Ed Gordon: Daddy’s Little Girl – The Special Bond of Fathers and Daughters

 

I’m sure you heard of the saying “daddy’s little girl,” that

is the common phrase used to express the connection that most fathers and

daughters share. For this National Black Family Month, what better way to

celebrate then to discuss the importance of this special bond?

 

Little girls are important. They’re future wives and

mothers – two very important roles in every family. Many women look to their

fathers as the guide to how they should be treated by men.

 

Fathers can help build your confidence, often tell you

you’re beautiful and give you the mind set that you are a princess. Simple phrases

and signs of affection can ultimately make a difference in a budding girl’s

life.

 

As a young woman, I can attest to how important it is to

have a father in your life. Since I was a little girl, my father had a great occupation

out of the country, which kept him far from our family. I was usually the first

one crying – it was always rough to see my dad go off, because I knew that I

wouldn’t see him from quite some time. I know it was hard for him as well, but

at the same time, this is what he needed to do to take care of his family.

 

Through his actions, he taught me the proper necessities,

which included courage and believing in all my dreams. As I’ve grown into a

woman, I see many of the great qualities he has, manifesting inside of me. I do

not know what it feels like not to have a father, but there are way too many

women that do.

 

We got a chance to talk to award-winning television

journalist Ed Gordon, the host of the nationally syndicated show Our World with Black Enterprise. We

spoke about his important project, the release of his new book, and the

importance of the father-daughter relationship.

 

AllHipHop.com: Tell us about this new project your working

on, Daddy’s Promise.

 

Ed Gordon: It’s a national initiative that celebrates the

special relationship between and the importance of the father-daughter

relationship. It really stems from an article I did which appeared in Essence Magazine. I wrote about the

relationship that I have with my daughter Taylor, and the response I received

from the article was really overwhelming. So much so, that I wanted to do

something else, so we created this initiative. 

 

AllHipHip.com: Can you explain the type of responses you received

from the article?

 

Ed Gordon: Well, I knew that Essence was like the bible for Black women, so I knew that it would

be seen by many people. The amount and various people that came up to me and

said “oh my god I saw the article and it really touched me or it reminded me of

the relationship that I have with my father.”

 

One woman, when Taylor and I were out shopping for a dress, literally

ran across the floor screaming. She said, “I read your article and often I read

articles in magazines and I wonder if people are talking about stories that may

not be true, it’s so good to see you guys.” So once I saw that kind of response,

I felt that I needed to do a little bit more.

 

AllHipHip.com: You recently launched a national outreach

campaign at the100 Black Men of America’s annual Conference. Can you tell us

about that?

 

Ed Gordon: Yes, that’s where we made the official

announcement in the sense of the event that we held. We had a panel which included

Judge Glenda Hatchett, whose father passed away, but she had a fantastic

relationship with him and she constantly talks about the difference he made in

her life. Will Downing was on the panel, he wrote a song a couple of years ago

that appeared on his album Emotions, it’s

called “Beautiful to Me.”

It was dedicated to his daughter, and he’s allowing us to use it as our theme

song.

 

Roland Martin, a CNN journalist, and George Curry, also a journalist,

were the four panelists. We had a very candid discussion with the audience

about this relationship, about the Black family and what we have to do. It was

a wonderful kick off for us.

 

AllHipHop.com: Now what is the exact plan of Daddy’s

Promise?

 

Ed Gordon: Well we have a number of plans in terms of what

we hope to do with our partner 100 Black Men, our sponsors the Ford Motor

Company and Bounty; we are going to be doing great things through media

projects and events. The first thing I must say, we really need to awaken

people of the importance of this relationship.

 

AllHipHop.com: Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama

also mentioned something about the Black fathers…

 

Ed Gordon: Yes, on Father’s Day, it’s truly something that

needs to be addressed in our community. We hear about fathers who aren’t there,

who aren’t doing the right thing… this father-daughter relationship is a touchy

situation. I always knew there were a lot of men out there doing the right

thing, but it never got attention. We are never shown those images and they never

were saluted. So we’ll deal with those that aren’t and we want to salute those are,

and that’s the first thing.

 

AllHipHip.com: I’m really close to my father as well, and I

do notice different things in some women that do not have their fathers around.

What are some things that you have noticed or things that some people have told

you about?

 

Ed Gordon: Sometimes you see women who haven’t had

relationships with their fathers having difficulty in dealing with men, and

they may have a chip on their shoulder with men in general. Many women, and

many accomplished women who’ve gone on to have wonderful careers and doing well

in college, have said to me, “You know I feel a void in my life because I did

not have a male presence. I don’t know if this is how a man should treat me

because I have nothing to see and compare it to.”

 

You hear this all the time, whether its a single mother

living in the projects with three kids or more accomplished ones who have a

great professional career, but a poor private life because she made bad choices

with men. A lot of that stems from the idea that daddy wasn’t around, so we have

to understand the importance of being in these young ladies’ lives. One of the

things that we are going to try and do, for many of the young ladies that do

not have fathers in their lives, is partner them up with men that have great

relationships with their daughters.

 

AllHipHip.com: That is a beautiful thing! Can you tell us

about the website that you launched with this initiative?

 

Ed Gordon: It’s www.daddyspromise.com.

On the website we have a national photo album of 300 or more photos, its fun to

see the beautiful pictures that people are submitting. We have celebrities

including Beyoncé and Solange Knowles with [their] father, and a beautiful

picture of Ludacris and his daughter. Its one of those things, this is a

personal way to say to people, “Hey you know we’re out here, and here are the

Black men we’re getting ready to stand up to the world.”

 

AllHipHip.com: You also have a book coming out titled Daddy’s Promise; can you talk a little

bit about that?

 

Ed Gordon: Yes, were shooting for Father’s Day of ‘09, that’s

when we hope that this book will be out. I’m in the midst of doing interviews

for it right now, we hope that by then everything would have been in full swing

for a year. In the book I’ll be talking to a number of Hip-Hop artists in terms

of this whole question of misogynistic lyrics or images, how that’s affecting,

where we draw the line and what we have to start doing.

 

AllHipHip.com: I know that I may be thinking far ahead into

the future, but do you think this might be the beginning of something that

could potentially include mothers and sons?

 

Ed Gordon: Right now this is my avenue, fathers and

daughters. If someone else comes up with that I would certainly love to be in

their corner to help and assist them in anyway.

 

AllHipHip.com: Finally, can you tell us one thing that you

try to tell your daughter, one thing you try to instill in her?

 

Ed Gordon: You know, the one thing that I’m trying to make

her understand is that you get your confidence from you! You don’t get it from

anybody else, and you see this lot in girls. Often I think women, no matter how

accomplished, need that signal that a man has to validate you and “ok” things

for you, no matter who you are.

But I try to tell her, “As accomplished,

successful, smart and right on as you believe you are, if you believe, all of

those things will occur – and you don’t need a man, or anyone else for that

matter, to get you there. Daddy and mommy are trying to give you the tools, but at

the end of the day it’s up to you.” I don’t have lack of much self

confidence – I’m hoping that I can instill a little bit of that in her, and then

she’ll be able to find her way and know herself as a person. 

 

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