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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: A Myth Shattered

8/20/2014, 3 p.m.
All I can say is "right on, brothers" in reference to your article by Stacy Brown, "CDC Study Shatters Myth ...
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All I can say is “right on, brothers” in reference to your article by Stacy Brown, “CDC Study Shatters Myth about Black Fathers,” which appeared in the Aug. 14 edition.

As a father and one who knows for a fact that I personally played an integral role in raising my children, it’s a myth and nothing more. There will always be absentee fathers; I grew up without a father, but that didn’t mean I was destined to become one. Being an absentee father is a choice made either by force or by a decision. But I don’t want to talk about that; I want to talk about those black fathers who are taking their children to baseball and football practice, music lessons, and attending PTA meetings; those black fathers who have for years taken the necessary steps to ensure that their children learn the values and work ethic needed in order to become productive citizens; those black fathers who have been working for years not to dispel a myth, rather, to provide what they feel is right for their children and at the same time, being accountable for their responsibilities.

Black fathers have always and will always do what they feel is in the best interest of their children, and believe me, there are plenty of us out there. So the next time someone talks about the myth of black fathers, visit your local church and look at the fathers in the Sunday school classes, or go to the athletic fields and check out the black fathers on the sidelines, or even at the PTA meetings. There may not be a lot of us, but we will be there, and that’s no myth.

James Bradley

Washington, D.C.

Shining a Light on Mental Illness

The Health, Wellness and Nutrition Supplement inside the Aug. 14 edition has again proven to be quite timely. With all of the national media attention being given to the death of comedian Robin Williams and his struggle with mental illness, your supplement brings these types of issues to the forefront for many of us.

Speaking for myself, I never use the word “depressed” when I am feeling melancholy or lethargic. Years ago, I had a co-worker who used to keep to themselves all of the time. We thought they were just strange, but come to find out, after the individual committed suicide, we learned that the person had been battling depression. It was such a shock for me to see someone so young take their life.

I started reading articles about depression and soon realized that depression is real and not just a word used to describe a feeling you might have on Monday mornings. From that day forward, I never used the word “depressed” to describe my state of mind.

Hopefully, the articles in your supplement will help others to recognize those who might need help and to be understanding of those who may be going though mental health battles that they can’t conquer on their own.

As always, The Washington Informer treats its readers with absolute dignity, providing the type of information that directly affects our community. I’d like to extend a big thank you for all of your hard work.

Lisa Mayberry

Washington, D.C.