Oprah Winfrey will be putting the spotlight on some amazing Black dads in her upcoming Father’s Day special.
The iconic talk show presenter is teaming up with Sterling K. Brown to co-host “Honoring Our Kings, Celebrating Black Fatherhood” on OWN.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 17, 2021
“I had a father who took responsibility for me, even though he knew I could have been somebody else’s child,” Oprah said of her father, Vernon Winfrey, during an interview with People.
“My mother and father never married,” she continued. “They had sex one time. He gets a letter after I’m born saying, ‘Send money. You have a daughter.’ And the reason he did, he said, is because it could have been him. And the responsibility that he took for me, not just a responsibility but care and love and direction and support as a young teenage girl, is the thing that made the difference in me being who I am now or somebody you would have never, ever heard of.”
“I saw that over and over again in my father’s barbershop. Men would come in, hardworking men, doing everything they could in their lives to support their families, working sometimes two and three jobs to do that. So that’s the story I know of Black fathers – the ones I grew up with and the man I know. The narrative of the absentee father, it’s not accurate that that is the only picture. That’s what I want to say.”
According to Winfrey, the aim of the special will be to “turn the table on that narrative of Black fathers not being present in their children’s lives.”
“I remember the very first time I was doing a show on parenting, on single parents,” she recalled. And my way of showing or widening the screen at the time was just to include a Black father in that group of parents, but not make a big deal about it. We got a Latina parent and we got a Black parent and we got a gay parent. And I remember a woman standing up and later saying she had never seen a Black father reading to his children. That was not an image anybody had seen on screen. And so a lot of the white people who were watching the show were like, ‘That’s a foreign concept to me.'”
“It’s chipped away at the fabric of who we are as a society and a world. The images on the evening news or portrayals in films, gangsters, stories that show absentee fathers, or focus on men being in prison, away from their children and not caring about their children, that’s what you’ve heard, but that isn’t what we know and feel.”
The special will feature personal stories, including a “military dad who lost his son in Afghanistan and was going to jump off a bridge and decided not to jump when he heard his son’s voice saying ‘Dad, don’t do it. This isn’t the way.'”
The show also features appearances from Dwyane Wade, John Legend and D.L. Hughley.
“Honoring Our Kings, Celebrating Black Fatherhood” premieres Tuesday, June 15 at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.