Happy Fathers Day

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 15, 2012

Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

This was written on Fathers Day 2009


With President Obama in the White House things maybe getting better.

A few years ago African American Males could not say that

A few years ago, a friend invited me to attend a Sunday morning worship service at St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Berkeley on Fathers’ Day.

Upon entering this beautiful new building you could hear male voices singing the praises of the Lord. Singing for their happiness and their salvation. It sure sounded like they were enjoying themselves this Sunday.

One of Saint Paul’s ushers guided me to the designated area for the disabled which was the first pew in the front of the church. Sitting next to me was a family of six — a mother, father, daughter, and son.

They also had a set of twins a boy and a girl. The twins were dressed for church in their finest attire with their eyes wide open obviously aware of the world around them.

It just amazed me the way this father held each twin. When the mother finished feeding one he took them in his arms, held them and talked to them as if they were adults.

This father kissed his babies over and over again. You could hear the sounds of joyful cooing coming from each twin. He cooed and wooed them in returned and it was evident that both loved it.


When the mother finished feeding the second child, the proud father once again held and talked to the second twin. They began to smile and talk back to their father. It was so wonderful to observe this interaction in person.

On this specific morning, everyone was privileged to witness the bonding of child to father. This is definitely something we need more of in the African American Community.


The preacher looked over in our corner many times while he was preaching to the congregation. Right in the middle of the message he pointed to the father and his family.

He stated, “See this is what I’m talking about on this blessed day. You my fine brother, are a wonderful father. This is exactly the kind of example America needs to see but hardly ever gets to see”.

What the congregation did not know was that he is one of the few African American referee’s in the NFL. The Twins are now seven years old and are a fine example of what we can do with love and nutruring. Watching them grow up is a complete thrill. Watching them learn about life in America is a treat.

Lead to respect ….. Respect to lead

Our great nation has lost many of it’s African American fathers. Our nation has lost many African American male political leader. Our great nation has lost the African American male social and political consciousness. It is time to “Honor Thy FATHER.

As African American males we have to reclaim the family, reclaim the streets, reclaim our homes. This should be the goal of the 2009 African American male.

Not just being fathers to your child but fathers to every black child on your street, every black child in your neighborhood, every black child in your district, every black child in your state, and yes every black child in your country.

It is time for African Americans to define the role of FATHER not the Government of the United States. FATHERS need to teach and preach respect whenever and how ever he can.

FATHERS need to help the homeless and the disabled at least once a day.

FATHERS to the many father-less African American children in this country.

FATHERS it is our duty to stop this country’s Black On Black violence.

FATHERS it is our duty to stop the drug dealing on our streets.

FATHERS it is our duty to stop our women from selling themselves to the highest bidder. FATHERS need to stop seeing every Jaquinta, Malika, and Mary Jo, and go home to your own wife or girlfriend.

FATHERS stay with your woman now and forever more.

It is time to show the world what’s right without might and that violence is a dead end street. Our white FATHERS in Washington D.C. have not learned this yet with the seven year battle in the Middle East..

Think about this:

Our Spiritual Father — God, our heavenly father.

Our Earthly Spiritual Father — Rev. Jessie L. Jackson Jr.

Our Christian Father — Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, AME Eastern Region.

Islamic Spiritual Leader — Allah.

American Islamic Father — Rev. Louis Farrakhan.

Political Father — Barack Hussein Obama.

Judicial Father — Thurgood Marshall.

Educational Fathers — Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver.

Political Activist Fathers — Travis Smiley, Henry Lewis Gates, Dr. Cornell West.

Miltary Father — Pilot Eugene Bullard.

Astronaut Father — Robert H. Lawrence Jr.

Writer Father — James Baldwin.

Singer Father — Paul Robeson.

Business Fathers — Johnson & Johnson.

Movie Director Fathers — Gordon Parks and Spike Lee.

Actor Fathers — Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby.

Show host father — Nat King Cole.

Basketball Fathers — Herry “Buckey” Lew, Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton.<

Football Father — Marion Motley.

Baseball Father — Jackie Robinson.

Hockey Father — Willie O’Ree.

Disabled Father — Kenny Franklin

My Father — George Thomas Gray, The 2nd.

Godfather — Gary Norris Gray Sr.

Being a substitute father is the next best thing. This tradition continues with my nine god-daughters who live all over the world. Nine ladies that their godfather has guided in life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

Receiving phone calls from Japan, Korea, and the Philippines make Fathers’ Day a joyous Sunday.This is our community responsibility and we are responsible for each other in this life.<

While sitting in my family’s back yard, a sister of one of my classmates drove up and parked on our street. At first we did not recognize her. This sister got out of the car put a baseball bat near the car and took off down the street.

Looking at her face you could see the anger in her eyes.

A little boy came by, picked up the baseball bat, and took off with it. Thank goodness, because that eliminated the chance of deadly violence.

Consequently, when this sister came back, the bat was gone. It was then that I recognized who she was, and told her to come to me. She reluctantly did so.

She stated that she was having problems with somebody and if she had to use the bat she would. Grabbing her hand we began to talk and then she began to cry.

We gave each other a hug and she promised me that she would not be back that night. That is being a FATHER right then, being a FATHER in a time of need.

That is what this country needs and its time my African American Brothers to step up to the plate. It’s time my African American brothers to do a good deed each day.

Enjoy each deed, not because you have to but because you want to. There is so much love for that little sister that, it made me want to do to battle with her boyfriend, but that same love caused me to give wise counsel instead.

This should be one of the goals of African American Men, make America peaceful and loving again. This is the Spirit of a FATHER !!!!

Happy Fathers’ Day, My Brothers and Sisters.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod