This may seem like an homage to my Dad. It is. Today is NATIONAL ENCOURAGEMENT DAY. My Dad was the first person in my life who believed in me. I look back and realized that he tried to sew into me at such an early age that I was mature beyond my years and I have been waiting for humanity to catch up to me.
I knew my Dad loved me not because of his words, but because of his actions. He always cheered me on and when things were hard, when I wanted to give up, when I wanted to act a fool out of anger – he centered me and reminded me that I was smart enough, clever enough, resourceful enough to DO ANYTHING. Even though he was in my life for such a short time, his impact was amazing, pervasive and critical.
One of the most poignant times with my Dad was when I saw him cry. He said he was sad because I was going to have it really hard in the world and it wasn’t much he could do about it. He said being born a smart Black girl in a world that considered me a mule was going to be the hardest journey. He also told me that I should always have something to bring to the table, but many times I would walk, eat and rest alone. Then after a few minutes he told me… THERE IS NO ONE LIKE YOU, THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU, SO YOU BE THE GREATEST AND THE BEST YOU THAT GOD MADE YOU TO BE. YOUR EXCELLENCE WILL STAND FRONT AND CENTER, REGARDLESS OF THE RACISM YOU WILL ENDURE, REGARDLESS OF HOW MEN WILL HURT YOU, REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU WILL FAIL YOURSELF …. BE EXCELLENT, BECAUSE IT’S YOUR BIRTHRIGHT – BEING BLACK DOESN’T EXCLUDE YOU FROM WHAT IS NATURAL TO YOU – EXCELLENCE.
And so he poured into me….
And I’m one of the most interesting, amazing and complex motherf***ers on the planet.
I’m the quirky Teflon Don.
So for National Encouragement Day, I want to thank my Dad for encouraging me from Day 1.
Rest In Peace Hamp! Hope you are proud. xoxoxoxoxo