“So I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle—that if I could do anything in life, I would be a good father to my children; that if I could do anything, I would give them that rock—that foundation—on which to build their lives. That would be the greatest gift I could offer them.”
—President Barack Obama, Fathers Day 2008 speech at Apostolic Church of God
When writer Kenrya Rankin Naasel first read those words from then-presidential candidate Obama, she recognized her own story in his message. She knew first-hand the value of the gift he sought to give Sasha and Malia; she was raised by a single father who valued taking care of his children above all, who taught her to expect as much from the world as she expected from herself, and who never had to tell her she could do anything, because he showed her that she could do everything.
And she knew she wasn’t alone. After she married a man who took the work of being a daddy as seriously as her own, she was inspired to find more women whose lives had been impacted by strong Black fathers. This lyrical anthology is the result. On these pages, 20 women gather to swap the stereotype-busting stories of their fathers, grandfathers, husbands and best friends, inviting readers to join the conversation and honor the men in their lives who made their own resolutions to be the best dads they can be. You’ll meet a young father whose love for his daughters compelled him to care for a wayward “dancer” one crazy night, a man whose fierce determination is the glue that holds together his blended family, and another who used an indiscretion as a catalyst to rededicate himself to his children. Whether you are a fantastic dad, or just adore one, these powerful essays will forever change the way you view fatherhood in America.