This past Friday, August 31, 2012 First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) located in Harlem - New York City, hosted it's first ever Celebrity Panel Discussion on Fatherhood. It was a huge turnout for a topic that certainly needed to be addressed within the Harlem community, where there is a large population of single parents, as well as young parents who most definitely benefitted from a panel disucussion of this kind.
The celebrity panel consisted of Hip-Hop Artist - Styles P., Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks, NBA Veteran/Author - Etan Thomas, New York Knicks Assistant General Manager/Retired NBA Player - Allan Houston, Actor/Singer-Songwriter - Chaz Lamar Shepherd and American Sports Analyst for ESPN - Chris Broussard. FCBC's Pastor Michael A. Walrond Jr. served as the moderator for the evening.
Families of all sorts gathered to hear stories, get advice, begin the healing process within their own lives, as these celebrity fathers shared their stories of fatherhood or their survival from growing up in a single-parent household. Mother's were able to gain insight on issues that have plagued their families for generations, words spoken allowed women and men to examine certain feelings that they have either buried deep within or have been to angry or hurt to express. For some women it was a relief to be a part of a discussion that we have been having amongst our sista-friends for so long, so to hear from the men on fatherhood was a treat.
The questions were relevant, thought provoking, solution centered and appropriate. The panelists were well spoken, answered from the heart, provided great information as well as a deeper insight into the role they play as fathers.
Three amazing spoken-word artist set the tone when they kicked off the evening with their powerful poetry/prose based on the evening's topic. Spoken-word artists: J. Ivy, Messiah Ramkissoon and Julian Thomas.
Thank you to FCBC and Pastor Michael A. Walrond for putting together such a wonderful event which was so beneficial to the community-at-large. We need events such as this which serve to make an impact through real dialogue, useful information, relatable people and a forum for healing.
Ladies, my words to you - love and respect yourself, allow growth to take place in your life, be smart in your quest for love, seek help if and when needed, if you already have children - be the best parent you can be with what you have, and if you are co-parenting - do it in the most harmonious way as possible - allow the father to be a father; if you don't have children - make sure you take the time to be with and get to know the man you intend on having children with - make wise decisions. And remember all actions have consequences...
Panelist Etan Thomas wrote a book entitled Fatherhood - Rising to the Ultimate Challenge which is what brought this group of committed fathers together. Pick up a copy as a gift to your child's father, husband, boyfriend, friend, or any man or young man in your life who is a father.
Peace and Always Love,
Team Baby Momma #22