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Posts Tagged ‘Fatherless Sons’

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

Turkeys for the Fatherless

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Turkeys for the Fatherless

It’s time for The Fatherless Generation Foundation’s #TurkeysForTheFatherless!!

In providing our resources & services we know 60% of fatherless children grow up in poverty. And for this reason TFGF has provided Thanksgiving baskets for fatherless families for the last 2 years ensuring they will not go hungry during Thanksgiving. THIS YEAR WILL BE NO DIFFERENT! Our first year we successfully fed 55 fatherless families and last year we were blessed to fed 30 fatherless families. This year we have partnered with I Will Survive, Inc. setting a goal of feeding 120 fatherless families including 20 single mothers who are surviving cancer!

$40 feeds a family of 5 with a 15 lb Turkey, Fresh Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, White Potatoes, Rolls, and homemade Dessert! To raise $4800 it’s going to take 120 donors to give $40 each. The campaign is actually live NOW at http://www.tfgf.org/eventsprograms.html

It would mean THE WORLD to me if you gave your best donation so that 120 families will not go without Thanksgiving Dinner! Will you please donate now at at http://www.tfgf.org/eventsprograms.html

No More Tug-Of-War

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

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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.