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This Video Will Leave You Smiling From Ear To Ear #wedoexist

The video contained in this post was a rush job. There are no ifs ands and buts about it. I had been trying to schedule Scott for a shoot all week and when he was finally available, my time was not my own. But I committed myself to making it happen.

What I didn't anticipate was Scott's nervousness. We've discussed fatherhood in the past and also in the days leading up to my taping him. He's a fun-loving bear of a man who speaks with so much pride and passion about being a father I was caught off guard by his jitters about saying the right thing. Or worse, saying the wrong thing.

I knew that if we had to do multiple takes, this guy was going to start overthinking and making mechanical something that comes very naturally to him. So we did this in two takes, albeit with some camera shake, the Sun imposing it's will on us and my overlooking some tiny gaffes in the name of getting the most authentic and raw footage possible.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, Scott gave me some of the purest gold I've ever had the pleasure to watch. I literally have grinned from ear to ear while watching. Especially 2:55 into the video.

I hope you will agree. Fatherhood in Black: Because We Do Exist

Happy Father's Day to you and yours.

Before you go, meet Ross and watch his testimony on what it means to be a father.

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The Top 5 VERY Last-Minute Gifts For Dad

So it's Saturday and you know you are knee deep in a huge mistake. You were busy all week. I know. I was too. You don't know what to get "for the man who has everything." To which I'm sure he would laugh, or simply not respond at all. Or, maybe you just plain forgot, which I genuinely understand. Father's Day is almost five days early compared to previous years. I was pretty psyched myself when I discovered this last week. This will be the first time my son's birthday, which falls a day or two before or after Father's Day, won't be the factor that typically preempts my ability to singularly enjoy the day. Hopefully, this year, I won't find out there are other factors.

The point remains that you're currently empty-handed and idealess on what to get Dear Old Dad and you actually believe socks, grocery store cologne, shaving cream under $35 and a tie of any price is insulting. And because the day is tomorrow there is no amount of money you can pay Amazon to get a gift to you by Sunday. Fret not! I've got some VERY last minute suggestions for you that won't bust your wallet (or even if they do, it's worth it) and are as far as your local Target and as close as your laptop.


This Father Really Loves His Daughter

Meet Ross. Ross is an acclaimed photographer, a devoted husband and the proud father of a bouncing baby girl. Ross was gracious enough to take a few moments to share his thoughts on fatherhood with me and is the inaugural subject of my new docu-series called Fatherhood In Black: Because We Do Exist.

The mission of this message is to promote the reality that men of color, particularly African American men, are dedicated, involved and loving parents despite what much of mainstream media promotes and in contrast to what many believe.

Tweet: This Father Really Loves His Daughter http://ctt.ec/3X9fd+ #parenting #fatherhood #dadstalking

This inaugural entry will eventually evolve into a very large project. Please view and share, this video and this blog post, as much as you like as I hope you will share in my personal passion to truly propel and position positive images of fatherhood. We're here, and always have been --- in plain sight.

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My Week In May With the #2014ToyotaHighlander

“Man this thing is big! It looks like a Transformer.”

This is what I said when I walked up to the gleaming “Ooh La La Rouge” (that’s the actual name of the color) 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited waiting for me in the parking lot of the Toyota dealership near my home. It was brand brand new with only a handful of miles on it. I smiled anticipating what a fun week I was going to have on Toyota’s weeklong Make Room campaign. Then I did what any man would do. I walked the perimeter of the vehicle, taking in it’s curves and lines, kicked the tires and smiled at the bright shiny nineteen-inch alloy wheels and their accompanying tires, Amor All shined to perfection.

Then I took a picture.

I climbed into the vehicle and took in all the appointments – a mix of leather and sophisticated composite materials that immediately suggests that care and attention has been put into this vehicle. It comes with all the bells and whistles that most top line 2014 vehicles should, push-button start, an overabundance of cupholders and interior storage space, back-up camera, sensor-laden mirrors, complete with turn signals that alert you to vehicles to your right and left (those pesky blind spots) and connected car functionality (Toyota’s system is called Entune®), which includes, GPS navigation, an in-dash touch screen, an instrument cluster that feeds you the most essential info from the navigation and audio systems, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity for your smart phone. It also came with a couple of other unanticipated options, namely, the 12-speaker JBL premium sound system, the three-zone climate control and perforated leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front-row seats. I mean seriously, seats that cool you off?


My Dad - The Man Who Is My Father

Not so many years ago I believed my father, pictured to the right of my mother, had the strength of ten men. Now as he dwells in the golden age of his life I am amazed by how slowly he moves and yet he is just as strong as he as always been considering that his brother, sister and nephew have all died in the past sixty days. Age has made him slightly crotchety and maybe dulled a bit of his shine, but his slowed pace has created a gracefulness in his movements and an appreciation for moments that I often overlook in my rush to get everywhere. I appreciate and love my father and consider him a living repository of knowledge for my family and myself.

I hope I can be this strong should I ever see the age of eighty-one.

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#ThankATeacher: Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week 2014

Many of my family members are teachers, including both my parents, and many of my friends have grown up to be educators. From preschool and elementary school teachers all the way up to university professors.

Despite the bad rap teachers often get and the few who make things very bad for the rest in the court of public opinion, our teachers are some of the best assets we have. Period. Everyday, we entrust our children's learning to people who have dedicated themselves to empowering and enlightening others, often thanklessly. What a mighty weight it is that they work underneath.

This is National Teacher Appreciation Week. If you like, please use the comments here to #ThankATeacher for the work they've done in your life or the lives of your kids.

You might be wondering how else you might be able to say, "Thanks!" Well actually saying, "Thank you," to your children's teachers is a good place to start, or buy them gift cards for lunch or coffee or school supplies or anything else that let them know you care about and appreciate them as a person.

For the naysayers who might say, "Why thank them for what they are getting paid to do?" Well my thoughts are this: no one is thanking me for the work that I do, outside of maybe my boss, maybe. But no one is trusting me with their kids, either.


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23 Things to Watch With the Sonos Playbar

I recently was blessed with the opportunity to experience full-throttle, home theatre via the Sonos Playbar and its associated components.

This device is truly a work of art. Sleek, sturdy, heavy and like most art that is worthy of notice, a bit obtrusive, but in a good way. You will definitely enhance the flat, one-dimensional sound of your flat-panel television with the Playbar as a stand-alone speaker, but it plays even better with its friends. The SUB for the inevitable and often overlooked throaty lows that factor into most soundtracks and action sequences and two Play:1 speakers which operate as rear-channel satellites.