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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

The Effects of Fatherlessness within the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm

The King Family

The King Family

After reading the news report about Martin Luther King III & Dexter King suing their sister Bernice over their father’s personal Bible and Noble Peace Prize Medal for the purpose of selling it, a serious question arose in my heart.  Is Martin Luther King III and Dexter King showing signs of Fatherlessness?

I boldly declare… YES!

Now let me say, this blog is not to taint the legacy of Dr. King by casting a negative light on his role as a father, but it is the explore why the only sons of the greatest Civil Rights leader of our lifetime would do everything in their power to destroy their fathers legacy for monetary gain.

When defining fatherlessness, we find there are 4 prominent definitions:

  1. A child who has never met their father
  2. A child who doesn’t live with their biological father
  3. A child whose father has died
  4. A child who lives with a father who is disengaged

We know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died at 39 years old, which would make his sons 11 & 7 years old at the time of his death. And, just because they are not criminals, drug abusers, or didn’t drop out of school doesn’t mean they are not feeling the effects of their father’s death in a way that makes them behave questionably. Fatherless children are 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.

And, in our imaginary world of the perfect family, we believe we know Dr. King’s children undoubtedly had a support system that would have kept them from feeling fatherless. But now we must ask several questions. Before his death was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. able to fight for the civil freedoms of the African American race and continue to stay engaged with his children without his sons feeling abandoned by him producing resentment within their hearts? And… Was the support system after his death enough?

I  understand Dr. King’s drive to fight for the freedoms of the African American race in order for his children to be afforded the same freedoms as other races. However, did his fight for freedom cause him to abandon his family figuratively and create a resentment in the hearts of his children? The unfortunate answer to the question could be… yes. In my heart I acknowledge the prestige and honor their father’s legacy has afforded them, myself, and others. But I must also acknowledge the weight it must be to carry the mantle of being the sons of the good Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Lets address why I believe their resentment of their father and his legacy is the manifestation of fatherlessness. Resentment is the feeling of bitterness, anger, or hatred resulting from a real or imagined wrong. The key difference between resentment, anger and contempt stems from how a person perceives the status of the wrong-doer. Resentment is directed at people with perceived higher status. I am sure the pressure to live up to their father and his legacy was too great which place him on a pedestal he rightfully deserved. Would we dare to think that Martin Luther King III & Dexter King could resent their father for what he accomplished for African Americans? The obvious answer is… No. Would we dare to think Martin Luther King III & Dexter King would have resentment, some anger, and a nice helping of bitterness in their hearts pertaining to the fact their father pioneered the very movement that caused his death which inevitably removed him from their lives leaving them fatherless?  Now there might be some truth to that question!

If I possess resentment in my heart, how would I behave? How would I handle the legacy and the things inherited? Lets take a look at how Dr. King’s legacy and belongings have been handled.

Over the years we have heard rumors and seen the realities of how the “Estate of Martin Luther King Jr.,”which is managed by Martin Luther King III, has diminished the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for monetary gain.  

  • You cannot use any part of the “I Have a Dream” speech without paid permission.
  • In 2006 the siblings put 10 thousand items including handwritten papers up for auction; then Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin raised 32 million dollars to purchase the lot and keep the artifacts available for scholars and the public.
  • They have sued Dr. King’s close friend activist and singer Harry Belafonte to get ownership of memorabilia Dr. King gave him, including a speech the civil rights icon wrote in Belafonte’s New York apartment.
  • They have blocked Andrew Young, who was on the balcony when Dr. King was assassinated, from using film footage of Young marching with Dr. King. Young says he recognizes the family’s need to protect the Martin Luther King estate but says, “ I will not give up my right to the legacy for their right to the legacy.”

Some might see these moments in time not as opportunities for monetary gain, but as the preservation of their father’s legacy. After this recent fiasco, I would have to disagree. I see two fatherless sons resentful at the legacy left for them in the absence of their father!

Today we pray for the legacy, the family of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the effects fatherlessness is having on the family In Jesus Name, Amen!

Written by Torri J. Evans, Founder & CEO of The Fatherless Generation Foundation http://www.tfgf.org

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No More Tug-Of-War

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on August 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Image

Tug-Of-War has been taking place since ancient Egypt and it used to be an Olympic Sport. But what is the purpose of Tug-Of-War? According to Webster’s Dictionary Tug-of- War is a struggle for supremacy or control usually involving two antagonists; adversaries, opponents, or contenders.

Where am I going with this? How do two parents play “Tug-Of-War” with their child? I know things can get pretty complicated when two people decide to go their separate ways. And it can truly become UGLY when children are involved. BUT… I am puzzled by the idea that one parent feels the need to usurp authority… control over the other  through force by becoming their adversary and using the child as the “rope” by which they accomplish their goal. Yeah. It happens. Way too often.

In working with fatherless children through The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. I have encountered all aspects of fatherlessness. And we often see a child having no access to their biological father because of the inability of one parent to let go of their issues in order to allow the other a fair chance to build their own relationship.

Have you ever seen an actual tug-of-war competition? It is a brutal game where the opponents can get rope burn or even worse.  Cbsnews.com says, “It may be a childhood game, but tug-of-war injuries can be serious and lead to permanent consequences.” So what happens when the “rope” you are using is your child? You find yourself wrapping your hands around them, tying knots, or entangle yourself to them in a very dysfunctional way to secure your grip. BUT… when you wrap your hands around, tie knots, or even entangle yourself, you place all at risk to lose a finger, hand, or even dislocate parts of their body.  YOU CREATE PERMANENT CONSEQUENCES FOR ALL INVOLVED!  Once the “rope” snaps, all are truly able to see the trauma inflicted upon it. Oh… and believe you me… the “rope” will eventually snap due to all of the tension being place upon it!

So why do this? The relationship is over. We get that. But is the life of your child worth so little you would use them as the tool by which you attempt to control and destroy another persons life? Think long and hard before you answer. Because it is easy to say “No. My child is worth everything to me.” Many even use their love for their children as their reason for playing this dangerous game of Tug-Of-War. But today is the day you begin to declare by your actions… “NO MORE TUG-OF-WAR!”

Fatherless Daughters

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

From the moment Oprah Winfrey & Iyanla began to have the conversation about Fatherlessness, some people felt they were out of order for having the conversation simply due to the fact they were women!

A Fatherless Daughter

The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. is MORE than a conversation! And some days being a woman running a fatherless initiative can be very challenging. I believe that is partially due to the fact people are unaware of the effects fatherlessness is having on girls/women. And although The Fatherless Generation Foundation works with both boys & girls, the word “Fatherless” always seem to be synonymous with boys, when in actuality girls are equally effected by the absence of their father. And as a woman who grew up fatherless, I know this fact first hand.

Fatherless Girls are:

53% more likely to marry as teenagers

711% more likely to have children as teenagers

900% more likely to have a pre-marital birth

92% more likely to get divorced

Adolescent girls raised in a 2 parent home with involved Fathers are significantly less likely to be sexually active than girls raised without involved Fathers.

Although these statistics may not be EVERY fatherless girls reality, they are the reality of some fatherless daughters. And instead of just being an organization that talks about the negative statistics surrounding the Fatherless Epidemic, TFGF is the solution to many of the statistics clouding over this social parasite.

Go to http://www.tfgf.org to see how we help and the work we have been doing for the last 5 years.

The Apprentice

In Career, Fatherless, Human Resources, Job Posting, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on September 27, 2012 at 6:36 am

Are you “The Apprentice” or will you hear the infamous words “You ARE Fired!”

“You’re Fired!”

Over the past 4 years I have worked very hard to build The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. off of my passion, but not so much of my skill set.  The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. (FGF) is a nonprofit based in Atlanta, Georgia at the forefront of the fatherless epidemic who’s vision is to “Turn the Hearts of Fathers Back to Their Children.” But one thing I am clear about, my Chemistry back ground didn’t provide me with the skill set to take this organization to the global market envisioned.

For the last year I have been looking for my replacement as Executive Director to no avail. Therefore, I am looking for “The Apprentice” who will take my place as Executive Director through a unique process! Just like the popular television show, “The Apprentices” will go through a series of tasks such as day to day execution, project development, team building, curriculum planning and more to determine who will receive the job as Executive Director!

Do you think you have what it takes to run a nonprofit organization set to expand into National markets in the next 12 months and a global market in the next 3 years? Do you believe you have the creativity to run an organization as unique as The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc? Better yet… can YOU think outside of the box?

If you are saying yes to at least 2 of the questions, send your resume and cover letter to thefatherlessgeneration@gmail.com for further instructions.

Do you have what it takes to put me out of my job?

Fatherless and Emotionally Devastated

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Teachers and pastors witness its devastating effects every day

What is it exactly Teachers and Pastors are witnessing on a daily basis? They are witnessing the effects of the Fatherless Generation!

Teachers and Pastors come face to face with the reality many of us clearly are in denial about. The truth of the Fatherless Generation is, the pain left by an absent father has gone beyond individual households, but has become deeply embedded into our culture and causing social catastrophe across all lines. You may beg to differ, but when the statistics prove otherwise we must begin to look from within and ask the hard questions. So, what happens when both boys and girls who need a wise father who encourages them and strengthens them, and provides what a mother cannot is left without their fathers presence?

The absence of biological fathers increases by 900% a daughter’s vulnerability 2 rape & sexual abuse. -(US Department of Justice)

Fatherless children are 92% more likely to dissolve their marriage when they get married! (Department of Justice)

72% of teenage murderers come from fatherless home. (Department of Justice) 

85% of rapist come from a fatherless home. (Department of Justice)

And these are just a few.

The Fatherless are not only living without their father. But some are living in a place of emotional devastation. When will we as a society wake up and treat fatherlessness as the epidemic it clearly is?

I pray now is the time.

Beyond Fatherless

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2011 at 3:52 am

We have established that the statistics say, 24 million people are or have grown up without their biological fathers in their lives.  The statistics go on to say 40% of all American households are fatherless and 70% of African American households are fatherless. But once the statistics have been touted now what? How do they play out in your personal affairs? Does your elementary school teacher give you a break because your dad left home last month? Or how about… Does your boss have sympathy for you because you grew up without your father and today is a bad day for you because it is “Father’s Day?” NOPE!

There is so much more to being “Fatherless” than some numbers!  In the next few weeks we will begin filming a documentary called “Beyond Fatherless!” This documentary delves into the life of fatherless celebrities, business owners, politicians and more.

Overcoming Challenges?

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Yesterday my heart was broken by the conversation I was blessed to have with two amazing little boys (9 &12 years old).  Both from a different set of circumstances, yet both side by side in my group representing “The Fatherless.”

The lesson this week posed two questions: 1. What do you like about who you are? And… 2. What are some challenges you have overcome in life?

As I went around the room speaking to each child in the group, I came upon boy #1.  He shared his answers with pride about question #1.  One of the things he loved about himself was the fact that he was creative. I love that about him too!  As we read the answers to question#2, he read the first answer and smiled. Then the second one posed a bit more challenging. He began to tear up as he disclosed the fact that he had overcome the challenges of his “Childhood.”  When I asked him to expound he began to actually cry as he said,” I lived on the streets when I was 4 years old until I was 6 years old.”  I was honored that he felt comfortable to share this with me as this was only the second time we had met .  One thing about him is he carries lots of pride, and I mean that in the best possible sense of the word. But at this moment I could see the hurt and pain within his eyes and how the experience itself he had overcome, but the trauma is still evident.

After the session was over, Mr. Harris and Mr. Andrew spoke to boy #1 and boy #2 privately.  Mr. Harris began to speak with passion to the point of emotion encouraging the two boys that they can be anything they so desire.  He shared his fatherless journey of loosing his dad to death at the age of 12. Mr. Harris explained the devastation of his fathers death upon his own life and how it hurt even the more because this was the time he needed his father the most. He told them what he saw in the two of them.  How he could see the representation of a Warrior in boy #2 and the representation of a King in boy #1.  I remember looking and listening intently as his definition and explanation was very powerful.  What he spoke moved both young boys to the point you could see pride rise up in both of their eyes as their postures changed representing a Warrior and a King!

The conversation turned, speaking to each boy one-on-one.  As we spoke to them about our personal sacrifices, boy #1 told us how he catches the bus to school and the length of time it takes him to get there.  We realized our King was making kingly decisions surrounding his education and how that in itself was profound!  We began to speak with him about endurance and perseverance and how what he was doing now was a reflection of what he would be able to do in life.

Boy #2 had never really said what his challenge was that he had overcome, so I took this moment to ask.  He said, “I am still attempting to overcome the challenge of my parents getting a divorce.”  I saw it in his eyes so I asked him the question, “Do you believe it is your fault that your parents got a divorce?” He said, “Yes!” And began to cry.  I then asked him why did he believe it was his fault.  He replied, “Because if my father loved me he would have stayed!” He then began to cry making a sound that would break anyone’s heart.  I sat in a chair next to him and allowed him to crawl up in my lap and release as much of the pain as he felt he could at that moment and time. I talked to him by whispering in his ear encouraging him to know that his parents divorce was not his fault.  Once he was finished, I sat him back in his seat and told him to listen to Mr. Harris once again.

These two remarkable little boys shared their challenges.  And through sharing their challenges, they were able to receive healing from a traumatic experience they were presently having.  Now I would not be so bold to say they are totally healed from their fatherless journeys, but I will say… THE PROCESS HAS BEGUN!

A Voice

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Isaiah 40:3 (AMP)

A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!

What makes you listen to someone when they are speaking? Is it what they are saying? Maybe it is how they articulate their words? OR how loud they are speaking?

I daily cry for those who are fatherless and the hurt, pain, anguish, embarrassment, rejection and shame they continuously feel.  I cry out to God to  heal their hearts and restore them to a state of wholeness.  Some days I feel as though my journey to set the fatherless free is mine and mine alone.

I am still unsure what makes ONE…then TWO… then THREE… and so on to listen to what someone has to say. But one thing that causes me to listen is the content of what a person is speaking and how it relates to me.

A few days ago I recorded my fatherless journey! I hope you relate and find hope in the words I speak.  Can’t wait for you to see it. But here is a sneak peek!

A Cry in Silence

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Job 7:11 “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”

How many nights have you cried out to God for deliverance? You have cried for the kind of deliverance that would bring total healing to your pain, fill the emptiness within in your life making you whole and restore you to a place you have barely known but know you were called? All the things you have felt from the abandonment and rejection of your biological father! And now your deliverance is here but you SIT in SILENCE, RESISTING the truth of your deliverance and embracing the lie of bondage!

Stand. Speak. Embrace. Let your voice be heard. Because The Fatherless Generation Foundation is the answer and carries your deliverance!

Torri J.

What Will You Say?

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I remember the first day I spoke to my father over the phone.  After 31 years of not knowing who he was, this moment meant everything to me.  I remember my heart was beating fast, my palms were sweaty and my mind seem to be blank. Yes… BLANK of all the things I had prepared to say. I had rehearsed what I would say over and over again, but at that moment… at that very second… NONE of it seemed as important as hearing what he had to say.

What did he have to say? I LOVE YOU!

Torri J.