Fatherhood Recap / by J. Ivy

The Fatherhood Panel put on by NBA Veteran Etan Thomas this past Friday in Harlem was INCREDIBLE!! INCREDIBLE!! The event was held at First Corinthian Baptist Church and despite it being Friday night, it was PACKED!! The people filed in, Pastor Mike, the moderator for the evening, kicked it off with a word and a prayer, then the Poets hit the mic. My guys Messiah Ramkissoon & Julian Thomas put it down then I jumped in with "Dear Father." Now ready for the discussion the panel began with insightful stories, ideas, insight, theories, and knowledge from Etan Thomas, Styles P, The New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, Allan Houston (NBA Great and General Manager for the Knicks, Actor & Artist Chaz Lamar Sheperd, and ESPN & ABC's Chris Broussard. There wasn't much that didn't come up in this discussion. From the emotional strain of growing up without a father, the example of manhood that's taught growing up with a father, politics, race, the prison system, anger, the strength of a single mother, women who deny their children a life with their fathers because of their unsuccessful relationship, poverty, good fathers dying at a young age, the plight of the media's negativity, unity, not being scared of the youth, the need to communicate with one another, the ULTRA importance of exercising your spiritual muscle and keeping GOD in the center of your life, to getting back to the village raising the child, so many issues were tackled in a short amount of time. This discussion could have gone on for days, which is why it was right on time to spark this much needed healing. Standing O to my Brother Etan Thomas for writing the book "Fatherhood" and following it up with a beautiful blitz of panels so we can start to turn around this emotional epidemic...see yall at the next one!!