It Takes a Dad: Famous Black Men Reflect on Family

What are the joys and challenges of being a black father? We asked several well-known men to share their thoughts and family photos.

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  • D.L. Hughley

    D.L. Hughley

    Host of the “DL Hughley Morning Show” on NY’s KISS-FM Radio

    “I hope I have taught my children that it’s important to be an individual, and that it is important to set their own course.  Believe in yourself and believe in your own opinions, even when no one else does.”

  • Benjamin Todd Jealous

    Benjamin Todd Jealous

    President & CEO of the NAACP

    “I work every day to ensure that my daughter inherits a world in which every child can go to a good school, that every person who wants to work can find a good job, and where all people are treated with dignity and respect. Working for a better world is a tradition I inherited from my parents. Regardless of the path she chooses, I hope that her journey will be guided by hope and only limited by her dreams for herself and our nation.”

  • Dr. Jeff Gardere

    Dr. Jeff Gardere

    Psychologist and Host of VH-1’s Dad Camp

    “Fatherhood is truly a gift from God.  It is a privilege and responsibility that we have been given to influence and shape our children into reaching their full potential and being the best that they can possibly be. Though our children are independently minded and have a life of their own, if done right, fatherhood affords us the opportunity and the legacy to be an incredible force and spiritual presence that our children will always be able to tap into in order to make the right and honest decisions in life. I know this to be true because I speak as both a father and a son.”

  • Elie Mystal

    Elie Mystal

    Editor of the “legal tabloid” Above the Law

    “My father left me his name, so Google will never let me forget my legacy.”

  • Dr. Michael L. Lomax

    Dr. Michael L. Lomax

    President & CEO of the United Negro College Fund

    “Being a dad is both rewarding and challenging.  No question, it’s the most consequential role I have in life.  I have three daughters, each different and each with her own special qualities, her own special needs and her own special relationship with me. Each daughter is remarkable, and the greatest legacy I can leave them is a healthy sense of who they are and the capacity to live their lives independently.”

  • James Rucker

    James Rucker

    Co-Founder of the advocacy group Color for Change

    “My father was one of those self-made men, truly. He dropped out of the 5th grade to work to support his family, growing up in Baton Rouge, LA. He became a drill sergeant in the Army, retired, and at age 40 went to college. He instilled in me the idea that I could do anything.”

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