was “Just the Two of Us” — the Bill Withers version, not to be confused with the Will Smith cover. I liked that my dad and I had a theme song. My parents divorced when I was two and so my life until the age of 18 was spent alternating homes between Denver, Colorado and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and later Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, between summers and school years, weekends, and holidays. Any time our song came on the radio when we weren’t together I would think of him with nostalgia for our shared summers of grill smoke, bike riding, and diving for pennies in his apartment complex pool.