D.A. Sears, Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R)
So, who were Mr. Williams’ role models as he made the journey from childhood to manhood?
“Without a doubt my biggest role models were my parents, Mack and Winnie Williams. In addition to them, I had a number of older cousins and uncles that I admired and looked up to as well. Like many kids, there were athletes and entertainers that I looked up to such as Earl Monroe, Julius Erving, Muhammad Ali, Cleon Jones, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder -- but more so from a standpoint of admiring their artistry as opposed to looking at them as role models,” he recalls. “As I moved into adulthood, I began to really admire historical figures that really gave of themselves and sacrificed so much for the benefit of us all. Naturally Dr. King and Malcolm come to mind, but another such man was Jackie Robinson. Muhammad Ali falls into that category as well.”
I noted that Mr. Williams had authored a book entitled, Voices From The Blue States, which is a compilation of essays authored by individuals from diverse geographic locations. I wanted to know why he decided to author an anthology of political essays.
“I did so because this administration would have you believe that there is only one point of view out there on so many issues, or at the very least, one point of view that reflects the thoughts and opinions of patriotic Americans. I wanted to put something out which showcased the feelings of some of the sixty million people that voted against this President, and are appalled at many of the actions taken by this administration.”
What sparked his interest in politics?
“Once again, my parents,” Williams replied. “We watched the nightly news each evening at dinner, which sparked discussions about national and world affairs. I have been a political junkie, so to speak, since the age of ten, if not earlier.”
The discussion moved to Williams’ production of political radio commercials. I asked him to talk about his work.
“One thing that I am passionate about is African Americans taking advantage of everything that can be gotten out of the political process. In light of the fact that so many in previous generations gave so much -- including their lives, in many cases -- in order to secure the right to vote, I feel that we dishonor their memory when we do not make the best usage of the political system. I more or less combine my interest in writing, music, and politics to create radio commercials that bring forth this message,” he explained.
The fact that Mr. Williams is a Father was not lost on me. When I asked him to talk about the most challenging and rewarding aspects of Fatherhood, he offered the following:
“The most rewarding aspects of Fatherhood are the day-to-day experiences you have with your child or children, as well as seeing them grow and move towards adulthood guided by the principles you have given them. One of the most challenging aspects, on the other hand, is watching them move towards adulthood in the midst of all of the issues they are liable to encounter nowadays, many of which were not present when we were at similar ages.”
I asked Mr. Williams if, in his view, we are adequately preparing our children for their future roles and responsibilities as spouses and parents? What key pieces of information should we share with our children about their future roles and responsibilities as spouses and parents? At what age should we begin sharing this information with our children?
“That's an interesting question,” he remarked thoughtfully. “In a sense, I believe that the best preparation we can give our children in this area is to be the type of spouses and parents we should be. In that case, our children will see what their future roles and responsibilities will be -- and theoretically they will be able to see this from ‘Day One’.”
Are we, collectively, providing our children with the tools that they will need to successfully compete in a global marketplace? Is this a responsibility that lies solely with parents? Or is it a responsibility that should be shared by our academic institutions, religious institutions and concerned adults in our community?
“With ‘it takes a village’ in mind, I would have to say that it is a shared responsibility of all of the above,” says Williams.
And what’s next for Mack Williams?
“I once had a manager whose motto was ‘be flexible’ -- and I have taken his words to heart -- being ready to modify the course when necessary. That said, I hope to continue with more literary projects, as well as musical projects. My next book, soon to be out, is an anthology of short stories by a bunch of outstanding writers, to be entitled ‘Midnight Confessions.’ Shortly thereafter I hope to come out with an anthology of essays on one of my favorite subjects, with a working title of Brothers And Sisters On Baseball. I should make mention of the fact that I am still looking for a few contributors to Brothers And Sisters On Baseball, so if you or someone you know might be interested in being one, hit me with an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, I hope that as we move through this year and towards 2008, I am able to become one of the people thought of and called upon for political radio commercials focusing on the African-American community.”
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