Celebrating Black Fatherhood: Jonathan Alford
JTMG Celebrating Black Fatherhood.
I just dislike the reputation that black fathers have and it’s been around for quite some time.We have to take a stand and change this whole reputation by showing the world that there are black men doing what they are supposed to, even though sometimes it’s a little scary, we’re still doing the right thing. –Jonathan Alford
Today’s featured father is the keyboardist at my church. Jonathan Alford is a new father of an 8-month-old baby girl. He still has that new father glow, especially when he speaks about his daughter.
In order to gain a little insight into the men featured in the JTMG Celebrating Black Fatherhood series, I put together a short questionnaire for the fathers to fill out. The other father gave one or two sentence answers, may even three, but Jon, he really delve in his answers, and in his answers you can really feel how proud he is to be a father.
So for his feature, I am going to do it a little different and let you read his responses:
May have been edited for clarity and brevity.
What was it like holding your son/daughter for the first time?
The feeling of holding my daughter amazing. Just looking into her little eyes was just breath-taking. Just being able to count her little fingers and toes was the best feeling in the world. I never believed in love at first sight until I saw her. The feeling was just out of this world knowing that this little girl that I’m holding is mine. The first thought I had was ” this is my flesh and blood”. I never felt so much joy in hearing a baby cry.
What is your favorite thing(s) to do with your child(ren)?
There are many things I like to do with my daughter, but the two things I love the most is feeding her and putting her to sleep. The joy I get when she’s laying in my arms while I feed her knowing that her little tummy is full makes me happy. My daughter drinks her milk and just stares in my eyes and I look at hers. All I see is peace and joy while she eats.
Putting her to sleep on my chest and just looking at her make me forget about all the bad things in life. While she’s sleeping I just love to look at her and just admire how peaceful she looks — like there’s nothing in this world that can bother her.
How have your views on parenting changed since becoming a father?
The thought of being a father for the first time was very nerve wrecking. But as the days go by I’m learning every day how to handle whatever situation that come up. I just trying to understand my daughter and provide like I should. It gets hard some days because my daughter is only 8 months, she can’t tell me what going on, but I’ve learned her little cues and most of the time I can figure out what she needs.
What is the one thing you hope your child(ren) to learn from you?
One thing I hope my daughter learns from me is to be humbled. There isn’t any reason to boast and brag or even think that you’re better than someone else. People are always comparing themselves with others; who has the better sneakers or has the better car, etc., but if she just humbles herself and stay focused on her goals, she’ll go further than she can imagine.
Another thing I want my daughter to know is, make the best out of everything you have. I don’t have a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but the car I do have, take me to and from work. I don’t have a house on a hill, but I have an apartment to call home. I’m not wearing the latest trends, but the clothes I have are in great condition and clean. I just want her to make the best out of everything she has.
What has fatherhood taught you?
Wow!!! Fatherhood has taught me a lot of things from being a man of my words to being a hard worker. Fatherhood also taught me how to love and care for somebody wholeheartedly. I mean, a lot of the times we tell people we love them but to me, it’s a difference when you’re saying I love you to your own child. Fatherhood taught me how to be more responsible when it comes to managing money. There are many lessons I’m still learning and I really believe I will never stop learning about fatherhood.
What do you want the world to know about black fatherhood?
I want the world to know that not all black fathers are dead beat dads. I just dislike the reputation that black fathers have and it’s been around for quite some time.We have to take a stand and change this whole reputation by showing the world that there are black men doing what they are supposed to, even though sometimes it’s a little scary, we’re still doing the right thing.
Women, please stop saying, “there is no good black men” or referring to us as “my baby daddy.” Yes, there are good black men out there and no, we are not “baby daddys” we are the fathers.
I believe one thing, that every man, including myself, is afraid of failing at fatherhood, but let’s really be honest, fatherhood did not come with a book, manual, or instructions. So as long as you’re there for your child and provide the things your child need in life then you’re doing a great job at being a father.
Amen, Brother, to all of that!
If you are a black father and you want to be featured on JTMG Celebrating Black Fatherhood, or if you know a black father who should be featured, email me at lea at journey to my greatness dot com, put black fatherhood in the subject line and I’ll send you the details.
May God be with you until we meet again.