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I Give Thanks For My Father

By Ayize Ma’at

I want to take a moment to shout out my Father, my Dad, my Pops, my Daddy for being the man that he is and setting an amazing example of what it means to be a man, husband, and father.  I give thanks for his continued presence in my life and realize that his contribution to who I am and what I will become is priceless and will have a positive generational impact on my great great great grand children.    It’s because of how he stands tall, moves in the world,  and has made a commitment to be consistent in my life…the life of my mom…and the life of my brothers that I can confidently and boldly declare black love is real, black fatherhood is real, and black family is real.

Just recently I spoke at a DBH (Department of Behavioral Health) conference where the focus was on boys and young men of color.  During my speech I talked about a few life lessons I gained from playing my father in chess when I was 10 years old.   There were many lessons I learned from getting suckered into a “fools mate”……however, the thing that I appreciated the most was that my father took the time to teach me, talk to me, and just sit and be with me as we went from one move to the next.

Yesterday my daughter captured this photo, where my father and I found ourselves sitting in front of the board pushing pieces, strategizing, sacrificing, losing pieces,……..and ultimately spending time.  He pursued me to play me…..which my soul appreciated more than either he or I consciously know.  What I do know is that I’m very fortunate to have a dedicated, consistent, and caring father in my life….that I give thanks for every single day.  I love you Daddy.