Celebrating Black Fatherhood: Sinclair Johnson
The main reason I wanted to do the Celebrating Black Fatherhood series is because I wanted to celebrate the black fathers that I know personally and the men who are like them. Those men who are up at the crack of dawn get ready for work, those men who fix his daughter’s hair and teaches his son how to tie his shoes, those men who take their role of Father very serious.
To find this featured father, I didn’t have to look very far; my grandmother had ten children, and they had children. They are my cousins. And it is a lot of them. Twenty-seven — the exact number of my first cousins is 24, here, I added 3-second cousins because they are more like first cousins. Of my twenty-seven cousins, twenty of them are male and most are fathers. So without further ado, JTMG celebrates black father Sinclair Johnson.
It feels so weird writing Sinclair, my family calls him by a nickname, but I don’t know if he wants me to reveal that. But I will say this, Sinclair is that cooler older cousin that all the other cousins, especially the younger one, looked up to. He was so mysterious to me and my sisters. We would be so happy to find out that he was coming to our church, when his mother, my aunt was coming from Jersey City for a fellowship service. For one, the music was going to be rocking, Sinclair would get on that organ, then he’ll start sanging, good God, we weren’t getting out til late, lol. It wasn’t until after my mother passed did I see more of Sinclair and get to know him a little better. I learnt that dude kick knowledge, real knowledge with positive vibes. You’ll talk to him and come away with a whole different outlook.
Sinclair and his beautiful wife have three children. When I talk to my aunt she always tells me how wise and intelligent they are. I don’t doubt this next statement one bit — Sinclair loves and admires his mother. She raised him and his 4 siblings as a single mother. She worked hard, she provided for them and they didn’t want for lack. He tries to emulate her example as a parent, he says, “my ‘parental example’ was my Mother. The great job she did with myself and my 4 siblings was the example that we needed! She was the best and I try and emulate her as much as possible….and it’s working out great!”
When asked what is his favorite thing to do with his children he answered, “anything…spending time with them doing anything, and we spend a lot of time together.”
Sinclair really has his mother spirit. She will help anyone that she can. She has taken in many boarders, she help pay many bills, and she brought many groceries for those in need. She once even dropped her life in Jersey City to come to Philly to stay with me and my sisters when my mom was sick. She has the gift of helping.
It’s her sense of service that he tries to instill in his children. He tells them to put themselves in a position where they can help someone else. A life of service is what he was taught and if his children learn nothing else from him, he wants them to learn that if they take care of themselves the way they’re supposed to, then they can be of help to those in need.
I had said that I want to change the narrative on black fatherhood and hold up black men, who as a whole, is constantly being torn down by negative stereotypes, misconstrued statistics and an unrepentant criminal image depicted in almost every media platform. So I asked Sinclair what he wanted to know about black fatherhood — his answer not very uncommon in the black community, but one that busts a black fathers myth wide open — he says, “growing up without a father showed me what I didn’t want to be to my children. So when I had children it was important to me be really ‘great at it’. There is not a second that goes by that I’m not trying to be great at fatherhood.”
You are great at it, Sinclair.
I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with me as a share a little bit of my family with you. If you are a black father and want to be featured on JTMG Celebrating Black Fatherhood, or if you know a black father you’ll like featured email me at lea at journey to my greatness dot com, put in the subject black fatherhood and I’ll send you the details.
May God be with you until we meet again.
Quotes may have been edited for clarity and brevity, but the idea remains intact.