In 2016 I took my first photo of a Black father.

I was in NYC for a speaking event, and I took the afternoon subway to get there. I got on the train and stood over a Black father sitting next to his son, who was keeping himself busy with a deck of playing cards. His daughter, who had hearing implants, sat on his lap.

As the train moved and swayed down the track, I could see the gentle stop-and-go synchronize with their bodies and soon their eyes. In what felt like an instant, they fell asleep.

A part of me wanted to film this quiet moment in a sleepless city, but I was afraid that it would disturb the rest that they so desperately deserved.

I quickly captured a picture and felt grateful. I, too, have a father who showed up for my brothers and me. I, too, know what it is like to commit to those that I helped bring into this troubled world.

I do not know this man in the picture... I just want him to know that I see him, I am proud of him, and he needs to know that he is enough.


Birds Eye View

There is a magic moment when a child asks you to pick them up. It is a request of trust... unlike jaded adults, there is no fear of being dropped.

Pleading eyes that want to enjoy the view, see what you see, and enjoy the steady rhythm of the ride. Legs tired... you will carry them. Eyes closed... they rest easy in your arms.

God, thank you for the strength you instilled in these fathers' arms.


They say you can tell a lot by the way a man shakes your hand... I have met plenty of men and I have never judged them from the way our hands have clasped. 

It may be a good indicator of the character of that moment, but it has become clear to me over time, that there are plenty of men with strong grips and weak moral character.

But the grip of a loving Black father holding their child's hand never lies. Firm enough to instill reassurance but never tight enough to cause pain... always ready to remove them from harm. 

There is a movable subtext to every hand I ever had to shake in regular society. The purity in which these Black men grip their children's hands is apparent to anyone who has nobility in their own heart.


The Stroll

On this date in 1899, a Black man patented the Baby Buggy. His patent number is #405600.

That day William H. Richardson walked to a Baltimore patent office and received one that changed the way baby carriages are made. It was his idea to use a special joint to allow a bassinet to be turned to face the operator. He created the first reversible baby carriage. Several changes were made that allowed his carriage for the wheel to turn individually, which meant that the vehicle could turn 360 degrees in a smaller turning radius.

White-English architect William Kent invented the baby carriage in 1733 for the 3rd Duke of Devonshire's children. Many of Richardson's design modification are still in use today.

Source: Jackie’s Historical Facts: W.H Richardson improved the first baby carriage.


I was blessed to know both my grandfathers and one of my great-grandfathers. The older I get, the more I appreciate how their existence in my life tethers me to the chain of Black men who came before me.

The perspective of this generation removed has always provided me with a different set of eyes to look at our current society. I catch glimmers in my DNA when I walk the streets and feel the excitement they must have felt when they first walked the streets of Chicago after leaving the south.

I can only imagine the dope suits that they wore as they hit their stride while walking on Michigan Avenue. I don't need the suits, but God willing, allow me to hit my stride.


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