III XXIX MMXV
My firstborn son, Aden (handsome) Omari (Swahili for firstborn; God, the Highest) Rogers made his inception into this chaotic oblate spheroid we call home. 5 lbs, 13 oz.
As of this post, he is nearing the 2 month mark. I finally got to see him in person this past Monday. The feeling is unreal. Euphoric in many ways. I had originally longed for a daughter (I still do) but I would have it no other way. I stare into his large round brown eyes currently, pacifier in his mouth, nodding off to sleep without a disconcerting thought. Devoid of apprehension. Solaced by the loving hands of his mother.
I hold purpose in these arms.
I haven’t been this elated since childhood Christmas mornings …
As black people, regardless of sex, little is expected of us. The bar is set extremely low. As a black father, absolutely nothing is expected of us other than absence. The bar is virtually nonexistent. A generally held and purported falsehood in the world is that black fathers are absent from their children’s lives. We are blamed for the high level of illegitimacy almost exclusively disregarding the fact that white people have the highest illegitimacy rate. The stereotypical belief paints us in crude caricatures as undisciplined promiscuous dogs in heat that spill their gametes – without regard – into unsuspecting women after “running game” – subsequently leaving them to fend for themselves after we “cut them off.” While this has some merit, it is hardly ubiquitous. It is conjecture. It is an inductive fallacy. It serves as cognitive bias for white racists and black women that harbor hatred towards black men. In other words, not only is it wrong – it is wrong as fuck.
According to the CDC, black fathers are just as present as father’s of other races, if not more. But of course, the propaganda machine known as the American media would prefer to reinforce self-serving stereotypes in order to keep the dominant society comfortable in their delusions. As a black father, I am one of the many defying these stereotypes.
Still further, there is a stigma regarding having children while young and out of wedlock. I will be 21 in July. Aden’s mother will be 22 in December. Most of this disdain comes from professing Christians. While they view the birth of a child as a “blessing,” it is in the same breath frowned upon. Yet, by the same token, they will adamantly claim that everything is “God’s Will.” It is never either or. It is always a conflicting contradicting self-serving response. I am no stranger to the self-righteous sort, so this comes of no surprise.
In addition to incurring judgment from others, having children is also frowned upon because of the perceived fear of rearing a child in this dangerous world. Understandable, but to live by such mantra is to be shackled and completely submissive to the whims of whatever the status quo deems ideal. I find that most people are reluctant to have children simply because they refuse to grow up and become responsible young adults. They are too embedded in daily hedonism. They refuse to prioritize accordingly, and would rather put it off until they “establish” themselves according to white standards. Many of these people have an external locus of control, and constantly seek excuses for why they can’t do something. In other words, they place their autonomy and fate into the hands of tentative and often arbitrary variables.
Foolish, to say the least, but I understand that most are not critical thinkers. They comply seemingly wholeheartedly with the status quo. They desire to belong. They fear being ostracized. Ridiculed. Demonized.
Despite the negativity behind having a child young, I have no regrets. I was able to create a life unblemished. I was able to create a legacy. I will continue to defy stereotypes. I will raise him to be much better than I ever was. Teach him things that I wish I would have known growing up. Give him the childhood I barely had. In short, be a loving black father.