The Single Father's Blog

Real Talk…From A Real Dad…On Real Life

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

EVENT RECAP *13TH ANNUAL NATIONAL FATHERHOOD AND FAMILIES CONFERENCE

Last week I had the pleasure of attendeding the 13th Annual National Fatherood and Families Conference in Los Angeles, Ca.where I presented a wokshop for a group of people entitled “The Gift And The Curse:Understanding The Relationship Between Fatherhood and Hip Hop”  The event was presented by the Fathers and Families Coalition of America and featured events and  workshops geared toward strengthening families and honoring those in the community who have helped to create a better understanding of what needs to be done to give back and encourage our young people to live a life of positivity.

I was the host for the Red Tie/Red Dress gala that honored Father Gregory Boyle, Mr. Richard Claytor, and Cedric “The Entertainer” .  The event featured entertainment from spoken word artists Amber Love and Tye Martin and also the vocal stylings of Ms. Shanie Evans.  DJ Claudia “Brazilia” Oliveira provided the music as guests danced the night away after the awards ceremony.

On Friday morning I presented my workshop.  In the grand ballroom of the Los Angeles Westin I spoke to the crowd about the relationship between Hip Hop and Fatherhood.  This 90 minute workshop was attended by people of all ages from many different backgrounds.  I did my best to educate the attendees about how Hip Hop music and culture can be used to educate fathers and also to help find answers to some of the problems that our communities are facing when it comes to absent fathers.

Overall it was a really good event. I got to meet a lot of people who are making a difference in the world.  Each one of us has the same desire to teach people about the importance of fatherhood.  We all recognized that many of the problems in society are rooted in the breakdown of the family structure and we all did our best to come up with ways to resolve those issues.

You can click the pictures below if you would like to see a gallery of photos from the event.

CELEBRITY STYLIST JUNE AMBROSE GIVES TIPS ON WHAT NOT TO WEAR

Celebrity stylist June Ambrose spoke with VIBE magazine recently and gave some tips on how a man can dress for success this Spring.
June has a new reality TV show that will begin airing on VH1 on March 19th.  “Styled  By June” will give us an all access look at what the fashionista does and how she styles some of our favorite celebrities.
On the hottest spring trend:

 “I think you’ll see a lot more bold colored shirts, because I think that they reinvent your existing suits, those classic suits you already have. Adding the Ginghams and checks and all of those fun colorful shirts, is going to reinvent your wardrobe for the spring.”

On where to get a nice, inexpensive watch:
“Timex always does a really classic watch. I’m tryna think price wise. Kenneth Cole does a decent watch. But with Timex, you can always get a classic watch from Timex. It’s like the rolexes of watches. Bulky for day, evening is a little bit more subtle and laid-back leather strap. It depends on what kind of suit he would be wearing throughout the week. But also on the casual, you may be more of a sporty, rubber watch guy. Again it’s a really personal choice, but more of a slicker watch for the evening and leave the bulky chunky stuff for day or more sporty, on the move.”
On how to wear cuff links:

“Well, cufflinks are used on a French cut shirt more for a formal look. One thing about cufflinks and ties, they’re like little jewelry for men. So they should really fit your personality. You see a lot of character in a man’s choice of cufflinks. Whether he’s into animals, into diamonds. I like the more blingy cufflinks. They’re great for evening. And the more textured like stone and chrome and gold hardware, whether it’s an elephant or a turtle or any kinds of those characters that you love. Vintage cufflinks are definitely good during the day with a Gingham shirt or pinstripe.”

On how to wear pocket squares:
“I believe a pocket square should not match the tie. It’s always great to kind of take the pocket square and play around with the pattern of the shirt. It should be in contrast of the shirt. But the tones are very similar. It’s really where you kind of have the most fun. The punctuation to your suit. It also again should say a lot about your personality and character. And in terms of stripes and Ginghams or your paisleys and polka dots, there are no rules when it comes to a pocket square other than the tone should really contrast or complement. Pocket squares are timeless. They don’t ever go out of style. You don’t get trends with squares. But you will see a lot more pastels being introduced because there are lot more pastel suits for the spring.”
On how to wear skinny ties:
“If you have broad shoulders, there’s a certain width with skinnies. You kind of have to balance how wide you go based on the width of your chest. So if a guy is extremely brawny up top, you want to avoid the extremely skinny retro ties. It ends up looking like a vaginal landing strip. You should balance your width based on your chest size, but you know the retro tie is not for everyone. And it’s great with a notch lapel versus a peak lapel.”
On what dress shoes NOT to wear:
“It’s really hard for men to pull off red and yellow [dress shoes]. I would avoid those for a dress shoe. White is so difficult.”

10-YEAR-OLD GIRL DIES AFTER AN AFTER SCHOOL FIGHT

The death of a 10-year-old girl has been ruled a homicide after authorities say she got into a fight with a classmate last week after school.

The fifth grade student, Joanna Ramos got into an altercation and received blunt force trauma to her head according to the Long Beach, Ca. police department. The fight between Ramos and an 11-year-old female classmate lasted about one minute as several other students looked on.

Police say that the two children met in an alley after school and exchanged punches. Even though there were no weapons involved in the altercation Ramos was critically injured and died later on in the evening after being taken to an emergency room.

Authorities are waiting for the autopsy to be complete before deciding if they are going to file charges in the case.

My heart goes out to the family of this little girl.  No parent expects to send their child to school and have them return in a body bag.  It’s just not fair!

I am curious as to where were the teachers when this fight was taking place.  I know school yard fights take place all the time.  But the way things are these days, you can’t take your eyes off of the kids for even a minute because you never know what could possibly happen.   This is just a sad situation from all aspects.

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VIDEO * A FORMER GANG MEMBER GETS HIS PH.D AND IS NOW MENTORING AT RISK YOUTH

Anything is possible when you put your mind to it, and this video proves it. Victor Rios is a former gang member who has turned his life completely around and is giving back to his community. After dropping out of school twice he went on to get his doctorate degree and is now a college professor. He is also mentoring young people and helping them stay on the right track.

It’s good to see people who give back to the community once they achieve success. Watch this video for a real feel good story.

VIDEO * CHINESE MAN FORCES 4-YEAR-OLD SON TO RUN NEARLY NAKED IN THE SNOW


Vodpod videos no longer available.
Take a look at this video.   A Chinese man recently recorded his 4-year-old son running almost naked in the cold New York snow.  The video shows the boy whose name is Duoduo running down the street while crying for his father and pleading to be picked up.  According to the father, he was allowing the boy to run in the snow as an exercise and to build strength.

The father refers to himself as “The Eagle Dad”  because of his tough as nails parenting philosophies.  According to CNN, the man said that the snow run “is part of a training regimen of intensive physical and mental activities designed to strengthen his son, who was born premature and has suffered from health problems.”

The father has received criticism from his fellow citizens hin China who think that the treatment of the child is unfair.  But, he does not care about any type of criticism and plans on releasing a book that will detail his parenting style.

 

After watching the video, do you agree with this man’s approach to parenting? 

HALLE BERRY TRIED TO KEEP BABY NAHLA AWAY FROM HER DAD…PLANNING TO MOVE TO EUROPE

The custody war between Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry is starting to get really ugly.

Halle has asked a judge for permission to move to France with their daughter Nahla. Gabriel is objecting to the request

According to TMZ, Halle has filed papers requesting to move and there is currently a hearing pending on the matter.

Of course this is a trick that many custodial parents use in the courts when they want to remove the non custodial parent from the child’s life. Halle plans on moving thousands of miles away with her boyfriend and baby Nahla while Gabriel is left living in the states without his child.

I can’t stress how important it is to have a custody order in place when you are dealing with a hostile relationship.  Over the last few weeks it appears that Halle has done several things through the legal system in attempt to get Gabriel away from his child.

Speaking from experience I know how hard it can be when a mother decides to move away and take your child away from you. Halle has been trying to paint Gabriel as an unfit father since their legal issues began, but it seems to me that she is the one who is troubled.  I have a problem with any custodial parent who tries to take their child from the non custodial parent.  This type of thing happens all of the time in the judicial system. And quite frankly, it’s just not right!

Have you ever been part of a custody battle where the custodial parent tried to move away with your child? If so, how did it turn out and what lessons did you learn?

SHOCKING VIDEO * WHAT DO BYU STUDENTS KNOW ABOUT BLACK HISTORY?


After I watched this video I was shocked…Not necessarily at the things that were said…But shocked at how brave these kids were for going on camera and saying some of the most misinformed things that I have ever heard.

A student at Brigham Young University recently decided to dress up in black face (*side eye*) and go around asking students on campus what they knew about black history. Now I don’t expect every person of every race to know everything about black history month. But come on when you have people naming Samuel L. Jackson and 50 Cent as historical black figures we have a problem. As a parent I think it’s obvious that everyone should be taught about Black History. But unfortunately, many schools have gotten away from even acknowledging that the month even exists.

This is coincidental to me because during Black History Month I have made a point to make sure that my 7 year old learns as many things as she can about our history and culture that she can. I was actually talking to her tonight, and when I asked her what she was doing she said she was “studying Harriet Tubman and William Shakespear”. She wasn’t doing it for a school assignment, she was doing it because those are two people in history that she wanted to know more about. Since teaching my child about OUR history isn’t a priority in the schools, I think I have to make it a priority at home.

It goes without saying that in today’s world there are stereotypes that are given to people of all races, but some of the things that these people said in this video really made me want to hop through the computer and smack some sense into them.

It’s a shame that such stereotypes still exist…I mean we do have an African American President….RIGHT?

WHAT DO YOU THINK…

Does this video accurately reflect how America feels about Black History Month?

VIDEO * RAPPING 2 YEAR OLD TODDLER IS BACK WITH MORE HOT LYRICS


Do you remember the video from a few months ago of this adorable 2-year-old rapping to a beat on camera.  Well internet sensation Khaliyl is back and he’s got more lyrics for us.  Check out this video as he tries his best to spit some hot lyrics over these beats with his dad…even though he can’t even talk yet.

GREAT FATHERS IN BLACK HISTORY * THURGOOD MARSHALL

 

 

 

Thurgood Marshall was the first black Supreme Court Justice.  Mr. Marshall had two sons, Thurgood Jr.(Goody)  who is a lawyer and former deputy Counesl to Al Gore  and John W. Marshall who is the former Director of the U.S. Marshall Service.

On June 13, 1967, President Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice Tom C. Clark, saying that this was “the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place.” Marshall was confirmed as an Associate Justice by a Senate vote of 69–11 on August 30, 1967.[10] He was the 96th person to hold the position, and the first African American. President Johnson confidently predicted to one biographer, Doris Kearns Goodwin, that a lot of black baby boys would be named “Thurgood” in honor of this choice.[11]

Marshall served on the Court for the next twenty-four years, compiling a liberal record that included strong support for Constitutional protection of individual rights, especially the rights of criminal suspects against the government. His most frequent ally on the Court (the pair rarely voted at odds) was Justice William Brennan, who consistently joined him in supporting abortion rights and opposing the death penalty. Brennan and Marshall concluded in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty was, in all circumstances, unconstitutional, and never accepted the legitimacy of Gregg v. Georgia, which ruled four years later that the death penalty was constitutional in some circumstances. Thereafter, Brennan or Marshall dissented from every denial of certiorari in a capital case and from every decision upholding a sentence of death.[citation needed] In 1987, Marshall gave a controversial speech on the occasion of the bicentennial celebrations of theConstitution of the United States.[12]

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GREAT FATHERS IN BLACK HISTORY * MALCOLM X

 

Since it is Black History month I want to profile some of the great African American history who have done great things but also have balanced  a steady family life and raised their kids.  These men have been an asset to their families, but also to the communities that they have served.

The first person that I want to highlight is Malcolm X.  We all know what Malcolm did for the community during the civil rights era.  But many not know that he was a dedicated father to 6 daughters and husband.  In fact, Malcolm’s wife Betty was pregnant with twins when Malcolm was assassinated in 1965.

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