Black fathers celebrated at Black Arts And Ideas Festival

Jeff Pinkerton, father of 10, won the first annual Extraordinary Father of the Year Award. Pinkerton, bottom left, and his family are pictured in the photo.
Nevaeh Johnson

By Nevaeh Johnson, 14


Black fathers stand at the top of the list when it comes to being involved in their children’s lives, said local organizer Ric Morris, and he wants everyone to know it.

“They may not live with them or be married to their mothers, but statistics show that they are more involved continuously in their (children’s) lives than whites, asians or any other ethnicities,” he said. “By highlighting and showing we have extraordinary fathers, we try to dispel some of those myths, some of those stereotypes.”

Morris spoke referring to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention report that stated, Black fathers are more involved in their children’s lives than their White and Hispanic counterparts.

The founder of the Black Arts And Ideas Festival will host the 4th Annual Black Dads Matter Father’s Day Gospel/Jazz Brunch at 12:30 p.m. June 18 at the Waterhouse Pavilion in Miller Park. A concert to honor fathers starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $45.

The father’s day gospel brunch is among several events scheduled this month in honor of Juneteenth, a national holiday to celebrate the end of slavery in America.

“I want black fathers to know we appreciate them,” Morris said. “I want them to know that we see them and we see what they’re doing to keep families together.”

Jeff Pinkerton won the first Extraordinary Father of the Year award.

“He had all nine of his kids there and one on the way,” said Morris recalling the year Pinkerton received the recognition. “But when I tell you he really is engaged: He goes to football, basketball, graduation, you name it, and he is there.”

Pinkerton said being present is one of the greatest gifts a father can give his family.

“Coming from a single mother, I didn’t have much to offer monetarily to my kids, so I’ve committed as much time as possible to events, celebrating and extra-curricular activities as bodily able.”

Morris said he wants people to see great fathers doing great things with their children. He wants people to realize that most dads are not deadbeats and be more purposeful about lifting dads up instead of putting them down.

The CDC’s National Health Statistics Reports published in 2013 stated that “Black fathers (70 percent) were most likely to have bathed, dressed, diapered, or helped their children use the toilet every day compared with white (60 percent) and Hispanic fathers (45 percent).

The report also stated that fathers spend more time on child care and homework than they did in years past and that 48 percent of working fathers would rather be with their children at home instead of working.