Jesse Alex, co founder of the ‘Dear Fathers’ and D-Nice stopped by the ESSENCE Fest stage


Ryan Burks, DJ D-Nice and Jesse Alex, co founder of the ‘Dear Fathers’ Podcast stopped by the ESSENCE Fest stage to discuss Black parenting and the power of fatherhood.

Fatherhood is one of the most important jobs a man can take on and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yet, conversations about the incredible life milestone aren’t often amplified.

This was touch upon at the 2024 ESSENCE Festival of Culture’s Suede: Men’s Experience on July 7 during an empowering panel discussion about Black Fatherhood. Moderated by Michael Barclay II, EVP, Experiential Marketing, Essence Ventures, he was joined by Ryan Burks, renowned DJ D-Nice and Jesse Alex, founder of the Dear Fathers podcast to share their views on parenting the next generation of leaders.

“I’m a father of three children, a daughter and two sons,” Burks tells the audience. “One thing I want men to know is to try not to feel overburdened, because you’re still growing and you’re evolving. You have this dynamic thing that’s happening because you’re growing and your children are growing at the same time. You have your own dreams and they have theirs, too. You’re constantly modeling. You have to always know that the children are watching what you’re doing. And so we’re really just setting a foundation for that discipline and that work ethic.”

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D-Nice spoke to how his own children, two daughters (12 and 27), inspire him everyday.

“{When my oldest daughter was a little girl} all she kept saying to me was, I want to be a lawyer. I want to be a lawyer. So to watch her on this journey and to be her father {is incredible}. My job was to just help guide her with her dreams. She never wanted to be anything else but a lawyer.”

Alex, not yet a father, shared his hopeful perspective on parenthood.

“My dad wasn’t around but I really still look forward to being one myself,” he said. He went on to explain that he aims to continue growing his podcast platform to provide resources for men to be great parents to their children.

Burks chimed in and added, “fatherhood never ends” but it’s one of the greatest journeys you’ll ever embark on.

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Dear Fathers
Dear Fathers
Dear Fathers is The Premiere Media Platform dedicated to telling stories of black fathers from all angles.

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