In Fatherhood, beloved NBA player, poet, children’s advocate, and devoted dad Etan Thomas speaks from his heart on what matters most in his life: being there for his children. As a leading participant in President Obama’s Fatherhood Initiative, Etan has reached out to young men (often young fathers) in the juvenile detention system and in local communities. He knows firsthand the difference having a father in your life every day can make.
Now he brings together a chorus of voices to weigh in on the importance of being a father in our nation today and to share what they’ve learned from being a father, having a father, or in some cases not having a father around.
With Original Essays and Poems from
Taye Diggs • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar • Malcolm-Jamal Warner • Ice Cube • Howard Dean • Tony Hawk • Isaiah Washington • Yao Ming • Al Sharpton • John King • Lamman Rucker • Derek Fisher • Kevin Durant • Russ Parr • Michael Moore • Chuck D • Malcolm Shabazz • Talem Acey • Will Downing • Chris Paul • Allan Houston • Talib Kweli • Black Ice • Cornel West • Elijah Cummings • Mumia Abu-Jamal • Grant Hill • Coach John Thompson • Roland Martin • Joakim Noah • Arn Tellum • Damian Marley • Abiodune Oyewole • Styles P • Baron Davis • David Aldridge • Stuart Scott • Dave Zirin • Kevin Powell • John Carlos • Derrick Coleman • J. Ivy • Joe Johnson • Al Horford • Pastor John Jenkins • Julian Thomas • Ed Gordon Jr. • Tito Puente Jr. • Billy Hunter • 13 of Nazareth • Messiah Ramkissoon
Through these inspiring personal experiences, Etan and the men he’s gathered together hope to share the message that by standing up and taking an active role as fathers, men not only find their own lives more joyful and fulfilling—they pass on to the next generation an unshakable legacy of love, wisdom, responsibility, and strength.
Thomas, a star in the NBA as a center for the Atlanta Hawks as well as a participant in President Obama's Fatherhood Initiative, states upfront that he's "not a fatherhood expert." But having collected essays offering insights and experiences about fatherhood from a fascinating and diverse range of individuals including Bill Cosby, John King, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Andre Agassi, and others Thomas has produced an insightful book that provides "a manual for fathers new and old." Many of the pieces address the experience of fatherless kids in African-American communities. But from rapper Ice Cube to filmmaker Michael Moore, the book's message is one of hope. As Moore states, "One of the Big Lies' that we are told in our society is that there's something wrong with you if you come from a broken home' or a home with a single mother." Thomas also offers a moving tribute to the many single mothers "who are forced to take on the role of the father in the household." While Thomas's "Tao of fatherhood" is a wonderful distillation of all the book's insights "Be there" his book also contains a plethora of memorable and eloquent advice for all fathers, such as that from Dr. Cornel West: "To be a great father, you must be a militant for tenderness, an extremist for love, a fanatic for fairness, and, in the larger society, a drum major for justice."