Arthur Theodore Wilson – Actor, Playwright, Poet, Educator

becoming a man

despite a childhood of perhaps a fatherless home

where disconsolate black fathers who couldn’t or wouldn’t

pick up their cross abandoned their families

& children leaving them on worn out linoleum

With no cherished memories or care



In praise & remembrance of black fathers everywhere

proud deep root men who didn’t maim

didn’t punch or hit

didn’t hurt

or didn’t blacken the eyes of their wives

frightening the children


or drugged unable to handle their own feelings of inadequacy

worn like a stop sign in front of the sad sorry mess they made of their own lives

but in the everywhere yesterday i must ask black fathers

if you could turn back time and attend to opportunities lost

would you have paid more attention

to those brother uncle cousin clan & neighborhood fathers

that left history stained by marks of dread & puzzle piece infernos of pain

would you have paid more attention and blocked those fathers

by offering alternative paths where pain didn’t interrupt growth

& keep children from languishing in a security of love & teddy bear dreams


In praise & remembrance of black fathers everywhere

that laughed when the sky was falling

that nurtured their children even when and if the cupboards were empty

and never had anything leftover to barter or share

in praise & remembrance of black fathers everywhere

black fathers that took common sense mother wit wisdom

sweat & flair to conquer fear

to make it possible to stand up black to sing

still here

still here

still here



By Arthur Theodore Wilson, June 19, 2011
For the Father’s Day Program
First Baptist Church of Cranford, New Jersey

Copyright Dance Giant Steps, Inc.


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