Happy Father’s Day to all the folks out there who support and love their families on a daily basis. There are so many Black men who go unrecognized for the minor and major ways they contribute to the wellbeing and growth of their families and communities; it is an honor to be able to acknowledge and recognize them this year.
In the past I have written about my father, Theodore Greer and all of my amazing “uncles” in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. These men have contributed to my intellectual growth as well as my understanding of what friendship and perseverance truly mean. When I was a little girl and growing up, I was always told that if I were ever lost or needed anything anywhere in the world, I should find a Que. I have found that advice to be a foundation as I move through this world. The “Omega uncles” and my extensive network of “Que cousins” have brought me so many sources of joy through the years.
I am blessed this year to have a healthy family and to be able to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad and also my brother-in-law, Kenneth Polite. My sister is a medical doctor and during the pandemic spent countless hours at the hospital dealing with the surge of COVID-19 in their city. My brother-in-law literally held down the fort while the world seemed to be spinning out of control during those first intense months.
As I look at my nieces, I see the product of love and hard work on behalf of my sister and brother-in-law. It feels awkward to type “in-law” since Kenneth is an integral part of my life as an older sibling. Since we are all now vaccinated and will be together on this Father’s Day, I hope we can all acknowledge the ways he has served as a foundational force for so many years, but especially this past year.
I know there are so many fathers out there who, especially this past year during COVID, have done so much to make their families and communities better. I know there are countless fathers who do so much to make their communities safer places to live and work. Many of these men do this work quietly and without much fanfare.
It is my sincerest hope that this Father’s Day is spent as a time to reflect on all of the men in our lives who have been instrumental to our development. Whether they are our actual fathers or men who have been pivotal to us in some way, we can think about the various lessons we’ve been able to learn from them. So, Happy Father’s Day out there to all the Black men who wear this crown.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and also the What’s in It for Us podcast.