Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter

How Black Fathers Can replace the Absentee Dad Myth

Black Fathers, are so valuable, we are so important.  We have to take care of ourselves, we have to get over this idea of stepping back or I can't deal with this and be there for our black families.

Carl Stokes Jr. is an author, keynote speaker, professor and social worker and author of the  brand new book  “A Straightforward Guide for Black Fathers to Improve Themselves and their Relationships with their Children”  So this post is about Fatherhood, and the Issue of, Black Fathers, because in the black community we have the label of the, black fathers,  are usually, absentee Dads.

Listen to the full interview here:

Introduction Why Black Fathers need to be visible

Dr Carl decided to write this book and mentor, black fathers, because it is something that the black community needs to get better at.  Carl Stokes Jr. is an award-winning social worker, educator, college instructor and recently received his doctorate in education. His dissertation focuses on, Black Fathers, and their perseverance in community colleges. Dr Carl is passionate about working to uplift the black community.   He also enjoys teaching, parenting classes, for a small non-profit organization.

Myrna – As a black man tell us your story of your relationship with your, father, and your current relationships with your daughters. I'm curious to know, because a lot of times we work on areas that we have lived through.

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Dr Carl – What's interesting is that my answer is both. I grew up with my, black father, and without my, black father.   My dad was in the home until I was about 10 or 11 years old, unfortunately though during that time he had fallen victim to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 80s. So my, father, was in a home; but life was very difficult during that time; because of what he was going through.

However, he was still in the home, there was still benefits of his presence. Then things got really bad to the point where we were basically forced out.  I went through that whole period of teenage years and everything without guidance of my, father.  So, as an adult, I can see the difference between an, absentee dad, and a, Black father, in the home.  Because even though my, father,  wasn't at his best, when he was in the home I benefited form him being visible.

Why Black Fathers should be visible to their kids

Myrna – So between the ages of 1 and 10 your dad was in the home; but he even though he couldn't be a, father, because he was under the influence of crack cocaine, what you are saying is that the fact your, father, was in the home; it had some positive effect on you.

Dr Carl – Absolutely! Discipline wise, teaching me how to protect and take care of my mother, because he was gone a lot.  He would have conversations with me. It was nice having a, father, to talk to. It was a benefit to me and my younger brother.

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I can sit here and say that I did get lessons from having that male presence in the house. I can also say I also experienced domestic violence and theft. I also experienced run-ins with the police and people from the street and all that. I wouldn't say stick it out regardless, because I just as easily could have went the other way. I was just fortunate enough to take the more positive path.

Why is being a visible Black Father is Important

Myrna – Let's transition to your relationship with your daughters. You have three daughters. How do you parent them knowing that you didn't have a, father, since you were 10 years old?

Dr Carl – Okay, this is where it gets a little bit interesting and sort of complicated, because I became a, black father, at 17 years old. I was a senior in high school, unfortunately because I was so young and because I didn't have the guidance and I was immature, I ended up not handling my, parenting, as a, Black father, the way I should have. My daughter’s mother decided to move to Atlanta Georgia and take my daughter with her.

I didn't know I had rights. I didn't know that I shouldn’t have allowed her to take my daughter without working out any arrangements. The separation caused damage to the relationship between me and my first daughter. When I became a, Black Father, to my other two daughters, I vowed that nothing was going to stop me from being a good dad. Fatherhood, became my absolute top priority.

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Transform your Mind Soundcloud podcast

Replacing the Absentee Black Father Myth

Myrna – Why is it that traditionally, black fathers, have been absent? We know we've got the crack epidemic, we know we've got prison; but even when none of those circumstances are present, black fathers, still don't make it a priority to parent their children. Why do you think that is the situation?

Dr Carl – We kind of lowered our own expectations as, Black dads. We have very little guidance and then when we put the other things in a mix;

  • incarceration,
  • impoverished conditions,
  • relationship struggles and finances.
  • It causes extra stress and strain on, Black fathers, and their relationships with their kids.

Myrna – I actually just started reading Mike Tyson's book “Undisputed Truth”. If you want to hear about a messed up Black family with no role models, this is the book to read.  I couldn’t believe all the stuff that Mike Tyson lived through as a child without a, Black father, and an, absentee dad. How can, Black Dads, have a relationship with their kids and a relationship as a husband when all they know is dysfunction?

A Guide for Black Fathers

Why did you write the book “Reclaim your Visibility: A Straightforward Guide for Black Men to Improve Themselves and their Relationship with your Children?

Dr Carl – I wrote this book simply because of this: I got it wrong for many years and I want to assist in the idea of, black fathers,  not having to go through being an, absentee dad, and learn from my mistakes. My eldest daughter and I  had a very rocky path and I don't want that to go in vain. I don't want to just talk about the plight of, Black Fatherhood,  I want to do something about it. If I can help one, Black Father, have a better relationship with their child or children, then it's totally worth it.

Book: reclaim your visibility, Black Fathers
Book: reclaim your visibility, Black Fathers

Myrna – What makes your guide book different from all the other, Fatherhood, books?

Dr Carl – I am not the old wise man on top of the mountain talking to the village. The reason why this book is different is I literally started to repair my relationship with my eldest daughter this past summer. So this book is about real life, not theory.

Myrna – A lot of, Black Fathers, are, absentee dads. Do you think that they can repair the damage and build back a relationship with their children?

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Transform your Mind Stitcher
Transform your Mind Stitcher

Dr Carl – Absolutely! We can't always take it back; but we have to learn from these mistakes and move on. That is the basis of the book and that's why it's called “A Straightforward Guide for Black Fathers to Improve Themselves and their Relationships with their Children” Because a lot of times, black fathers, need healing ourselves.

How to offer support for Black Father in College

Myrna – You mentioned that you did a doctoral thesis and research on Black Fathers in Colleges. Tell us about that.

Dr Carl – The dissertation is actually on, Black Student Fathers, and their persistence and perseverance in community Colleges. I was a community college, Black Father, with a child and a lot of times, these schools have programs for mothers; but no guidance for, Black Dads. I wanted to do something different and focus on this very specific population, black student fathers, in community college settings.

Myrna – Tell us about your media company – Stokes Media LLC.

Dr Carl – In the media piece, I do several things. This is my official company where I do speaking engagements, seminars conferences, trainings and mentoring. The other sides of my books are self-published. I'm also assisting other people to help get their stories out and become published Authors. So the whole Stokes Media concept embodies all those things.

Myrna – Tell our listeners and those watching on YouTube how to contact you and get a copy of your book.

Dr Carl – The easiest way to contact me is to go directly to my website www.drcarlstokesjr.com. You can go right to the contact page and fill out the inquiry form. You can ask questions, leave comments/feedback or whatever you want to do.

Myrna – You also mentor, Black Fathers, at a non-profit organization. Tell us about that.

Dr Carl – I actually do, parenting classes, for an agency here in Buffalo called the “Family Help Center”. So when parents are looking for assistance, I help.

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iHeart Radio

How Co-parenting can help Black Fathers stay visible

Myrna – When you do the, parenting classes, can you walk us through some of your subjects or the things that you talk about? In this conversation we've been focusing on, Black Fathers, but all fathers can benefit from your book and, parenting. What advise would you give them?

Dr Carl – I would say the number one advice I would give to parents is on, co-parenting. I don't care if you don't get along, I don't care if all broke up because he was doing this or doing that.  What's important is the child or the children. We have to learn to get along for the sake of the children and be fair to each other for the sake of the children. Your children are witnessing and understanding these arguments, these disagreements, these accusations and things like that.

We tend to think that the kids are stupid and they're not listening to anything. Let me tell you, they're taking in everything, they're taking in how you feel, they're taking in the energy that you're putting out and they are internalizing the things that they're hearing. So, co-parenting, is key especially in our community we have to get that fixed.

What is the message for Black Fathers

Myrna – What is the message that you want them to take away with when they close the book?

Dr Carl – The predominant message of the book if I had to break it down into one main theme, I would say I would want my, black fathers, to understand how important we are to the situation. As a foundation of the family, to us being better as a community as a whole.  Black Fathers, are so valuable, we are so important, we have to take care of ourselves, we have to get over this idea of stepping back or I can't deal with this.

We have to understand how meaningful it is for us to be around and holding down our families. We hold down our households, our households work together to hold down our neighborhoods, our neighborhoods hold it down together to hold down our communities and it spreads on like that.

We don't need to worry about or hope for everybody else to do this for us, we can do it ourselves; but it starts with us being in the house and visible to our kids. Even if you don't live in the house, I'm just saying the presence of involvement is necessary. Not everybody is going to be together, and that's why we talk about, co-parenting. Our presence is so valuable, we have to make sure that we handle our business as a, black father.

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TuneIn Radio

Myrna – Where can they get the book?

Dr Carl – You can get the book on Amazon Kindle. If you want a signed copy you can get it from me directly at www.drcarlstokesjunior.com.

If anybody wants the Audio book, go to my site www.drcarlstonesjr.com. Order the Audio book and there's a free sample on there.

Enter the code “stay visible2021” and you'll get 25% off of the Audio book.


Black Fathers, are important to the community. Any father is important to the community; but we're concentrating on our community, the black community. Our community is jacked up. Like you said you go to your friend's house and they've got a mom and a dad and food in the kitchen and everybody is getting along. You're not outside throwing things at each other and having the police come by and all that which is a lot of which is the lifestyle of some children in the, black community.

Shout out to my Atlanta audience. Hopefully your daughter can listen on the radio WDJY 99.1 FM.

I want to encourage you guys if you're watching us on YouTube to please subscribe. We're trying to grow our channel because it's much more exciting to actually see the person that I'm interviewing. So, if you're watching on YouTube, kindly subscribe so you'll be able to get the new videos as they come out every week.

If you're listening on the radio and you want to be able to hear the podcast another time other than the radio broadcast, I encourage you to subscribe to any of the 11 podcast players that the show airs on.

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If you're in iTunes, please read and review because that allows us to grow our audience as well. I also have a Facebook group called Life Coach. I invite you guys all to join.

Additional Resources

Celebrating Black Love Introducing BlackdateBox


Paradigm Shifts that can Heal Racism in America

Dr Jeff Gusky shares paradigm shifts that must occur, for America to heal after the, COVID 19, pandemic and Systemic, racism. Paradigm shifts are vital to our safety and recovery in America. These paradigm shifts could restore humanity and save America from destruction.

Dr. Jeff Gusky is a board-certified emergency physician now in the front lines against COVID 19.  Dr. Gusky is also a renowned National Geographic photographer and Explorer his discoveries and photographs are now featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American history and culture. He found a secret hidden for over a hundred years that should change the way we see, racism, in America.

We open our eyes to the danger of the indoor air we breathe and, COVID 19

The air we breathe is an invisible killer. The, COVID 19, coronavirus spreads like wildfire because of the dryness of indoor air.  We spend 90% of our lives indoors and the right humidity saves lives.

There is a simple plan that makes invisible danger, visible and that is a device called a Hygrometer. Indoor humidity is between 50 and 60 percent, so I believe that this is the most important public health measure.

Americans can do right now because it helps to prevent small viral outbreaks from becoming massive viral bombs.  Property humidity will save lives and will get America back to work sooner and safer.

It is almost like a bulletproof vest for our respiratory tract. We have mucous membranes that goes from the tip of our nose and our mouth all the way deep into our lungs and what lines our mucous membranes; but mucus when the air is dry is impaired.  It dries out and cracks and pathogens like, COVID 19,  can get into our bodies.

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Sponsor The Transform Your Mind Podcast

I like to say, It’s the weather stupid! Because it turns out that outdoor weather affects indoor air. We know about humidity because we get the relative humidity from the weather forecast; but that has nothing to do with indoor humidity.  It turns out that indoor air is bone-dry  and that is why the, COVID 19, virus spreads in nursing homes.

The tragedy of nursing homes is also the problem with inner cities.  The inner city poor are also affected. In both situations you have high population density indoors and dangerously dry indoor air acts like an accelerant.  You should go out and you buy on Amazon or Walmart a digital hygrometer. They only sell  for like $12 or $14.  a digital hygrometer  is a little device that gives you a real-time readout of your indoor humidity.

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Paradigm shift  – Addressing, Systemic Racism,  in America.

This podcast interview was recorded before the murder of, George Floyd, by a Police Officer in Minnesota. Dr Gusky said in this interview long before the entire world got to see a black man’s life ebb away while the Police Officer just continued to kneel on his neck for close to 9 mins, killing him. So it is surreal that a White man said that we need  a paradigm shift  to save America from self-destruction because of, racism. Dr Gusky said when we belief in each other, healing race is possible.

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Author interview Transform Your Mind Podcast
Author interview Transform Your Mind Podcast

The paradigm shifts that must occur in America to remove, systemic racism, are the following:

  • We must remove racist ideas.  A racist idea is an idea that one race is superior to another.  It is removing White supremacy. All races are created equal in the eyes of God.
  • Systemic racism, reveals itself when White people feel that they are superior and that, Black Lives Don't Matter.  Black Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter, All Lives Matter

  • We must remove racist policies. A racist policy is any policy that leads to inequality and Systemic injustice Like the police officers profiling Black men or employers not hiring Blacks because they feel like they are lazy. Just one of the stereotypes that contributes to, racism in America.
  • We must become Anti-Racists and not just call ourselves, non-racist. A non-racist does nothing.  A racist has racist ideas or racist policies by action or thought.   A racist idea is is any idea that promotes that one group is better than another group it promotes racial hierarchy so the opposite of that is that is not non-racist but Anti-Racist. There is no middle ground.  
Racism in America - How to become an Anti-racist
Racism in America – How to become an Anti-racist

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Transform your Mind Stitcher
Transform your Mind Stitcher

As an explorer, Dr Gusky found a secret hidden for over a hundred years that should change the way we see, racism in America.  It's a dignity story about African-American heroes who faced down a frightening infectious disease pandemic during the Spanish-American war and won their courage back. They were a shining example of how we can win against the, COVID 19,  pandemic we are facing now. In crisis we should see differently,  we shouldn’t see race, because the virus doesn’t see race. It kills Black, White, Yellow and Brown alike. So we should see A human race. Two African American patriots who lived more than a century ago, show us what it means to be an American.  When we face extreme danger together,  and trust in each other, it is the glue that gets us through.

Dr Gusky found a hidden world from world war 1, that was basically unknown to the outside world.  These were underground cities, hidden beneath the former trenches with tens of thousands of soldiers. One of these places turned out to be the only trace of an African American combat unit.  These discoveries are now featured in the exhibit at the SNM of African American history and culture near the White House.  The exhibit will probably be there through September.

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We got, racism, wrong in America and  we now have a second chance to get, racism, right.  This black unit was the only all African-American unit in the US military with all black soldiers and all black officers and  they fought been together for America for 49 years.  The story shows African American political power and self-determination that had existed long before Dr. Martin Luther King was born.

The sad news is that we are still fighting for racial equality in this nation.  It has been 40 years since the march at Selma over the bridge and we as Black people are still marching over bridges, protesting and the White supremacist still don’t see us as human. We have been saying, black Lives Matter, for decades.  We have shouted it from the pews in churches, we have shouted it in marches, we have shouted it in congress and they turn a deaf ear.  Now since, George Floyd’s death, they are finally listening.

Racism, it's not an intellectual thing it's a visceral thing.  The Civil War was the beginning of a long difficult journey to demand the end of, racism in America, but America got stuck along the way because it benefited them financially to keep their, knees on our neck!

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Paradigm shift – Radical Transparency in the media.

A  new approach to protecting free speech while protecting society from human predators who manipulate media to incite fear and rage during times like now, when people are vulnerable angry and afraid.  I've witnessed the dangers of mass media without transparency in a very personal way.  I was the first fine art photographer to go behind the former Iron Curtain and documented the hidden world of the Holocaust after the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I've walked the ground remote corners of Europe and the former Soviet Union where millions were murdered in modern times because no one stopped a few bad people from turning civilized nations into weapons of mass destruction using media. So mass media without transparency gives people with a pathological essence of conscience, like  the Harvey Weinstein's of the world.  Unimaginable power to do evil and they all use the same tired old formula of myths amplified by media to incite rage and crowds for power.

Predators love media, because it gives them enormous power over the rest of us while concealing who they really are and what they're really up to.

The paradigm shift only works when transparency doesn't work because when media has no checks and balances, we have almost no way of knowing when it's fake news.

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Dr Gusky is  a professional speaker I'm represented by National Geographic speaker's bureau.  If anyone wants to have me come speak or even online they can contact National Geographic speaker's bureau or  online at www.JeffGusky.com. and if they can if the are  in Washington before September please stop by the Smithsonian exhibit.

If you have not done so yet, please rate, review and subscribe to the Transform Your Mind podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast. I also want to invite you to join my private Facebook group called Life Coach.

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Additional Resources 

8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody

No Fear : How to Live with Courage

Coronavirus: How to Protect Yourself