My biggest hope is that we continue to change lives and make things better for fathers and families everywhere.
41 years old
I founded and maintain the Facebook group Black Fathers, along with the nonprofit organization Focused On Fatherhood. Additionally, I am a preschool teacher and mentor.
What inspired you to do what you do?
After my first wife and I divorced, I began to look toward other fathers to help form a bond and a collective among men in my same situation. I began to invite fathers and their children out to social gatherings, and fathers by themselves to meet ups to discuss fatherhood. When I got on Facebook I had the opportunity to take what I was doing in the physical world and work to replicate it in the virtual realm of social networking. I wanted fathers to come together across the globe in order to form the same kinds of bonds, and to form a collective of fathers, as well as to create a space where we could smash stereotypes and misconceptions by telling the truth about who we are as men and fathers.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?
Initially, the biggest challenge was participation. It was slow in the onset. Then, the biggest problem became adequately managing the group and keeping everything on the up and up. I don’t necessarily count this as a problem, but there certainly are people out there who don’t get why the group is exclusively for black men.
What are your biggest fears and/or hopes around the work you are doing?
My biggest fear is that I won’t accomplish all that I want to. My biggest hope is that we continue to change lives and make things better for fathers and families everywhere. I also hope that is accomplished by creating a successful machine outside of Facebook .
Are there any men (past or present) you particularly admire or who have influenced you?
Many men have influenced me. To name a few: Juan Nance, David Miller, Lamarr Shields, Olamina Stevenson and Derrick Jones.
What’s the last great book you read or great movie you watched?
Fences, for both.
What advice would you give to other men interested in doing what you do, or otherwise making a difference in their community?
Persevere. Through every negative thought, statement, action and individual, persevere and see the end game.
What have you learned about yourself as a result of this work?
I’ve learned that I am wrought with self doubt. I have also learned that I am far more powerful and able than I ever gave myself credit for being. Sometimes the negativity I have to persevere against comes from within. And when it comes, I succeed.
How can others learn more about you and get in touch?