Pass the Torch: How a Young Black Father Challenges the Deadbeat Dad Stereotype

Jamiyl Samuels, with Tracy-Ann N. Samuels. W.R.E.a.C Havoc, $20 (282p) ISBN 978-0-6926-1811-0
Haunted by the emotional turmoil caused by an absent father, Samuels, a media consultant, earnestly examines his life and the “deadbeat dad” stereotype in the often crime-ridden black communities in Brooklyn, N.Y. The early memories of his Jamaican father, his hero, were pleasant, but his middle-class Brooklyn home was rocked by his father’s departure during his childhood, which left Samuels feeling “unwanted, rejected, confused, sad, angry.” Though he admired his hard-working mother, he always felt the absence of his father. It was only after the birth of his son, Trey, that he realized fatherhood is “the ultimate act of selflessness to put someone else’s well-being before your own.” Samuels writes about the influence hip-hop had on his life, and refers to the memoirs of such artists as LL Cool J, “who convey the pain of their own fatherless childhood[s].” Samuels’s reconciliation attempts with the absent patriarch never seem to jell due to the sting of their lost years. Samuels’s bittersweet memoir of forgiveness and heartache is also a strong, sincere plea for young men today not to follow in the footsteps of their absent fathers. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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