Growing up in an African American single parent home, I watched my mother struggle to provide for us and to teach us the necessities of life. My mother would smile when she told me things that a young lady needs to know in life, but when it came to telling my younger brother what a young man needs to know, her words were vacant and her stare blank. She was not a man so she had no idea what a young man would need to know. I believe a father is an essential part of the American family, for his son’s sake. This personal belief was realized ten years ago in the small town of Brownsville, Tennessee.
When a little boy begins to turn into a young man, a mother has no idea what he is going through or how to explain the situation to him. This is the time when the father sits down and talks to the young man and explains how the situation is normal. He would share his experiences and give the young man advice from the standpoint of someone who had to endure it. Sometimes hearing experiences from someone who was knowledgeable of the condition is comforting, and a father is the ideal person to share experiences with a young man.
A young man also needs a stern male role model in his life. Because my younger brother did not have a stern male role model in his life, he was quite rebellious. He would act out in school and commit petty crimes. If there was a father in our house it is a huge possibility that these things would never have happened
My brother did not get a chance to experience a father’s love and knowledge. He did not get to experience fishing trips, hunting trips or simple male bonding. My brother lacked the experiences, which some people would say, mold a young boy into a young man. He missed all these things because in order to do them he needed an active father role model. He needed someone to spend time with him and to show him things that only a father could show him. Instead of teaching himself how to fish, he needed a father to guide him in the use of his fishing rod and to show him where the best places to catch catfish where located.
My essay is intentionally directed to all the young men of the world. I am speaking not only as a sister who witnessed this sad occurrence in life but also as a future mother to a young boy. One day these young men, like my brother, that were once sons will become fathers and they will not what to tell their sons or teach them. My message is please be a father so that one day your son will know how to be a man and hopefully a father as well. Because if the men do not teach their sons, who will?
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