My Quest To Teach

February 25, 2015

What Selma Taught Me About Being A Father

What Selma Taught Me About Being A Father

Reflections of a time not too long ago and the dangers of it returning
in a new century generate fear and a mission not to allow racism to
destroy what was achieved. If African Americans particularly men do
not want history to repeat itself then the only way to accomplish this
is for fathers to be proactive in teaching their sons and daughters the
value of education, the value of accepting who they are, the importance
of graduating with a high school diploma, not a certificate of completion.
The importance of attending and graduating from a college, trade
school, obtaining vocational education skills or a military career.
Too many men are not doing their jobs, fathers have a responsibility
to prepare each generation for the responsibilities of community and
societal activism, the ability for each generation of boys, teens, young
men and adult men to be providers for their children not just
sperm donors.
Men who are capable should be working in order to provide for their
children and not selling their children into slavery; the slavery of EBT
cards, the slavery of welfare and public assistance and the slavery of
a criminal justice system where privatization of prisons only increases
the demand for an uneducated, under skilled, mentally brainwashed
and indoctrinated mind to underachievement and under skilled from
society that is brainwashed with music, drugs, mental deterioration
that African Americans cannot succeed and only belong in their hoods
or incarcerated.

Boys need mentors, role models and fathers or surrogate fathers.
Men can teach a boy or teen how to be a proper man. Women can guide,
nurture, and set high expectations, but women are not men so cannot
effectively build the foundation to help boys grow into men. Societal
issues are challenges, but men need to “man up” and be fathers, role
models and providers for their homes, their communities and their
places of worship. Blame cannot be placed on whites any longer when
parents do not prioritize education or community unity.

Society has challenges that are unique to the Blackman, viewing Selma
the visions of disrespect, denial of societal and constitutional rights have
always plagued men of color. The killing of unarmed Black men have been
consistently happening for decades. Black men do have a target on their
backs, their heads, their hearts and is seems their souls.
Selma shows the importance of voting rights, the importance of having more
Black attorneys, judges, prosecutors and more law enforcement officers that
are educated and have a passion for honesty and truth and building trust
not fear.
Selma has many lessons that must be shared to make each generation better
not feared and endangered of extermination.

The lessons of Selma must be taught by fathers must include wisdom:
1. Fathers talk to your children openly and honestly, develop a mutual level
of trust and respect. Build on the love of a father not the fear of humiliation
and physical aggression.
2. Fathers listen to your children when they talk to you. Refrain from giving
advice every time, guide the discussion so they can form decisions for themselves
and problem-solve using critical thinking skills and common sense.
3. Fathers talk to your children about the importance of love, affection, devotion,
trust and treating people with respect. The danger of teaching a child to be “hard”
because they lose compassion for each other and their culture.
4. Fathers talk to your children about their values and by what foundation it is
built on; church, family, a work ethic and importance of education.
5. Fathers ask your children about what they think about community issues and
watch the news together and share experiences. Listen to your children and learn
to respect them and appreciate their needs.
6. Fathers learn your child’s language. Preteens and teens speak using various
terms and abbreviations. Learn what they are so you can better communicate on
their level sometimes. Don’t just talk about sex, have discussion on drugs, alcohol
(alcohol contributes to changes in behaviors and decisions), smoking and peer
pressure. One survey showed that almost 1 out of 4 teens that had sex say they
used drugs or drank alcohol.
7. Fathers teens who use drugs are five times more likely to have had sexual
intercourse that is unprotected. (
8. Fathers tell your child that you love them and when you do use eye contact,
give them a hug or pat on the back.
9. Fathers give your child a pat on the back or a high five when talking or just
playing around.
10. Fathers show unconditional love when you tell your child that you love them.
Don’t use the words “when you” or “each time” or “if you”. Let them know you
love them all the time.
11. Fathers take your child out on dates to spend quality time with them.
12. Fathers make it a priority to visit your child’s school to view their work and
talk to teachers.
13. Fathers learn the three levels your child receives information through
communication: Auditory – hearing; some children need to hear “I Love You”
Tactile – touching; some children need a hug or a pat on the shoulder.
Visual – seeing; some children need to see your expressions, hand movements
and body gestures.
15. Fathers create family time; it just does not have to be dinner time.
16. Fathers remember children make mistakes so be patient when teaching.
All children do not learn the same and don’t compare children.
17. Fathers don’t try to be cool or hip or down. Just be yourself.
18. Fathers don’t argue with your children; you are the parent, the adult,
not their equal or their peer or their friend.
19. Fathers Go to church and talk about their spirituality and beliefs.
20. Fathers remember the apple does not fall far from the tree. Your
children are a biological copy of you and their mother. You will see your
good and bad traits in your children.

February 18, 2015

Fathers: Are You Teaching The Lessons of Selma

Fathers: Are You Teaching The Lessons
of Selma

Chinua Achebe (Nigerian Author),
“We cannot trample upon the
humanity of others without
devaluing our own.”

This is one of the wise sayings of The Igbo culture of Nigeria
the homeland of Chinua Achebe. Many of his books dissect
the practice of colonization that denied human rights of
Africans in their native lands on the continent of Africa.
Blacks in America can relate on multiple levels because
of the situations and circumstances of slavery, segregation,
and laws designed to deny
human and constitutional rights.

“He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in
the mud to keep him down.” The Education of a
British-Protected Child:
Essays. Blacks have been held down in the red clay of
Georgia to the sandy dirt of Florida and the other soils
of this nation.

Over the centuries Blacks have fought and died for rights
that whites have had. Rights that should have automatically
been given to Blacks because they were earned from decades
of slavery, denied because whites control and continue to
control the very fabric of the American society.

The movie Selma
has highlighted
the power and
effectiveness of
unification by
Blacks in gaining
their rights. Center
piece is the urgency,

responsibility and accountability of men to step forward to
sacrifice and fight through legal means and in peaceful
marches to make life better for their children and their

The foci were diverse, the genesis on voting rights, the
encompassing power of being able to vote and influence
the electoral process. Education continues to be a central
focus because an uneducated Black community is left
deprived of jobs that help to provide for the families
of Black men and women. When a group is denied
education and voting rights their communities will
decline into chaos, poverty, crime, homelessness,
hopelessness and lack of investment to build or
maintain that community.

The Black father / men is key to keeping Black communities
stable, alive, safe and vibrant. When Black men are
working they reinvest their dollars into their families
and they (the families) reinvest into their communities.
Black men that work are more prone to value their homes,
automobiles, neighborhoods and even are more active in
their places of worship because hope is seen outside of
the church not just from preaching from the pulpit and
singing which brings a temporary solace. The reality is
that Black men are attacked on multiple fronts
that seem to drain him of his will and desire to keep
pushing forward.

“Fathers, it is time to lift our children, our families,
our culture, our communities from the mud of poverty,
ignorance, death and destruction.”
William Jackson – My Quest To Teach

The lessons of Selma
are a transformative
nature where at
one time many Black
men sacrificed for
their families, worked
two or three jobs to
pay rent, pay utilities

and keep food in the
home for their families, in today’s society there are the
challenges of finding a job or starting a career. Educational
opportunities are challenging where the color of your skin may
mean testing for ESE or directed to a School to Prison Pipeline
to keep dropout rates high and prison cells full. The opportunities
to graduate from high school with a diploma that will open doors
to higher educational opportunities or military service are still a
challenge for too many Black children.

In Selma we saw that men are the foundation of the family, the
corner stone of the community and the workers in the church.
Fathers are supposed to be the rock that their children rely on,
their families can stand on during the storms of life and the
challenges that they will face. There are many lessons and
examples exposed in the movie Selma the most enduring is
the active participation by men to rally in a movement that
means to change injustices.
Men unify and expand their influence through planned
strategy that encourages collaboration and cooperation
for the betterment of Black people not for self promotion
or monetary personal gain.

Young and old
participated in the
marches and protests
of the sometimes
violent states, but
men were active
and involved.

They worked to change laws, they sacrificed to
change policies and to stop discrimination for their
children’s and grandchildren’s
future. This blog addresses the responsibilities of
“men in the villages” of the many Selma’s in this
nation. Men must re-evaluate the importance of their
children; their children/families should
come first, the value of the lives they helped to create
are invaluable. A father’s legacy is not in how many
children they created, but how they take care of
them and educate them. Did the father inspire the
value for education in the home or did they
allow the streets to raise their children? Did the
father go to school and talk to teachers and
administrators or did the father
ignore misbehavior’s and disrespectful attitudes
allowing another Black child entrance to a
School to Prison Pipeline?

Men have a right that
extends to the
accountability and responsibility
to be involved in their
children’s educational
growth and development.
To develop positive societal
morals and ethics, fathers
need to be involved in a
dialogue that is a growth from
watching Selma.

An appropriate quote from Nigeria that the late
Achebe shares, “People who do not seek their fellow
human beings’ help when in danger or difficulty are
therefore animalistic.” Black men that ignore, reject
or deny their children and families are worse than
animals. Today Black fathers are needed to teach
their children how to survive.
“People say that if you find water rising up to your
ankle, that’s the time to do something about it,
not when it’s around your neck.” Chinua Achebe
The blood of youth killed by Black on Black crime
is around the knees of us all that stand by
and do nothing.

The movie Selma
and the current
events of police
brutality and
increased civic
unrest are
screaming for

actions from men/fathers/grandfathers.
How much more will be done in violence just as in
Selma as seen on the streets of the nation before
men will band together in unity to stop
the violence done to Blacks in this nation and by
Blacks to each other?

As a man, father, and educator, I must learn from
events like Selma so I teach my children and
others to be cautious, to be intelligent, to be
positive in their actions and love who they are
and their culture. Their hopes and dreams are based
on their abilities through education,
prayer and the knowledge that their village cares
about them.

Selma has many lessons, the key elements are
education, voting rights and the rights of human
beings. Fathers affect the whole environment;
“…children who identified a father or father
figure scored higher on basic learning skill tests
and had a stronger sense of competence and
social acceptance compared to children without fathers”
(University of Maryland Medical News, 2000).

Fathers have you had
a Selma discussion with
your children and are you
leading your children and
families or running away from them?

William Jackson, M.Ed.
Parent, Educator, Speaker
Blogger: My Quest To Teach
My Quest To Teach
Twitter: @WmJackson

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