Chicago activist Ja’Mal Green creates a song for fathers
Photo credit: Melanie L. Brown for Steed Media Service
Rolling out chatted with Ja’Mal Green about the responsibilities of fatherhood. Read on to find out what he had to say.
How old were you when you had your first child?
I was the young age of 20 when I became a father.
Why did you accept the responsibility of being a father?
One thing I saw in the community is the need for fathers to bring structure to a household and community. I saw how important it was for a child to have a father in their lives because women can’t do it on their own. My mother worked a nine-to-five job and when she got home she was tired. There was minimal time for her to give me and my sisters the love and affection we needed. Mainly because she didn’t have the help even though my father was in our lives. I saw the need to be in my kids’ life to give them a better life than I had and create the leaders of tomorrow. Ninety percent of the people I know did not have fathers and I see every day the effect it has on their daily lives.
Are you a good father? Why?
I believe I am because I do everything in my power to give them a better future. I am around them very often and financially support them as well. They have never needed for anything and they are getting a lot of time and love from both parents and I think that is important.
What are the challenges of being a father in Chicago?
The challenge is trying to keep your kids safe and making sure they are getting a good education. It is hard when you see kids being killed every day in Chicago so it is our duty to protect them by all means but try and make the community better at the same time. You want your children to live, get the best education, and build a relationship that will sustain their future.
Did you have a good relationship with your father?
My father has been there since I was born. He has been an amazing figure in my life and one of the main reasons why I am the father I am today. He values family, and understands how important it is for a man to take care of his responsibilities. I am grateful to have a man that loved me enough to be there every step of the way and be a great grandfather to my kids as well.
Do you believe a mother can also be a father?
I believe mothers are important but a father’s role is very key in a child’s life. I do not believe either can play each other’s role while they may have too because of the absence of the other parent. If either parent is absent it will have a long term effect on the child’s life and they will always feel like a piece of them is missing. Children need their fathers and mothers, there is no in between.
Why are fathers needed in a child’s life?
Fathers are needed because they can provide structure, stability, and key teachings throughout the child’s life. The role of a father in a child’s life is pivotal as children deal with daily issues where his presence is needed.
How are you celebrating this Father’s Day?
Enjoying the day with my sons. Family is a very important piece of my life and I cherish the time I can spend because it is not promised.
You created a song for fathers on Father’s Day? What is the message in this new song for father’s?
The message in this video/song is to my sons that I will always be there and they can be anything they want to be. Also that I will make any sacrifice to make sure I am there at every key moment in their lives. It’s titled “Legacy” because I want them to keep my spirit alive when I am taken from this earth.
The link to the song is: