Dad vs. Black Dad

The moment you put a label on something you’ve discounted it… you’ve decreased its original value.  There is a reason I’ve never described myself as anything other than a Dad. I have never said young Dad, new Dad, Black dad, geek dad, or anything else. I am a Dad. That should be enough. The moment we add adjectives and labels under the guise of inclusion, we also exclude others. We also limit our exposure to others.

If I go to a technical school, I won’t have much exposure to the liberal arts. If I go to a Historically Black College, I will limit my exposure to other American cultures. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the goal of added labels or descriptors is to let everyone know this is what I’m comfortable with. This is how I want to be known. Personally I’ve never used the word Black to describe any part of who I am. I don’t even use the passive-aggressive version of saying I am a dad, who happens to be Black. I am a dad.

I do not think there’s anything wrong with those that do prescribe labels to themselves. In fact, if I did, that would make me a hypocrite for judging others when I don’t want to be judged. What I am, and what we are at dads round table is inclusive. In order to have meaningful discussions we must welcome different backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions. It is only through healthy social discourse that we grow as individuals.

If I just want to be known for who I am and what I do, then I should let my actions speak for me, and not give anyone the opportunity to have a foregone conclusion.

~JB

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