Im sure you heard of the saying daddys 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. Theyre 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
youre 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 girls
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
wouldnt 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 Ive 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, Daddys Promise.
Ed Gordon: Its 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, its 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 Americas annual Conference. Can you tell us
Ed Gordon: Yes, thats 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, its
called Beautiful to Me.
It was dedicated to his daughter, and hes allowing us to use it as our theme
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 Daddys
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 Fathers Day, its truly something that
needs to be addressed in our community. We hear about fathers who arent there,
who arent 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 well deal with those that arent and we want to salute those are,
and thats the first thing.
AllHipHip.com: Im 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
Ed Gordon: Sometimes you see women who havent 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 whove 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 dont 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 wasnt 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 were out here, and here are the
Black men were getting ready to stand up to the world.
AllHipHip.com: You also have a book coming out titled Daddys Promise; can you talk a little
bit about that?
Ed Gordon: Yes, were shooting for Fathers Day of 09, thats
when we hope that this book will be out. Im 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 Ill be talking to a number of Hip-Hop artists in terms
of this whole question of misogynistic lyrics or images, how thats 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 Im trying to make
her understand is that you get your confidence from you! You dont 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 dont 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 its up to you. I dont have lack of much self
confidence – Im hoping that I can instill a little bit of that in her, and then
shell be able to find her way and know herself as a person.