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Tracy Murray and Sixx John: A Conversation with Black Fathers

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Sixx John

Sixx John

*Former NBA player Tracy Murray and musician Sixx John joined together to share their experience as fathers and how they are navigating fatherhood during these hard times.  

These men decided to come together and have an open conversation about fatherhood to help change the negative reputation of black fathers.

Unlike the images portrayed in the media and entertainment, there are a lot of black fathers that are present in their children’s lives and play a very important role in their child’s life. 

Everybody thinks that papa was a rolling stone and that isn’t necessarily true for everybody. I know a lot of people that are great fathers,” says Murry.   

Sixx John added that not everyone comes from a single-parent home, again that is a narrative that is highly perpetrated in the black community. There are black men that come from two-parent homes and are following in the footsteps their parents made for them. Grant it there are some men that have to be fathers from afar and Murray pointed out that even though it may be harder being a father that isn’t in the same household as the child you still have to work on that relationship and make sure everyone is connected.  

RELATED: ‘DAD Speak’ Docu-short Gives Fathers A Chance to be Heard! – VIDEO

Tracy Murray

Tracy Murray

These men also shared how important it is to know your children and their personalitiesespecially if you have more than one because each child needs love and attention in different ways if you are a present father you will be able to pick up on these things and be there for your child in the way they need you yo be.  

Parenthood rather its fatherhood or other hood isn’t an easy job but it becomes a bit harder raising black children in a place where police and others have put a target on their backs. How does one prepare their child to deal with racism and/or comfort them and reassure them to not be afraid of the police? 

“I don’t know if there’s a good answer for that. You can comfort them today and then something else happens,” says John.  

The main message with these fathers seems to be that you need to be present in your child’s life, fatherhood starts there.  

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Family - Parenting - Births

Maryland Boy Raises Over $50,000 for Homeless Veterans (Watch)

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Tyler Stallings (GMA)

*At the ripe old age of 8-years-old, Tyler Stallings says he’s been on a mission to help homeless veterans for half of his life. During an appearance on “Good Morning America” Thursday, the little “superhero” revealed he’s raised $50,000 and counting for his cause.

“It’s been a journey but a rewarding one,” his mom Andrea Blackstone told “GMA.” “I just want to encourage people to listen to their kids because you never know where their ideas can go.”

Tyler and his mother were then surprised with $25,000 to continue to help veterans in need. The organization where Tyler volunteers, Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training (MCVET), also received a $25,000 check.

“I want to help shelters and I also want to help other people to get back on their feet with it,” Tyler said about the check.

Blackstone said when Tyler was 4 she wanted to teach him about the importance of veterans because there are several in their family. She turned to YouTube to show her son videos about veterans and the things they do for our country. As Tyler was watching these YouTube videos, he came across one about homeless veterans.

“He saw videos of veterans holding signs to no one responding to their cry for help and he thought this isn’t right. He didn’t like it,” Blackstone said. “He asked me, ‘If they’re heroes why should they be on the street?'”

Blackstone got Tyler in touch with Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan and with his help Tyler was given a kid’s grant of $100 through Start A Snowball. With the help of the grant and a GoFundMe link Blackstone shared on Facebook, Tyler decided that once a year on Veteran’s Day, he would gather items like clothes and hygiene products to give homeless veterans care packages.

This went over so well, however, that they decided Veteran’s Day alone wasn’t enough.

Tyler began to work with the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training (MCVET) as the designated “superhero” of their shelter. As their “superhero” Tyler’s goal is to raise awareness of the veteran’s sacrifices to others and brings “hero bags” for veterans who are homeless or need basic supplies.

Watch his story below, or here at GMA.com.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Duchess Meghan Opens Up About Miscarriage: ‘I Tried to Imagine How We’d Heal’

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Meghan+Markle+Duke+Duchess+Sussex+Attend+Endeavour+D1we_uHoF85l (1)

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*Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, revealed in an essay published in the New York Times on Wednesday that she suffered a miscarriage in July.

The former actress and wife of Prince Harry said the moment occurred while she was caring for her son Archie.

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” Meghan wrote, describing how she felt a sharp cramp, and dropped to the floor while holding her son. 

“Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears,” she wrote. “Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”

Meghan added: “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”

READ MORE: ‘What Have You Done for Black People?’ Obama Sits Down in Person With The Breakfast Club (Watch)

“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote.

“In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning,” Meghan continued.

The duchess is receiving an outpouring of love on social media, with author Elizabeth Day writing on Twitter: “Chrissy Teigen and the Duchess of Sussex speaking openly about something that historically has given women so much pain, shame and trauma, is a game-changing step.

“I, and countless others, am so grateful to them. Beyond that, I simply want to tell them: I am so, so sorry.”

Prince Harry reportedly told the royal family about his wife’s miscarriage in the summer and they were “very supportive,” a royal expert says, Newsweek reports. 

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Arts

Former MLBer Micah Johnson Wants His Paintings to Inspire Black Kids (Watch)

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Micah Johnson (MLB.com)

*Micah Johnson, a former second baseman and outfielder for the White Sox, Dodgers, Braves and Rays, has indulged in his longtime passion and is now a professional artist of critically acclaimed and highly sought-after fine art paintings.

His latest work, which opened at Art Angels over the summer, was inspired by an overheard question posed by his nephew: “Mom, can astronauts be Black?”

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Per MLB.com’s Michael Clair:

Many of his paintings feature real subjects wearing an astronaut’s helmet, while they paint or draw or learn the cello or simply play hopscotch. The helmet represents the dreams Black kids have and the opportunities that are hopefully open to them. He uses colors and images that children can relate to. He wants Black children to see themselves in a fine art world that is historically dominated by white artists and subjects.

“My whole mission is to inspire children,” Johnson told MLB.com. “But I try to have that looseness to it. And that’s just how I am. I work a lot with just my hands. Sometimes I don’t even have a paintbrush in my studio. I try to do these really bold lines and have that perfect blend of whitespace and also color. That’s how I’d define my style now.”

“If I try to really, really focus on the eyes, make the viewer feel this connection — and if they feel that connection — then maybe it will change their perspective on something,” Johnson said.

“In the beginning, it was all inspired by my nephews because I just wanted to inspire them. And that’s how my approach is — I tried to focus on inspiring one person,” Johnson said. “So, a lot of my subjects are real subjects. And I think that’s a message for everybody else — just focus on impacting one person and you’ll really impact the world. So, for me, it’s my nephews, and they’re young, and maybe when they grow up, and they start looking at this, maybe they’ll feel inspired.”

The theme is present in his most recent work, “sä-v(ə-)rən-tē” (pronounced sovereignty), but the presentation is drastically different from anything Johnson has done before.

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Micah Johnson piece “sä-v(ə-)rən-tē”

This piece is a digital artwork available to view on Apple TV or on a billboard at 901 W. Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles from Dec. 7 through Jan. 10. It features two young children (Jacque, 8, and Rayden, 7), who have experienced tragedy in their lives staring at a closed door in a field, with an astronaut standing on the other side.

Unlike a painting, viewers can watch “sä-v(ə-)rən-tē” change in real time. The light shifts from day to night and with each passing year, the door will swing open a little wider, giving Jacque and Rayden a wider glimpse at the astronaut who awaits them on the other side of the door. A QR code connected to a bitcoin wallet also appears on the children’s birthdays, allowing viewers to donate directly to them.

Watch a trailer for sä-v(ə-)rən-tē below:

Watch a July 2020, CBS Los Angeles report on Johnson below:

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