Just in time for the holiday, FROM FATHERLESS TO FATHERHOOD is a documentary film that explores the causes, effects and possible solutions to father absence in African-American communities. Additionally, the film provides examples of men who are fostering quality relationships with their children, families and therefore, their communities. The film is rooted in the real lives of men, women and children and buttressed by the perspectives of Multi Grammy-Award winning Gospel Recording Artist, Kirk Franklin, Dr. Steve Perry (CNN’s Eduction Contributor), Reverend DeForest B. Soaries (CNN’s Black in America: Almighty Debt) and Jeff Robinson (MBK Entertainment).
FROM FATHERLESS TO FATHERHOOD
DIRECTOR: Kobie Brown
WRITERS: Kobie Brown, Njeri Brown
PRODUCER: Kobie Brown
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Shawn Peters
EDITORS: Darnell Taylor, Joe Saito
FEATURING: Kirk Franklin, Dr. Steve Perry, Rev. DeForest B. Soaries, DaShaun “Jiwe” Morris, Jeff Robinson, and others
Playing is one of the most important things you can do with your child. The time you spend playing together gives your child lots of different ways and times to learn. It also helps your child:
feel loved, happy and safe
develop social skills, language and communication
learn about caring for others and the environment
develop physical skills
connect and refine pathways in her brain.
Your child will love playing with you, but sometimes he might prefer to play by himself and won’t need so much hands-on play from you. He might just want you to give him ideas and let him know how his play and games are going. Also, the way your child plays will change as he gets older.
He’s not a schoolteacher, nor has he ever been. But some of life’s most important lessons are taught outside of the classroom, and for Doitall Du, one-third of the legendary Hip Hop trio Lords of The Underground, increasing literacy is one of the most important responsibilities a man carries. We caught up with him during Newark’s 4th Annual 24 Hours of Peace event where he explained why he does so.
DoItAll & 24 Hours of Peace organizer, Hakim Green, on site at reading pop up stand.
I am a product of Newark, NJ, and literacy has always been important to me. Growing up here I was introduced to the same books most kids read by authors like Dr. Suess. My grandmother also used the Bible, specifically the story of the Temptation of Christ –where after being baptized, Jesus fasted for 40 days and was tested – to teach me the importance of patience. That revealed the importance of reading as a teacher of lessons. The most impactful book I read as a kid, however, was 1984 by George Orwell. I was intrigued by its prophecy and vision of what “Big Brother” had planned. Today we’d refer to “Big Brother” as the Illuminati.
Newark had an abundance of Five Percenters, who taught us to see God within ourselves, when I was a teen. One of the principles they taught was the importance of critical thinking instead of accepting things on their face, and with that I always challenged myself to look beyond the surface of any matter. The best way to do that is through reading and asking critical questions.
While I was in college at Shaw University, my passion for music led to my career as one-third of the group, Lords of The Underground. Like most young artist my focus and immediate concern was, how much money am I going to get paid. Whether they’re in the record business or not there are a lot of people who never actually take the time to read in order to get a full understanding of their surroundings, including the contracts they sign. I discovered a book by Donald Passman called All You Need to Know About the Music Business very early in my career. Reading that book changed my entire outlook and understanding of what being an artist meant because it revealed how the business portion of entertainment worked. Knowing the inner workings of an industry allows you to determine your worth and growth potential beyond just rhyming. It allows you to truly capitalize on your talent. So whether it’s a recording contract, a home loan or a rental agreement, educating yourself is the key to succeeding in anything you get into.
Most people know The Lords, Redman, Naughty By Nature, The Fugees and Queen Latifah are just a few of the artists from Newark and surrounding areas. It’s always been important for each of us to use our success as an example to people from our home towns. In our case, we’ve done this through heavy community engagement ranging from visiting schools to present plays; sponsoring book and coat drives, and giving away turkeys during Thanksgiving. I take giving back very seriously. A few years ago we connected with Dr. Lauren Wells and Eion Haynes. I’d say we had a nice haircut, and Dr. Wells helped us shape it up by explaining that what we were doing fell into the category of literacy. The result has been 211 Community Impact. One of the activities we’ve been promoting through 211 Community Impact are a number of pop up reading stations throughout the city. We’ve used each event to bring leaders -from former Councilman, now Mayor, Ras Baraka and different Hip Hop legends like KRS One and Ralph McDaniels to connect with citizens through reading. Another initiative has been to provide adult residents with literature that makes them aware of some of the things happening that will impact their day-to-day lives. We welcome anyone who takes literacy and our community’s success seriously to participate.
I’m often asked what adults can do to encourage younger people to read. One of the ways I recommend is finding topics young people like and just diving in; reading to them and allowing kids and teens to engage you through reading and discussion. It’s extremely important because just like adults, kids who don’t read well tend to check out and become distracted from learning. Reading and learning give our kids, and therefore our entire community, confidence and the power to succeed rather than a sense of deep insecurity which makes us passive and leaves us feeling completely deflated and defeated. That confidence and knowledge allows young people to see beyond the blocks and city in which they live. It prepares them to succeed. That’s why literacy is important.
The Kobie Chronicles would like to wish all men and fathers who are raising and providing examples of quality manhood to children, young adults and one another, a very Happy Father’s Day.
We invited fathers to participate in our Fatherhood Photo Contest a few weeks ago. Today is the day we celebrate the winners of this contest and countless others. The winners of our #tofatherhood photo contest are….
Because here’s the point: to the extent that men become better fathers, children will do better in schools that aim to serve them; children will feel better about themselves and will be better prepared for productive lives; fewer children will become entangled in the criminal justice system, meaning that fewer of our people will go to jail; more children grow up to create healthier unions; we stabilize the economics and safety of all neighborhoods, and lastly, we increase the talent pool for American industry.
Responsible men and fathers play an invaluable role in advancing and shaping their children, communities and humanity.
– See more at: http://tofatherhood.com/#sthash.cO7cDrhb.dpu
Many thanks to all who participated, along with Walker Wear and I Am Dad for acknowledging the invaluable role men and responsible fathers play in advancing and shaping their children, communities and humanity.
My name is Matt, and I am the father of three boys and a girl.
Education is important to me for my children because life is about maneuvering and navigating through paths that exist, as well as creating those that don’t. Those who educate themselves and gain education from others have the ability to successfully navigate the paths that exist and create ones that don’t. The more you learn and master, the more possibilities you open up for yourself.
School limits us to a miniscule amount of what there is to know. In order to be educated one really must explore, read and watch various media forms, as well as get insight from elders in our communities who have wisdom from their own life experiences to share.
Following the riots I intend to mostly continue on the path I’ve been on. I’ve been an avid supporter of community organizations doing work in Baltimore. I’ve also been pulling fathers and families together in various ways for over a decade. I do plan to work with a few good brothers on a non-profit organization that serves children whose fathers are not in their lives, and fathers who are not in their children’s lives, although I planned to do that before the riots.
Doing these things will ensure that I continually do what I can to give people in Baltimore –both youth and adults– opportunities and resources needed to overcome obstacles that they face in life, and that they have positive male figures to help guide them along the way.
The Fatherhood Collective is my organization. Others doing great work in Baltimore include Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Save A Dope Boy, Shelly’s Helping Hands, Dream Girls Mentoring and the 300 Men Movement, just to name a few. As it relates to Baltimore and other parts of the world, fathers can improve the trajectory of their children and society by being living examples. Be that which you want others to emulate. Our children, and even other fathers, watch what we do.
We’d like to thank you for watching FROM FATHERLESS TO FATHERHOOD over the weekend. We’ve listed additional air dates and a streamable copy of the full film below: From Fatherless to Fatherhood….Turning the corner on father absence, one story at a time.
06/13/14 – 11:00am 06/14/14 – 1:00am 06/15/14 – 10:00am
– See more at: http://www.aspire.tv/fatherlesstofatherhood#sthash.UslnQyuK.dpuf
Some call him coach, but four young men call him dad. As seen at The Urban Daily, Brian Phillips explains why baseball, like family, is a team sport. When asked the values he finds most important to instill, Brian proudly proclaimed, “As a father the three most important things I try to instill in my children are discipline, respect and honesty.” To Brian they are “the core values of what a man should be.”
Actor, Andre Royo, wants his daughter to be a good person.
Stories of absent fathers have become commonplace in the narrative of the Black community. While there’s a tendency to avoid consistent conversations about the real reasons why so many men are absent from their children’s lives, even more damaging are the limited opportunities to provide examples of fathers who foster high quality relationships with their children and families in ways that positively impact our community.
Andre Royo & his daughter, Stella, enjoy a stroll.
We caught up with Actor, Andre Royo -best known for his portrayal of the character, “Bubbles”on The Wire– and his teenage daughter during a sunny day in Los Angeles, California. His daughter describes him as “a role model” who is “a friend and your family”. Andre compares being a good father to listening, as in acting. All-and-all, Royo explains, “at the end of the day in my heart, I want my daughter to be a good person!”