Name: James Frazier | City: Newark, NJ | IG: @JimmySoDope
What does being a father mean to you?
Fatherhood is faith, purpose & legacy. According to the doctors, my daughter Ari Ella would be born brain dead or at best autistic due to placenta previa constricting the nutrients received through the umbilical cord. Frankly I didn’t care about anything they were talking about. I had faith that my baby girl would arrive healthy & happy. Thank God, she did.
There are days when I feel the pressure of being an entrepreneur. Converting from an artist to a business man has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Whenever the shadow of doubt appears I think of Ari being born two weeks early at 3.9 lbs. She fought to be here. How dare I quit on life!
I owe it to not only my daughter but to ALL of the indigenous children in the world to create a platform for them to springboard off of. No child should have to start from zero like we did. So I equip Ari with as much knowledge about spirituality and business that she can handle. These generational curses stop with us!
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My dad passed away when I was 16 years old but please believe, he was the man! He was a 6’ 1”, former marine, third degree black belt with a heart of gold. Because of my dad, I know how women are supposed to be treated, i accept the responsibility as a brother to ALL brothers and I also know how to punch the shit out a brother(of any race nation or creed) threatening the safety of me and mines.
The greatest gift he gave me was the blessing of critical thinking. He consistently challenged my views of life and religion. His goal wasn’t prove me wrong or debate. I can only assume that he wanted me to be aware of which thoughts did or did not belong to me. I’m forever grateful.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
My dad once told me the story about how the day I was born, the moment he saw me, he never touched heroin again. This story is a testament to the powers of love and discipline. I know that ALL things are possible with love and discipline.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
The biggest obstacle I’ve had on my journey is keeping my family together. Ari’s mom and I don’t always seen eye to eye. We are still trying to maintain peace. I know it takes two people to argue but I take FULL accountability for my role in our dysfunction. I am still learning to value and love myself more and more each day. Some days I want to leave…. Ari deserves a full time father. I practice daily giving every member of my small family the most compassion, including myself.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
The best advice I could give a new father is to remember that you were once a child that didn’t clean up after yourself, wet the bed, talked back to your parents, hated homework and threw temper tantrums when you couldn’t have your way. Be compassionate to your child. He or she is you!
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father, I want to apologize. I was angry for so many years. I was mad because we were poor. I hated not having new sneakers or not being able to go on field trips or simply not having money to buy snacks after school. Now as a man and a father I understand what you were up against. White supremacy is alive and well. It lives in our educational system, judicial system, healthcare system and most importantly in our minds. I apologize for not understanding what it’s like to be a indigenous man in this country. But how could I know. I no longer blame you for whatever you did not know or the lessons you ran out of time to learn. Thank you for staying by my side. Thank you for loving my siblings and I. I forgive you for falling short of the father I THOUGHT you should be. I forgive myself for have having such angry thoughts about you. I feel your forgiveness from the deepest roots in the dirt to the farthest star in the clouds. I love you Daddy. Peace and infinite Love.
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