Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Two Black Men I Knew Who Recently Died From COVID-19

by Kenny Anderson

It’s ironic that 2 Black males ‘Tony Tolbert and Frank Russell’ were outstanding basketball players at the University of Detroit Mercy both ‘allegedly’ dying from COVID-19, they died a month apart; what’s more ironic I knew both of them.
 
Fifty year-old Tolbert from Detroit who died last month averaged 20.4 points his first season at University of Detroit Mercy, then 23.6 his second season after transferring from the University of Michigan. Tolbert twice earned first-team all-MCC honors and led the Titans to the 1994 MCC tournament championship.



Pontiac’s own Frank Russell 72 died this month, Russell was a standout basketball player at the University of Detroit where he was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Frank went on to play basketball professionally in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls.


The COVID-19 Delta Variant and Black Folks

According to the CDC the COVID-19 Delta variant is highly contagious, more than 2 times as contagious as previous variants. The CDC estimates that Delta can be as infectious as chicken pox and is only slightly less contagious than measles which is considered one of the most transmissible viruses.


Some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people. Vaccinated people can still contract the Delta virus however the unvaccinated were 10 times as likely to die or be hospitalized with COVID-19 even with the delta variant's increased presence.

According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) Black folks are the least vaccinated demographic group, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which estimates that 25% of the Black population in the US is fully vaccinated.
 
Of the US population that is fully vaccinated, only 9% are Black and this contributes along with not wearing masks to Black folks internally spreading and dying disproportionately from COVID-19, a death rate of over 2.4 times higher than whites. Dr. Reed Tuckson co-founder of the Black Coalition Against COVID states:

“Much of the ongoing hesitancy with Black people is fueled by distrust in White America due to racism in health care, voter suppression, and disparities in the criminal justice system. There are also lingering myths such as the vaccine will interact with your DNA and impact fertility or that if people eat healthy they don't need a vaccine which national health leaders have dismissed all of these claims.”

Studies have found that many Black folks refuse to get vaccinated because of the nation's history of racism in medical research particularly the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study in Tuskegee, Alabama.

The study was conducted from 1932 through 1972 by the United States government on more than 600 Black men. More than 100 Black men died from syphilis or its complications by the end of the study.

In an effort to combat vaccine hesitancy, descendants of the men involved in Tuskegee recently spoke out in a short form documentary for the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative's COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative.

In the documentary the family members set the record straight on what happened. Omar Neal the former mayor of Tuskegee whose uncle Freddie Lee Tyson was part of the experiment says the Tuskegee study is very different from what's happening with Covid-19.

According to family members there have been widespread misunderstandings of the study, for example many Black folks believe that researchers injected Black men with syphilis but that's not true. Researchers told the Black men they had come to Tuskegee to cure “Bad Blood,” but never told them they had syphilis, and the government doctors never intended to cure the men.
 
Since September is ‘Black Reading Month’ I recommend that Black folks read “Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment” by James H. Jones.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Black Men No Progress Until We Reduce Respecting the Dumb-Shit!

 by KenRay SunYaRu

Black men, being dumb means being stupid, unintelligent, and foolish; one major aspect of our enslavement by white supremacy was imposing ‘dumbness’ on our Ancestors; the forcible process of making us dumb ‘unintelligent’ exacted by racist laws prohibiting us from reading and writing so they could more effectively oppress, exploit, and manipulate us.

Black men our being ‘dumb’ helps maintain our continued oppression, as Neely Fuller stated: “If you don't understand white supremacy/racism everything that you do understand will only confuse you.” On the results of being dumb Malcolm X said: "You’ve been had, you’ve been took, you’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, and run amok.”

Indeed We Should Never Want To Be Dumb!

What's the Dumb-Shit?
Black men, dumb-shit is being arrogant 'self-righteous' in ignorance; means believing that opinions are the same as facts; means just talking, hoping, wishing, and dreaming is the same as doing 'efforts'; means making 'excuses' and not 'executing'; means suspending critical thinking and swallowing-up conspiracy theories; means being caught-up in your feelings 'emotions over reasoning'; means accepting 'gossipp' as the 'gospel'; means promoting and perpetuating self-defeating and self-destructive beliefs, values, and behaviors; means glorifying Black-on-Black disrespect and violence; means self-neglect and abuse; means accepting obesity as just beautiful only and not unhealthy; means taking your life and health for granted.
Dumb-shit means ignoring historical and personal life-lessons; means that you're 'entitled' and folks must always 'tolerate' your bullshit 'love you unconditionally'; means always blaming others for your problems never taking a look at yourself; means living a lie 'self-deception'; means having no plans just living for the moment 'sensationally and spontaneously'; means believing COVID-19 aint real yet it's killing us super-disproportionately; means constantly paying for what we want and continually begging for what we need; means always praying for 'God's help' while never 'helping ourselves'; means just voting, waiting, and depending on the American government to save us politically and economically 'providing us security' instead of our own struggle for self-determination.
Black men, when we going to get on 'respecting' some smart-shit that advances us?

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Black-on-Black Male Lyrical Violence the Only Acceptable Rap Music!

by KenRay SunyaRu

Black folks, got some questions about the blatant double-standards in Rap music:

*Why is it that Black male rappers rap 24/7 about disregarding and murdering each other ‘niggas’ and make millions and billions of dollars including getting various music awards.

*Why is that if Black male rappers rap saying “bitch” they have “toxic masculinity”? In contrast, Black female rappers can rap 24/7 saying “niggas aint shit” but it aint viewed as “toxic femininity”.


*Why is it if Black male rappers rap saying “fag” they are denounced as homophobic, if they rap mentioning killing Asians, Arabs, East Indians, Whites, etc. its denounced as hate speech; if they rap saying kill racist police its viewed as a crime.

*Why is it that the only acceptable rap music in America is Black male rappers rapping about degrading and killing each other 'disrespectful and verbal fratricide'?

Monday, August 9, 2021

Ex-Black Basketball Players and Post-Traumatic Basketball Stress Disorder (PTBSD)

 by Kenray Sunyaru

This post is my personal response 'bigger view' to the recent unfortunate and way-way too early death of ‘Tony Tolbert’ a Detroit high-school basketball legend.
I knew Tony through a family I’m close with; he has children by one of their nieces. I would often see Tony at family events and holiday get togethers. I overheard talk that Tony was a really good basketball player back in the day, I learned about just how good he was after his death.
Looking back maybe I should have initiated a basketball conversation when I was around him; I myself played high-school basketball in Detroit, played in college, and coached too. There’s a 14-year age difference between us; I’m a Detroit high-school product of the middle 70’s and he the 1990’s.
By the time I met Tony I was mentally distant from basketball, I had experienced and seen the ‘downside’ of basketball for decades - the ‘addictive side’ of basketball; the psycho-emotional devastating side of basketball and its negative affects on way too many Black males when the ‘game ends’, when their NBA hoop dreams are over!
Indeed, for the overwhelming majority of Black males their hoop dream is over in high-school, others are over in college, only a very few make it to the NBA and their careers are short; the average NBA career is over in 4.5 years. Black males’ basketball hoop dreams for the most part are over from the beginning; there are 546,400 male high school basketball players of all races in the U.S. only 18,700 will play in college, and only .03% have a chance of a pro career: only 60 will be drafted to play in the NBA after college.
According to a 2020 NCAA study it found that 1.2% of players made the 60 NBA draft spots. The research found that 4,181 of the 18,816 players from the 2018-19 season were eligible for the 2019 NBA draft; 52 of the 60 slots went to NCAA players, with seven international talents and one prep school player taking the other remaining spots.
For Black males the odds of making it to the NBA is going to continually be ‘extremely thin’ due to the rise of international players grabbing more draft slots.
Post Traumatic Basketball Stress Disorder (PTBSD)
After Tony Tolbert’s death, I heard many of his friends, ex-team mates from high-school/college, and ex-NBA players say that Tony was one of the greatest high-school basketball players from Detroit who did not make it to the pros ‘NBA’. Tony like way too many of us Black males were ‘hooked on basketball’ at an early age ‘one-dimensional programing’ of making it to the pros.
By the time Black males finish their high-school and college basketball careers ‘don’t make it to the NBA’ way too many of us suffer both from stunted growth of ‘basketball over-identification’ and psycho-emotionally from what I see as ‘Post Traumatic Basketball Stress Disorder’ (PTBSD) a psychiatric disorder that can occur in Black males who have experienced the ongoing emotional devastation of not making it to the pros or who had short NBA careers; some of the symptoms of PTBSD are:
*Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of not making it to the NBA
*Upsetting thoughts ‘being irritated’ angry of not making it to the NBA
*Constantly having ‘flashbacks’ living in the past of your glory days of being a basketball star and how you should have made it to the NBA
*Inability to relate to family, relative, friends, and co-workers ‘hard to get along with’; difficulty in maintaining employment; blaming oneself and others for not making it to the NBA
*Avoiding people, places, and things that remind you about how good you were in basketball; this avoidance is a defense mechanism that lessens you from remembering and thinking about your failure to make it to the NBA
Another key symptom of PTBSD is major conduct disorder ‘crime and substance abuse’. Dr. Harry Edwards has studied the impact of failure in sports and how it has affected the mental health of Black men; Edwards stated there are a number of syndromes he’s identified:
“Our prisons, for example are loaded with Black males with tremendous athletic potential. When they found out they could not make it, their energies were directed toward anti-social behaviors – crime and drugs. We have all kinds of cases of depression and nervous breakdowns. We also believe there is some relationship between failure in sports and the increasing suicide rate among Black men. Many Black males whose college basketball eligibility is over, still live in a basketball fantasy world spending all of their time playing in gyms and on playgrounds; some of these men become ‘basketball bums’.”
Self-Isolation and withdrawing is another negative effect of PTBSD, it is my perspective that too many Black men ex-basketball players around age 40 withdraw and start excessively watching basketball and other sports on television because it reminds them of 'being back in the day' when they had athletic prowess ‘I was the shit’.
Most of the time when Black men are watching all this sports on television they are eating unhealthy junk-food and fast-food; many smoke cigarettes and drink liquor too. Sitting for long periods of time lacking physical activity, along with poor diets results in many Black men becoming ‘obese’ physically sick with hypertension, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.
Sitting down for long periods stops the body from using its muscles and adequately processing sugars and fats. According to a recent studies people who spend more than four hours in front of the television each day have a far higher risk of dying early than those who limit their viewing.
Watching sports on television for prolonged periods is definitely bad for Black men’s hearts according to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. People who watch more than four hours per day have a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes. They also have an 80 percent increased risk from cardiovascular disease.
Moreover many Black men sit and watch television to distract themselves to avoid dealing with psychological male midlife crisis issues; many Black men watch sports on television to escape being depressed ‘regrets, failures’ and recreating themselves.
Post-Traumatic Basketball Stress Disorder (PTBSD) of ex-Black male basketball players is unknown to them however it’s widespread in our communities; ex-Black male basketball players are suffering in silence and it’s emotionally devastating and is disruptive to relationships.
As a community we must address PTBSD by creating counseling and self-help programs to address Black males PTBSD so they can become more aware, active, healthy, and functional.
In closing, let it be known to all who may read this post, in no way I’m indicating or implying that Tony Tolbert ‘specifically’ suffered from Post-Traumatic Basketball Stress Disorder (PTBSD) however in ‘general’ many ex-Black male basketball players do. I wrote this post as an educational piece for the Black community to consider and take action on.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Black Male's Perspective on the Sickness of 'I' Over 'WE'

 by KenRay SunYaru

Black folks, our current dominant relations of 'I' rampant individualism ‘you do you and I’ll do me’ self-absorption is not advantageous for us as an oppressed people to solve common problems and progress.

On a daily basis I see self-absorption 'individualistic preoccupation and entitlement gone wild' in young Black adults. I see young adult Black males walking around with ear buds in their ears ‘zoned out’ listening to rap music not paying attention while they’re walking constantly almost getting hit by vehicles and often times being hit; they have the arrogant disposition of 'I dare somebody to hit me'.

Moreover I see young adult Blacks males self-absorbed driving at high rates of speed listening to loud rap music ‘texting too’ in a preoccupied zone state zipping down residential streets totally ignoring stop signs with no regard for human life.

Also I see young adult Black women walking around zoned-out on their cell phones interacting ‘constantly talking and texting’ with social media along with constantly taking ‘selfies’ of themselves 'I look so good' totally oblivious to what’s going on around them; many of these young ladies recklessly speed drive too while interacting with social media.


Young adult Black males and females rampant self-absorbed individualism is a reflection of normalized ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’ (NPD) a mental sickness of arrogance and selfishness ‘Me, Myself, and I’ in which people have an inflated sense of their own self-importance; a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder have the following signs and symptoms which can vary:

*Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance; they are superior and can only associate with equally special people

*Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration

*Expect to be recognized as the best even without achievements that warrant it

*Exaggerate achievements and talents

*Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

*Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior

*Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations

*Take advantage 'manipulate and exploit' others to get what they want

*Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

*Be envious of others and believe others envy them

*Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful, and pretentious

*Insist on having top shelf - the best clothes, jewelry, cars, etc.


People with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

*Become impatient or angry when they don't receive special treatment

*Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted

*React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior

*Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior

*Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change

*Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection

*Have internal feelings of low self-esteem, insecurity, shame, vulnerability, and humiliation


Indeed rampant Black individualism 'individualistic preoccupation and entitlement gone wild' causes defeating and destructive competition over cooperation; it fosters major selfishness that facilitates divisiveness, distrust, disorganization, overwhelmed 'me against the world', crime, alienation, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse; it undermines and breaks down family and community relationships; it facilities misplaced rivalry and violence.

Black folks We must understand clearly that we don’t suffer from racism as individuals! Our historical progress against white supremacy was due to ‘WE’ cooperation. Indeed we must realize that the advancement of an oppressed people like us is based on the progress of the majority of us and not a minority of rich individuals amongst us.

We must realize the majority of us have become sick with rampant individualism; the current racist 'white backlash' including voter suppression has been met with less resistance due to our individualism; yes rampant individualism keeps us 'divided and conquered'.

We must 'rebuild' by healing and breaking down this rampant individualism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder; instilling within ourselves a sense of humility and a greater sense of togetherness ‘Unity’. We must consistently promote cooperation around us and constantly find commonality in struggling against racial oppression for self-determination.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Black Folks: I Know We Can’t be Shocked at Current Black-on-Black Male Violence and Homicides When it's Been Going on For Decades!

by Kenny Anderson

This Blog post addresses the current ‘recent’ rash of Black violence primarily Black-on-Black male homicides across this country. Let me start off by saying Black-on-Black male homicides is nothing new in most of my lifetime. For me coming of age in the 1970’s until now a period of 6 decades Black-on-Black male homicides have consistently been very high!

As a retired social worker (32 plus years) the overwhelming majority of my work was providing in-school behavioral prevention services to at-risk Black boys (K-12) and pre-release prison re-entry supportive education to adult Black males. I was one of the original Black male social workers providing fatherhood and male responsibility services in the late 1980's and early 1990's in Detroit.
I’ve examined and addressed Black-on-Black male violence and homicides with Black males ages 5 to 95. My father still living at 99 years of age told me that when he was growing-up in rural Mississippi Black men stabbed each other to death every weekend in “Juke Joints”.
Through my extensive engagement with Black males, the feedback from them, and my experience, observation, and thinking as a Black man I’ve identified from my perspective 2 major factors ‘forces’ driving Black-on-Black male violence and homicides.
First driving factor is ‘verbal induced psychic-devaluation’, as soon as Black boys leave the womb to the tomb they are saturated verbally hearing the words ‘a Nigga Aint Shit’!!! This means as a Black male you’re worthless; nobody cares if you live or die, you’re better off dead than alive so die Nigga die whether by suicide or homicide.
I’ve heard countless times Black grandmothers, mothers, aunties, female friends, and Black women in general constantly echo around little Black boys that Niggas Aint Shit not realizing the extreme verbal-psycho damage being done! Along with most rap music a Nigga Aint Shit is a 24/7 verbal assault theme and hook.
This daily verbal assault of a Nigga Aint Shit floods the brains of Black boys and young adult Black males with negative thinking of worthlessness ‘cognitive toxicity’ cascade that’s overwhelming which becomes too often a self-fulfilling prophecy of Black-on-Black male violence and homicides.
Indeed negative verbal-cognitive programming, socioeconomic deprivation, and chronic stress has a compounded ‘synergistic’ affect that drives Black-on-Black male violence and homicides that’s become normalcy in our communities desensitizing too many Black males.
Regarding negative verbal-cognitive self-worthlessness programming Stanley 'Tookie' Williams Crip gang co-founder referred to it as ‘dyseducation’ (disease education) a term he coined describing the abnormal, impaired, and diseased knowledge he received from life and from the public school system growing up in LA; Tookie stated:
“The more I was indoctrinated by lies about my Blackness, the more I grew to detest myself.” Tookie also reflected: “Throughout most of my life, I was psychologically scarred; I carried and inner loathing of self and my own culture. Since I wasn’t psychotic – Bobby Wright’s book “Psychopathic Racial Personality” confirms my analysis, self-hatred motivated me to seek a kind of accomplishment by hurting other Blacks.”
Second, there is the driving factor of socioeconomic deprivation chronic stress that causes high levels of Black male frustration and anger ‘misplaced, misdirected’. When Black male frustration anger caused by racist institutional neglect is directed toward the wrong person or source ‘other Black men; this misdirected anger - the actual cause goes unaddressed which causes anger to fester and explode violently every day.
What’s a trip, is, in a sick perverted way many violent eruptions by Black males allows them to ‘release’ pent up frustration and anger – provides them with ‘relief’ (catharsis). Yes, misdirected Black male anger will never solve the problem of racist institutional neglect, it’ll constantly keep things deadly worse’.
Until the Black community seriously with sincerity intervenes consistently making Black-on-Black male violence and homicides one of our own #1 public heath priorities ‘which we’ve never done’ that addresses verbal-cognitive self-worthlessness programming, racist socioeconomic deprivation, chronic stress, and misdirected anger the cycle of Black-on-Black male violence and homicides will continue ‘tick-tock and it won’t stop’!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day: One Black Man's Perspective

 by KenRay SunYaru

This blog article is dedicated to all those Black fathers who died unappreciated. My Father’s responsibilities toward his family, like many Black fathers, was minimally acknowledged; often never getting the recognition they deserve; as Baba Koleoso Karade stated:

“We talk, all the time, about the fathers who left, the men who would not assume their responsibility; but nothing is said of the fathers who stayed. Nothing is said of the father who worked, two or three jobs, to make ends meet so his family could survive. Nothing is said of the father who gets up each morning and goes to a job on which he is still reduced to a ‘boy’, yet, he does it in silence and dignity because he accepted his responsibility of FATHERHOOD.”

When I was a young man growing up in the 1960's and 1970's, I was aware of Father's Day, but it was not significant like Mother's Day. My Mother always got cards and gifts, she was recognized and honored, a showing of love she earnestly deserved. 

Reflecting back, most of the time my father did not receive cards, or gifts. Often times he was probably not even told ‘Happy Father's Day.’ If it was mentioned, it was said quickly, in the sense of “oh by the way, Happy Father's Day.”

Like many Black fathers, he was overshadowed by mama. Though he was overlooked, he was necessary for family survival; to pay for food, clothing, transportation, health care, and shelter. His primary family function was going to work; he was just a provider, not a full and wonderful person like mama.

His identity was reduced to a job 'meal-ticket', his overall Black manhood was not important; his deep thoughts and feelings were not important, but his paycheck was very important! So many Black fathers were reduced one dimensionally to a ‘dollar’ (money) and a ‘dick’ (sex).

Today, with women having their own money and sex toys, who needs Black daddies after they make babies; he's expendable and useless resulting in the fact that only 30% of Black children have fathers in the home.

From my perspective most of the alcoholism, substance abuse, and domestic violence Black fathers engage in can be attributed not only to racial oppression, but also to a sense of being unappreciated; the rage of feeling invisible and impotent (powerless, useless).

Most of the time when Black fathers abandon their families Black women want to assume they left for another woman; in many instances Black fathers leave because they feel devalued. Maturing over the years and becoming conscious -knowing our history - I understood that Black men’s internal worth and feelings were not appreciated, valued. As Black psychologist Naim Akbar stated:

"The Black man was evaluated by his ability to endure strenuous work and to produce children. He was viewed by the slave master as a stud and a work horse."

When I was growing up, my father like many working class Black fathers worked afternoon in the auto plant; he was not home during prime time; he was not home during after school hours to assist me with my homework. He was not home to participate in after school activities; he was not home to attend graduation ceremonies and school sporting events. Work took my father away from me during the prime time of my life and his.

Being young and unconscious, I translated my father's forced absence due to work to mean he didn't care about me; I didn't realize his own frustration and pain from the stress of racism and work; as Comrade George Jackson stated:

"No man, or group of men have been more denuded of their self-respect; none in history have been more terrorized, suppressed, repressed, and denied male expression than the U.S. Black men.”

Reflecting back objectively 'maturely' without animosity and resentment (child within issues), I understand my father’s non-involvement with me as a child was not only due to his working, it also was due to his Southern 'detached' sense of fathering and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from Mississippi violence and World War II multiple battlefield bullet wounds. 

My father’s concept of parenting did not entail father/son bonding. His relationship with me was not based on love and involvement, but forced obligation to provide; not love, but often times resentment; the financial pressure on him of viewing me as just ‘another mouth to feed.’

His attitude was that I should be grateful he was in the house because he provided food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. This attitude was similar to the slave master on the plantation that the slave should be grateful because the master provided for them.

Most Black fathers of my father’s generation from the South had this neo-slave mentality. They lacked courage to challenge white male supremacy on any level that slighted and denied them; they took their frustrations and anger out at times beating their wives, but also by beating their sons with electrical extension chords.

Often times the sons were beaten much worse because fathers felt that their sons were little men who could handle more physical pain! Many Black fathers growing up in the South were beaten by bullwhips by their fathers. This whipping practice was a transmission from slavery, a reincarnation of the master beating our enslaved forefathers.

So many Black fathers live their lives out in transference abuse - misplaced aggression; female caretakers also physically and sexually abuse Black boys; 
This physical abuse of Black boys and its psychological impact was graphically exposed in the movie ‘Antoine Fisher.’ Often times when abused Black boys grow up, they continue this cycle of misplaced aggression: Black-on-Black male violence and domestic violence. 

Being a father now I can relate to Black fathers’ anger towards the home front. Growing up I saw why they were angry, I saw many Black fathers work 2 full-time jobs or a full-time job and a part-time job. Working so much they neglected their mental and physical health.

They purchased nice homes, furniture, cars, diamonds, and furs. I witnessed my father, uncles, male relatives, and other Black fathers literally work themselves into sickness and death; martyrs for their families attempting to purchase the elusive ‘American Dream’.

Yet many of their wives were still unhappy because of unrealistic expectations; expecting their Black husbands to provide for them on the same level that power possessing and privileged white males provide for their wives and families.

The lesson I learned from these Black fathers is that you cannot make a wife, woman happy; happiness is not in external things; it is an internal decision; a woman must choose to be happy, or unhappy. So many Black fathers died not understanding that happiness is a woman's choice; too many Black fathers died being unhappy trying to please their wives’ unhappiness.

So many Black fathers have died from strokes and heart attacks trying to live up to their wives’ unrealistic expectations. Many Black fathers drank themselves to death; died from cirrhosis of the liver.

Indeed, many Black fathers were functional alcoholics; they drank alcohol every day and went to work daily. Working every day, they were in denial about their alcoholism. These fathers’ drinking would be influential on their sons who became substance abusers.

These Black fathers like too many Black fathers today didn't realize fatherhood is just one aspect of manhood. Many Black fathers died not developing their own potentials and manhood. Living under white male supremacy in America and often times in a family atmospheres of unappreciation too many Black fathers have died dejected, disillusioned, and depressed.

Yes, it is manhood that determines the quality of fatherhood; a Black man has to adequately love himself before he can properly love a Black woman and his children. One has to develop a strong character to become a strong Black father, as Professor Cornell West states:

“To be a strong Black father, first you have to negotiate all of the absurd attacks and assaults on your humanity, and on your capacity and status as a human being."

West continues:

"By being strong, I mean maturity; a solid understanding of who one is as a person; and a sense of courage."

For me Father's Day is every day, always mindful and appreciative of the best in Black fatherhood. I don't need cards and gifts. My manhood is my card and my gift to myself is being strong and loving!