What It Means To Be A Father

I don't usually get moisture around my eyes when I see a photograph of myself, but this photograph hit me in all the feels. There a few things that I am incredibly excited about, one is being a husband to my wife another is being a father to my three boys. I can not tell you or anyone else what it has meant to me to become a father.

My father taught me things that I did not realize he was teaching me until I was in my thirties. As I have gotten older, even though our relationship has become distant his teachings have been full of little nuggets of wisdom. I do wish our relationship was better, but at this point, it is what it is.   

My father in law, Frank Johnson, has been a fantastic example of fatherhood. He has been my spiritual leader and mentor. He has been shoulder I could lean on when I have had the most random thoughts and questions. Frank has been someone I want to emulate. He is kind, gentle, a sports fanatic and he puts his family first. I will not hold it against him for making my kids Chicago Cubs fans. Well, maybe a little. 

I can not say that I have always been a fantastic father, but it is something that I am passionate about being. I hope when I get older that my three boys will feel as passionate about me as I am about them. Everything that I do is for my wife and my kids, and if that is my legacy when I am gone from this Earth, then I would be ok with that. 

If you want to be a part of the 100 Black Dad Project, then I would strongly encourage you to contact Lucy Barber. She is a friend, a great photographer and has a passion for changing the perception of minority fatherhood. It is time that we rebuke the stereotypes that society has laid upon minority fathers. 

You can follow 100 Black Dad Project on:





You can follow Lucy Barber on



“The divorce rate is 49% in the US, but it’s only black dads that are painted as deadbeats. We have allowed society to say that we are absentee fathers, when in fact, we are just as dedicated to our children as white fathers. If we don’t fight back on the stereotypes, then we eventually succumb to what society wants; we have to break that cycle. It starts with current black fathers and hopefully will trickle down to our kids. The fact is, we are educated, we have amazing families, and we want the same things for our kids that anyone else wants for theirs.”
— Tim Riddick

All Photos taken by Lucy Barber

tim riddickComment