“I’m like, ‘Who’s calling my name?’ And then I look up. It was my dad and his friend, and I haven’t seen him in a while,” Gabby said. “They were holding up the flag. And I almost felt like bawling. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, Dad!’”
When we watched tiny Gabby Douglas take gold in the all-around competition of gymnastics in London 2012, we were routinely reminded that her journey there was a rough one. The focus has rightfully been on her strong, single mother who was willing to take a chance in letting her child live with another family in order to realize her gymnastic potential and a heart as strong as a bull that allowed her to focus and keep it together. But nowhere in the narrative was her father mentioned and it led to many people assuming that it was the standard story of a dead-beat black dad running off while his daughter became great.
If you were one of the people thinking on this when you saw Gabby, you shouldn’t have to feel bad because 9 times out of 10 that narrative has been correct. There are tons upon tons of black fathers doing the right thing, being in their children’s lives but they stay invisible due to the unpopularity in showing whole homes. The “baby daddy” is the sexiest topic in the blogosphere and media circles so it is very easy for us to assume that all black children are void of their fathers. Well Gabby has a father believe it or not and he’s a military representative of the United States recently deployed and in the midst of a divorce from his wife.
From the website blacklikemoi: … often in these conversations, one voice that gets muted is that of the dad. Some people seem to think that black babies are delivered to their mother’s by storks, or they automatically assume that the father doesn’t care about his kids because he never had the chance to live with them.
In the case of Gabby Douglas, you can throw those stereotypes out the window. Gabby’s dad, Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas, was front and center to see his daughter perform recently and only missed some of the performances because he was off serving his country in Afghanistan…
If you’ve been following this little girl’s amazing story I would implore you to check out the full article at: Where’s Gabby’s Dad? He’s Right Where He’s Supposed to Be. Although I am personally a product of the black dad stereotype, I have made it my mission to highlight the men who do stay in their children’s lives and are pushed to the side and ignored by popular culture. Please check out the article and spread it to the winds so as to stop the misrepresentation of one of our boys fighting overseas. Thanks for reading.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.