Episode 11: Changing the Black Dad Narrative

Closing Music: Wolf
In this episode, our teller is a Harvard graduate student, a System Admin for a College, a former director for a video game company, a husband and a father of two young black boys. This southside Chicago native speaks on why there is a stereotype about the Black Father and what we can do to change the black dad narrative today. His name is Cornell Wright.
  • He attended the well known, Mt. Carmel high school
  • Received his bachelors of science degree from Elmhurt College in Physics and Math
  • Worked as a Director of Development for a video game company
  • Currently, he is Windows System Admin for a college in Chicago for the past 12 years
  • He has 1 more semester at Harvard University where he will receive a Master’s degree in Information Management Systems.
Percentage of Black Dads in the home
  • Studies and research have shown that 72% of black children are raised in a single-parent home. This is normally with a single parent being the mom. Cornell gave his reaction.
  • Only two out of a group of his black friends while growing up had a father that lived with them. Cornell was one of the few that had both parents that raised him. His father was somewhat of a role model to those friends.
  • Legal system. Locking up people of color. It’s not that uncommon to have a person graduating from high school with a felony. Instead of punishing we should focus on rehabilitation and doing more in the community. We have to be better than our peers.
  • Cornell believes in rehabilitation and contributing to society rather than just locking people up
  • He also believes black men have to understand that we have to go over and beyond. “Be better than your peers.”
  • Some issues with Obama. He didn’t want to come off as an angry black man.
  • It’s important to control your emotions as a black man because it may come off to others differently, especially law enforcement.
Our fathers who have passed on
  • Cornell’s father had multiple degrees including a Ph.D. and worked in Education. He also had an accounting and a law degree.
  • The host Vanessa also stated her father had multiple degrees including Ph.D. and post-doctorate, and also worked in education.
How significant is education?
  • He noticed a lot of people have a lack of knowledge.  Education helps with the “How to… How to make this?…..
  • Reading is important
  • It’s not that people of color don’t have a low IQ, but it’s lack of assessing some don’t know there are aware of grants and scholarships
What advice would you give dads in the inner city with issues with violence?
  • Take advantage of the museums or events around the city to broaden their minds
  • Our experience in the city gives us strength
  • He loves “Midnight Circus” a circus shows in Chicago that’s only $5
  • If you can’t afford these places, contact the library for free passes for events around the city
What’s one thing your father taught you that you would like to pass down?
  • He is taking his kids to White Sox games as his father did with him growing up
  • Eating a lot of meat, especially BBQ
  • The host answered the same question and eating popcorn and watching OSU Buckeyes.
  • Hosts father was involved with a lot of international people
  • Does Cornell say it’s important to know what is Diversity? Appreciating people’s cultures. That’s what we are doing in our family with friends, food, events. It makes people more well-rounded.  Find a way to teach your kids new food from a different culture.
  • Closing
  • His 2 boy’s comment on the podcast
  • They share with their favorite thing they love about their dad. Going to work with him!  And what they remember most about their papa- sparkling lemonade.

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