Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ramadan 2015 began in the evening of Wednesday, June 17 and ends in the evening of Friday, July 17

Welcome Ramadhan.jpg

Ramadan (/ˌræməˈdɑːn/; Arabic: رمضان‎ Ramaḍān, IPA: [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn];[note 1] also transliterated Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan, or Ramathan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.

The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fardh (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding. Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha'aban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina. Fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with natural phenomenon such as the midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca.

While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations with one's spouse. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting.] Food and drink is served daily, before dawn and after sunset. Spiritual rewards (thawab) for fasting are also believed to be multiplied within the month of Ramadan.Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.

Chapter 2, Revelation 185, of the Quran states:

The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.[Quran 2:185]

It is believed that the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan which has been referred to as the "best of times". The first revelation was sent down on Laylat al-Qadr (The night of Power) which is one of the five odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. According to hadith, all holy scriptures were sent down during Ramadan. The tablets of Ibrahim, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Quran were sent down on 1st, 6th, 12th, 13th[note 2] and 24th Ramadan respectively.

According to the Quran, fasting was also obligatory for prior nations, and is a way to attain taqwa, fear of God.[Quran 2:183] God proclaimed to Muhammad that fasting for His sake was not a new innovation in monotheism, but rather an obligation practiced by those truly devoted to the oneness of God.The pagans of Mecca also fasted, but only on tenth day of Muharram to expiate sins and avoid droughts.

The ruling to observe fasting during Ramadan was sent down 18 months after Hijra, during the month of Sha'aban in the second year of Hijra in 624 CE.

Abu Zanad, an Arabic writer from Iraq who lived after the founding of Islam,in around 747 CE, wrote that at least one Mandaean community located in al-Jazira (modern northern Iraq) observed Ramadan before converting to Islam. [not in citation given]

According to Philip Jenkins, Ramadan comes "from the strict Lenten discipline of the Syrian churches".[dubious – discuss] However, this suggestion is based on the orientalist idea that the Qur'an itself has Syrian origins which was refuted by Muslim academics such as M. Al-Azami.

Important dates
The beginning and end of Ramadan are determined by the lunar Islamic calendar.


Click to view larger image
Hilāl (the crescent) is typically a day (or more) after the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon marks the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan. However, to many Muslims, this is not in accordance with authenticated Hadiths stating that visual confirmation per region is recommended. The consistent variations of a day have existed since the time of Muhammad.

Night of Power

Main article: Laylat al-Qadr
Laylat al-Qadr, which in Arabic means "the night of power" or "the night of decree", is considered the holiest night of the year. Which occurs this year on Monday, Jul 13, 2015. This is the night in which Muslims believe the first revelation of the Quran was sent down to Muhammad stating that this night was "better than one thousand months [of proper worship], as stated in Chapter 97:3 of the Qu'ran.

Also, generally, Laylat al-Qadr is believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last ten days of Ramadan, i.e., the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. The Dawoodi Bohra Community believe that the 23rd night is laylat al Qadr.


Main articles: Eid al-Fitr and Eid prayers
The holiday of Eid al-Fitr (Arabic:عيد الفطر) marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar month, Shawwal. This first day of the following month is declared after another crescent new moon has been sighted or the completion of 30 days of fasting if no visual sighting is possible due to weather conditions. This first day of Shawwal is called Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr in 2015 is on Friday, the 17th of July.Eid al-Fitr may also be a reference towards the festive nature of having endured the month of fasting successfully and returning to the more natural disposition (fitra) of being able to eat, drink and resume intimacy with spouses during the day.

Religious practices

Azim Azimzade. Ramadan of the poor people. 1938
The predominant practice during Ramadan is fasting from dawn to sunset. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhur, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar. Considering the high diversity of the global Muslim population, it is impossible to describe typical suhur or iftar meals.

Muslims also engage in increased prayer and charity during Ramadan. Ramadan is also a month where Muslims try to practice increased self-discipline. This is motivated by the Hadith, especially in Al-Bukhariand Muslim, that "When Ramadan arrives, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of hell are locked up and devils are put in chains."

Main article: Sawm of Ramadan
Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. The fast (sawm) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also increase restraint, such as abstaining from sexual relations and generally sinful speech and behavior. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat).

It becomes compulsory for Muslims to start fasting when they reach puberty, so long as they are healthy and sane, and have no disabilities or illnesses. Many children endeavour to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life.

Exemptions to fasting are travel, menstruation, severe illness, pregnancy, and breast-feeding. However, many Muslims with medical conditions insist on fasting to satisfy their spiritual needs, although it is not recommended by the hadith. Professionals should closely monitor individuals who decide to persist with fasting. Those who were unable to fast still must make up the days missed later.

Main article: Suhur

Iftar at Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
Each day, before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called the suhur. After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims begin the first prayer of the day, Fajr. At sunset, families hasten for the fast-breaking meal known as iftar.

Main article: Iftar
In the evening, dates are usually the first food to break the fast; according to tradition, Muhammad broke fast with three dates. Following that, Muslims generally adjourn for the Maghrib prayer, the fourth of the five daily prayers, after which the main meal is served.

Social gatherings, many times in a buffet style, are frequent at iftar. Traditional dishes are often highlighted, including traditional desserts, and particularly those made only during Ramadan. Water is usually the beverage of choice, but juice and milk are also often available, as are soft drinks and caffeinated beverages.

In the Middle East, the iftar meal consists of water, juices, dates, salads and appetizers, one or more main dishes, and various kinds of desserts. Usually, the dessert is the most important part during iftar. Typical main dishes are lamb stewed with wheat berries, lamb kebabs with grilled vegetables, or roast chicken served with chickpea-studded rice pilaf. A rich dessert, such as luqaimat, baklava or kunafeh (a buttery, syrup-sweetened kadaifi noodle pastry filled with cheese), concludes the meal.

Over time, iftar has grown into banquet festivals. This is a time of fellowship with families, friends and surrounding communities, but may also occupy larger spaces at masjid or banquet halls for 100 or more diners.

Main articles: Zakāt and Sadaqah

Men praying during Ramadan at the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or "Blue Mosque" in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan
Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadan. Zakāt, often translated as "the poor-rate", is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam; a fixed percentage of the person's savings is required to be given to the poor. Sadaqah is voluntary charity in giving above and beyond what is required from the obligation of zakāt. In Islam, all good deeds are more handsomely rewarded during Ramadan than in any other month of the year. Consequently, many will choose this time to give a larger portion, if not all, of the zakāt that they are obligated to give. In addition, many will also use this time to give a larger portion of sadaqah in order to maximize the reward that will await them at the Last Judgment.

Nightly prayers
Main article: Tarawih
Tarawih (Arabic: تراويح‎) refers to extra prayers performed by Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan. Contrary to popular belief, they are not compulsory. However, many Muslims pray these prayers in the evening during Ramadan. Some scholars[who?] maintain that Tarawih is neither fard or a Sunnah, but is the preponed Tahajjud (night prayer) prayer shifted to post-Isha' for the ease of believers. But a majority of Sunni scholars regard the Tarawih prayers as Sunnat al-Mu'akkadah, a salaat that was performed by the Islamic prophet Muhammad very consistently.

Recitation of the Quran
In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran. Some Muslims perform the recitation of the entire Quran by means of special prayers, called Tarawih. These voluntary prayers are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Quran (juz', which is 1/30 of the Quran) is recited. Therefore, the entire Quran would be completed at the end of the month. Although it is not required to read the whole Quran in the Tarawih prayers, it is common.

Cultural practices

Striking the bedug in Indonesia

Fanous Ramadan decorations in Cairo, Egypt

Ramadan in the Old City of Jerusalem
In some Muslim countries today, lights are strung up in public squares, and across city streets, to add to the festivities of the month. Lanterns have become symbolic decorations welcoming the month of Ramadan. In a growing number of countries, they are hung on city streets. The tradition of lanterns as a decoration becoming associated with Ramadan is believed to have originated during the Fatimid Caliphate primarily centered in Egypt, where Caliph al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah was greeted by people holding lanterns to celebrate his ruling. From that time, lanterns were used to light mosques and houses throughout the capital city of Cairo. Shopping malls, places of business, and people's homes can be seen with stars and crescents and various lighting effects, as well.

As the nation with the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia has diverse Ramadan traditions. On the island of Java, many Javanese Indonesians bathe in holy springs to prepare for fasting, a ritual known as Padusa. The city of Semarang marks the beginning of Ramadan with the Dugderan carnival, which involves parading the Warak ngendog, a dragon-like creature allegedly inspired by the Buraq. In the Chinese-influenced capital city of Jakarta, fire crackers were traditionally used to wake people up for morning prayer, until the 19th Century. Towards the end of Ramadan, most employees receive a one-month bonus known as Tunjangan Hari Raya. Certain kinds of food are especially popular during Ramadan, such as beef in Aceh, and snails in Central Java. The iftar meal is announced every evening by striking the bedug, a giant drum, in the mosque.

Penalties for infraction
In some Muslim countries, failing to fast or the open flouting of such behavior during Ramadan is considered a crime and is prosecuted as such. For instance, in Algeria, in October 2008 the court of Biskra condemned six people to four years in prison and heavy fines.

In Kuwait, according to law number 44 of 1968, the penalty is a fine of no more than 100 Kuwaiti dinars, or jail for no more than one month, or both penalties, for those seen eating, drinking or smoking during Ramadan daytime. In the U.A.E., eating or drinking in public during the daytime of Ramadan is considered a minor offence and would be punished by up to 150 hours of community service.
In Egypt, alcohol sales are banned during Ramadan.

In Kermanshah, Iran, a non-Muslim was sentenced to having his lips burnt with a cigarette and five Muslims were publicly flogged with 70 stripes for eating during Ramadan.

Other legal issues
Some countries have laws that amend work schedules during Ramadan. Under U.A.E. labor law, the maximum working hours are to be 6 hours per day and 36 hours per week. Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait have similar laws.

Health issues
It has been suggested that fasting during Ramadan has numerous health benefits, including: improved brain function and alertness due to greater brain cell production; greatly reduced stress levels due to a reduction in cortisol;  a reduction of cholesterol;  a reduction of blood glucose LDL cholesterol levels; increases in HDL cholesterol; Weight loss due to the use of fat for energy while preserving muscle; decrease of waist circumference; decrease of body mass index; decrease of blood sugar; decrease of mean arterial pressure; better control of diabetes; reduced blood pressure; and a detoxification process.

Kidney disease
Ramadan alters the circadian rhythm and the necessary water supply for humans. An updated review of the literature by an Iranian group suggested fasting during Ramadan might produce renal injury in patients with moderate (GFR <60 ml/min) or worse kidney disease, but was not injurious to renal transplant patients with good function or most stone forming patients.

Infectious disease
Mass gathering events like the gathering of huge numbers of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia's holy sites during Ramadan and Hajj may give infections, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome and Meningococcal meningitis, the opportunity to spread.

Athletes participating during Ramadan should keep in mind the necessary nutrition and sleep patterns during their training regimens. Most Muslim athletes have said that they experience their best workouts during Ramadan in the morning. Evening time workouts may cause them to feel sick. A big component of recovery after a workout is the consumption of carbohydrates. During fasting, they are not allowed to consume this, making it more difficult for the body to recover.

Crime rates
The correlation of Ramadan with crime rates is mixed: some statistics show that crime rates drop during Ramadan, while others show that it rises. Decreases in crime rates have been reported by the police in some cities in Turkey (Istanbul, and Konya,) and the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. A 2012 study showed that crimes rates decreased in Iran during Ramadan, and that decrease was statistically significant. A 2005 study found that there was a decrease in assault, robbery and alcohol-related crimes during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, but only the decrease in alcohol related crimes was statistically significant.Increases in crime rates during Ramadan have been reported in Turkey, Jakarta, parts of Algeria, Yemen and Egypt.

Various mechanisms have been proposed for the effect of Ramadan on crime:

An Iranian cleric argues that fasting during Ramadan makes people less likely to commit crimes due to spiritual reasons. Gamal al-Banna argues that fasting can stress people out, which can make them more likely to commit crimes. He criticized Muslims who commit crimes while fasting during Ramadan as "fake and superficial".
Police in Saudi Arabia attributed drop in crime rates to the "spiritual mood prevalent in the country".
In Jakarta, Indonesia, police say that the fact the traffic of 7 million people leaving the city to celebrate Eid al-Fitr results in increases in street crime. As a result, police deploy an additional 18,000 personnel.
During Ramadan, millions of pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca. According to Yemen Times, such pilgrims are usually charitable, and consequently smugglers traffic children in from Yemen to beg on the streets of Saudi Arabia.
Ramadan in polar regions
Duration of dawn to sunset time varies in different parts of the world according to summer or winter solstices of the sun. Most Muslims fast for 12–16 hours during Ramadan. However, in polar regions the period between dawn and dusk may exceed 22 hours. For example in 2014 Muslims in Reykjavik, Iceland and Trondheim, Norway fasted almost 22 hours, while Muslims in Sydney, Australia fasted for only 10 hours. Muslims in areas where continuous night or day is observed during Ramadan follow the fasting hours in the nearest city where fasting is observed at dawn and sunset. Alternatively, Muslims may follow Mecca time.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Juneteenth!!!



Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question   For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

General Order Number 3

One of General Granger’s first ORDERS of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

"The people of Texas are informed that in ACCORDANCE with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former 'masters' - attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom. North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was COINED "Juneteenth" and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth CONTINUED to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.

Juneteenth Festivities and Food

A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which CONTINUE in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing and baseball are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth almost always focused on EDUCATION and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations. banner

Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing, through which Juneteenth participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors - the newly emancipated African Americans, would have experienced during their ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations.

Food was abundant because everyone prepared a special dish. Meats such as lamb, pork and beef which not available everyday were brought on this special occasion. A true Juneteenth celebrations left visitors well satisfied and with enough conversation to last until the next.

Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition's roots. During slavery there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved. During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are ACCOUNTS of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former 'masters'.

Juneteenth and Society

In the early years, little interest existed outside the African American community in participation in the celebrations. In some cases, there was outwardly exhibited resistance by barring the use of public property for the festivities. Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that could provide for additional ACTIVITIES such as fishing, horseback riding and barbecues. Often the church grounds was the site for such activities. Eventually, as African Americans became land owners, land was donated and dedicated for these festivities. One of the earliest documented land purchases in the name of Juneteenth was organized by Rev. Jack Yates. This fund-raising effort yielded $1000 and the purchase of Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas. In Mexia, the local Juneteenth organization purchased Booker T. Washington Park, which had become the Juneteenth celebration site in 1898. There are ACCOUNTS of Juneteenth activities being interrupted and halted by white landowners demanding that their laborers return to work. However, it seems most allowed their workers the day off and some even made donations of food and money. For decades these annual celebrations flourished, growing CONTINUOUSLY with each passing year. In Booker T. Washington Park, as many as 20,000 African Americans once flowed through during the course of a week, making the celebration one of the state’s largest.

Juneteenth Celebrations Decline

Economic and cultural forces provided for a decline in Juneteenth activities and participants beginning in the early 1900’s. Classroom and textbook EDUCATION in lieu of traditional home and family-taught practices stifled the interest of the youth due to less emphasis and detail on the activities of former slaves. Classroom text books proclaimed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 as the date signaling the ending of slavery - and little or nothing on the impact of General Granger’s arrival on June 19th.

The Depression forced many people off the farms and into the cities to FIND WORK. In these urban environments, employers were less eager to grant leaves to celebrate this date. Thus, unless June 19th fell on a weekend or holiday, there were very few participants AVAILABLE. July 4th was the already established Independence holiday and a rise in patriotism steered more toward this celebration.


The Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s yielded both positive and negative results for the Juneteenth celebrations. While it pulled many of the African American youth away and into the struggle for racial equality, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. This was evidenced by student demonstrators involved in the Atlanta civil rights campaign in the early 1960’s, whom wore Juneteenth freedom buttons. Again in 1968, Juneteenth received another strong resurgence through Poor Peoples March to Washington D.C.. Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s call for people of all races, creeds, economic levels and professions to come to Washington to show support for the poor. Many of these attendees returned home and initiated Juneteenth celebrations in areas previously absent of such activity. In fact, two of the largest Juneteenth celebrations founded after this March are now held in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

Texas Blazes the Trail

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition.  Edwards has since ACTIVELY sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America.

Juneteenth In Modern Times

Today, Juneteenth is enjoying a phenomenal growth rate within communities and organizations throughout the country. Institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum and others have begun sponsoring Juneteenth-centered ACTIVITIES. In recent years, a NUMBER of local and national Juneteenth organizations have arisen to take their place along side older organizations - all with the mission to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.

Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging CONTINUOUSself-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the EVENTS of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.

The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase. Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This INDEED, brightens our future - and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth.

History of Juneteenth ©

In Richmond, Virginia, Elegba Folklore Society presents Juneteenth 2015, A Freedom Celebration June 19-21. The Society collaborates again, with Baltimore’s Ile Ise Ejiogbe Ifá Temple. Saturday, June 20, 4:00-11:00pm on the docks of The historic Manchester Dock, 1308 Brander Street, the south bank of the James River, was an entry port for Africans being brought into the Americas to be sold into slavery, and it is the site for In Reflection, On Sunday, June 21, the Esu Festival happens at Richmond’s African Burial Ground, 16tth & Broad Streets, 4:00-7:00pm. This year’s theme is in keeping with the 2015 observance of the 150th year after the end of slavery in 1865 — and Self Determination. For tickets or more information visit, visit Elegba Folklore Society’s Cultural Center, 101 E. Broad Street in the downtown RVA Arts District or contact the Elegba Folklore Society at 804-644-3900.

Father's Day is here......

Happy Father’s Day to the dads out there!!! I hope you get some good home cooked meals today, some great gifts, and most importantly some peace and quiet while you’re watching the game or whatever else you want to watch on television. IT’S YOUR DAY TODAY DAD!!! We love and appreciate you on this and every day.


There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus. ~Author Unknown

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Garson O’Toole

Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow. ~Reed Markham

Be a dad. Don’t be "Mom’s Assistant".... Be a man.... Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping BUSINESS and you can’t dress and feed a four-year-old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids.... It won’t take away your manhood, it will give it to you. ~Louis C.K.

My mother PROTECTED me from the world and my father threatened me with it. ~Quentin Crisp

You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway. ~Robert Brault,

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

“To become a father is not difficult, BUT TO BE A FATHER IS.”


20 Kinds of Dads - Which One are You?

There are many stereotypes and preconceived notions about what it means to be a "Dad." In general, the perception is that Dads are default parents, or the one who is 'on-call' for times when Mom has something else to do. The truth is there are many kinds of dads - good and bad - just like there are many kinds of moms or grandparents or friends.

Here's the list of 20 Kinds of Dads:
1. The Provider - this is the stereotypical role of a father. The one who works to support his family, so that mom can focus on taking care of the kids and home.
2. The Figurehead - you are the primary decision-maker of all 'big' things regarding your family. Your position is one of authority, and the kids are often kept at arms length because it's easier to control them that way.
3. The SAHD (Stay at Home Dad) - you are the primary parent in charge of taking care of the kids.
4. The New Dad - your wife is pregnant, or you have just recently become a father for the first time.
5. The Divorced Dad - you are a part-time dad because your kids live with their mother.
6. The Single Dad - you are the primary parent by necessity. Your child's mother is gone for whatever reason, or you have chosen to adopt a child on your own. Either way, you are completely responsible for your child's well-being, growth and development
7. The Deadbeat Dad - you are a biological father only. You do not care for your kids emotionally, physically or materially. You have abandoned your role as dad, and someone should beat some sense into you. Wake up! What's wrong with you? You have failed to take responsibility for your own actions (having sex and producing a baby). You are a loser.
8. The Abuser - you are a small and pathetic man who makes himself feel better by verbally, physically or sexually abusing your child. You are selfish, sick and demented. You should never have become a father in the first place. You use subversive means to control others for your own gain and benefit. You knowingly and willingly violate the basic principles of parenthood,
9. The Doofus - you are the dad who likes to play dumb. "I don't know how to change a diaper," or "I'm not equipped to deal with teenage angst or puberty." Basically, you're a decent guy and OK dad, but you're lazy. You only do the things that you think are fun with the kids. You laugh, joke and tease, and they probably think you're a pushover. Mom does all of the heavy lifting.
10. The Disciplinarian - whether you're the primary parent or not, you are the one in charge of formally disciplining the kids. You decide and administer all punishment. As a result, the kids love and fear you. At times, you may wish that these duties were shared more with mom because its tiresome being the "bad guy" (and mom being the "nice one").
11. The Referee - you are the one in the middle between your kids and each other and/or your kids and mom. It is your job to resolve conflicts within the home. Being a man, this is not always easy, as it requires lots of empathy and excellent listening skills (neither of which are common strengths for most of us).
12. The Coach - another traditional role of dads is to be a Coach of one of your kids' teams. This is often a fun way to connect and see your kids interact in a group setting. You gain great satisfaction by teaching them to share, compete and achieve goals.
13. The Fixer - you are the master repair man of the home. You enjoy helping your kids, and it gives you great satisfaction to see the look on their face when you hand them a repaired toy, doll or bike. You make chores and work around the house fun for the kids, and they enjoy spending time helping you.
14. The Outdoorsman - you are the dad who takes the kids hiking, fishing and/or hunting. You love the outdoors, so you find lots of ways to include the kids in these activities. It gives you satisfaction teaching your kids to appreciate nature, physical activity and sportsmanship.
15. The Tech Guy - you are the dad who knows everything about computers, cell phones, digital cameras, the Internet, gaming systems and all things technological. You like to play video games with the kids, and they feel comfortable text messaging you with questions. Your kids know that you monitor their use of technology diligently, and even though you appreciate the benefits of these things, you also know that kids use of them needs to be moderated
16. The Protector - your primary concern is protecting your kids and family from things that might hurt them or negatively impact their lives. You are the kind of dad who spends a lot of time making sure the house is 'baby-proofed' and all things potentially harmful are secure and out of reach. You tell your kids often about the dangers in the world, and you assure them that you won't let anything bad happen. Your family knows they can count on your for security and protection. The problem is that you can't protect them from themselves, and this causes a considerable amount of stress in your life.
17. The Scapegoat - everything that goes wrong at home, or in the kids' lives, is your fault. You are the object of blame for the kids, and they have potentially learned this behavior from mom or other family members. You are the 'whipping boy' of the family, and you struggle with feelings of parental impotence.
18. The Deaf Ear - you are the ultimate disengaged father. Your kids talk to you, but you don't hear them. You are either self-absorbed or disinterested for a variety of reasons (depression, exhaustion, marital problems, work issues). You go through all of the motions of being a father, but you're only there in body not spirit. You love your kids, but you're not really there for them or genuinely involved in their lives. As a result, your kids drift away, rebel for attention and, oftentimes, latch on to a boyfriend or girlfriend as a substitute.
19. The Stepdad - while you are technically a dad by virtue of marriage only, you have the ability to choose to be any kind of regular dad that you want. You probably struggle with feelings of acceptance by the kids, as well as your own perception of your fatherly responsibilities. The situation is influenced by the strength of relations between the kids and their biological father, if he is involved and present or not. Either way, you are still in a parental role, and your ability to influence a child's life is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly
20. The Good Dad - you are the dad that kids love and respect; adore and honor; and, obey and follow. You know that you're not Superman, but your kids think you are. You show the kids that you genuinely care about them by being involved in every aspect of their lives. You set a good example for them in the way you treat their mother, and others, with respect and dignity. You set high expectations for your kids, but you also empower them to succeed.

There are many kinds of dad, even more than the 20 listed here. As in most walks of life, there are good and bad dads, and most of them have some of both characteristics by nature. They evolve in their role over time, as they learn from mistakes and grow through experience.

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What Dads Really Want This Father’s Day By Susan Yoo-Lee

These frugal-friendly experts offer some insight into what to get your dad.

have to say that men in general are the hardest to shop for unless you have all the money in the world to buy them their dream car like a Lamborghini Aventador or a private island where they can fish to their hearts out or act like the cave men that they really are.

Men are simple, but they’re the most difficult to shop for when you’re on a budget. Now if you put Father’s Day into the equation, things just got even harder. You can’t just get him a bouquet of flowers like mom – or maybe you can? You might have showered him with ties, wallets, pens and money clips in the past, but I’m sure dad wants a change in gifts, and so do you.

While your dad might want something new and different, he won’t be the first to come out and say what he really wants, unless of course it’s just in his personality to do so.  So for the majority of us, it’s going to require some digging. In order to help you out, I reached out to some pretty influential fathers who told me what they really wanted this Father’s Day, so listen on.

Every dad is different, of course, and maybe yours will just be happy with a really heartfelt card, but if you’re in the mood to get creative, these suggestions might give you some new ideas. The good news is that many of these fathers below also have an appreciation of frugality and stretching a dollar.

Rick Broida, veteran tech writer for the Cheapskate on CNET and “My family knows I manage my own tech needs, so I don't bother asking for gadgety stuff. That said, in an ideal world I'd like the new OnePlus One, which is a fully loaded unlocked Android phone that's only $349 (with 64GB of storage)."

Alex Michael, co-founder of The Thrifty Couple website: “I'm a techie guy and love the gifts that keep on giving all year long. No, I'm not talking about that tie that will hang in my closet; I'm talking about a device that I can use every day, all day, and fill with my favorite music, videos and books. I'm talking about the gift all dads want – a new tablet! So what do I want this year? A Kindle Fire HDX 7" tablet! It’s even a great deal right now.”

Scott Ruf, Merchandising Manager at “I think it’s always good to get a gift that serves a purpose; a gift that is either relevant to a hobby or is an item that I can do something with. I love getting gear or apparel from my favorite sports teams, tools I can use for entertaining  from barbecue gear to bar equipment, or a new pair of flip flops or swim trunks. Zulily will offer great deals on Rockin’ Flip Flops on June 4 and Adidas swimwear on June 6. Dads like me will love activity-oriented gifts that won’t break the bank, but still make us feel special while spending time with the family.”

Paul Ivanovsky, Founder of I Heart the Mart: “I normally get some homemade trinkets, ties or Chia pets, which are all great. You know what would be awesome, though, is golf. I would want to go play golf, not on Father's Day but another day.”

So this Father’s Day, ditch the ties, the pins and all that other stuff that you know dad really doesn’t like all that much and get him something he can use all year long. It seems that tech items are high on many fathers’ lists, which can be a great idea for those who can afford to splurge a little. Other pricier options include buying him a day pass at a golf club or maybe a ride on a fishing boat where he can catch all the fish he desires. Remember to look at daily deal sites such as Living Social, Groupon or Amazon Local for any adventures at a huge discount and if you want to buy some goods on a great sale, check out Zulily. Have a wonderful and happy Father’s Day!

What does Dad want to eat on Father's Day? by By Judy Walker, and The Times-Picayune

We all know Mother's Day is the biggest day for restaurant dining in this country. But what do you do for dad on his special day?

On Father's Day (which is this Sunday, June 21) do you take him out to a steakhouse? To his favorite brunch restaurant?

Do you cook for him at home?

Or maybe he does something on the grill for you?!?

We know Louisiana men and boys are great cooks. So what are you doing with (and for) your Louisiana dad this holiday?

Thanks for sharing. The rest of us need ideas. If you do, too, here are a few starters.

New Orleans Steakhouses: The Ultimate Guide

Choose leaner cuts and you're ready for healthier grilling.

A church in Pearl River is inviting the community to their Father's Day Breakfast.

Manifesto of the New Fatherhood

Why fathers matter now more than ever before. A charge.

The brute facts: The NUMBER of American families without fathers has grown from 10.3 percent in 1970 to 24.6 percent in 2013;* that percentage has more or less been stable over the past few years, at about a quarter of all families, with 17.5 million children currently fatherless in the United States. At the same time, those who are fathers, those who stay with their children, have taken on the role with an unprecedented intensity. American fatherlessness is a national disaster and, according to the latest research into its effects, more of a disaster than anybody could have imagined.

The new fatherhood, and the new fatherlessness, are reshaping contemporary life, from its most intimate aspects to its most public, a mostly hidden force as powerful as it is unacknowledged. In a 2014 study of more than forty million children and their parents, researchers at Harvard and UC Berkeley examined the relationship between economic mobility and racial segregation, income inequality, school quality, social capital, and family structure. Family structure showed the strongest CONNECTION. The crisis of income inequality and the decline of social capital are the subjects of wide-ranging, furious debates. The quality of schools is the main subject of almost all local politics. Family structure matters more. From the report: "Family structure correlates with upward mobility not just at the individual level but also at the community level, perhaps because the stability of the social environment affects children's outcomes more broadly."

Fatherlessness significantly affects suicide, incarceration risk, and mental health. The new fatherhood is not merely a lifestyle question. Fathers spending time with their children results in a better, healthier, more EDUCATED, more stable, less criminal world. Exposure to fathers is a public good.

A single small but vital fact distinguishes men of the past fifty years from all other men in history: Most of us see our children being born. It's one of those changes to everyday life that we take for granted but that have the most radical consequences. Up until the mid-1960s, the mysteries of birth were mainly the preserve of women. Then, suddenly, they weren't. Men insisted on being with their wives as they gave birth, and with their children as they came into the world. Of all the grand upheavals between men and women over the past two generations—the sexual revolution, the rise of women in the workplace, and the rest—the new fatherhood has been, in a way, the easiest. Despite no historical examples of male nurturers, no literature of the macho caretaker, men have taken to the new fatherhood in all its fleshiness and complication without much struggle, INDEED with relish. Today the overcaring father has morphed into a mockable cliché—you've seen them comparing stroller models at the playgrounds, or giving baby a bottle in a bar during the Final Four, or discussing the latest studies on the merits of early music education for "executive function." The new father is an engaged father by instinct. Witnessing birth was the beginning of a widening intimacy. The new father holds his babies. He bathes them. He reads to them. The new father knows that the role of the father is not merely to provide food and shelter. The role of the father is to be there, physically and mentally.

This intimacy is instinctive, and research into the development of children has shown how powerful a force it is. The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child puts the strength of early impressions on a biological LEVEL: "We have long known that interactions with parents, caregivers, and other adults are important in a child's life, but new evidence shows that these relationships actually shape brain circuits and lay the foundation for later developmental outcomes, from academic performance to mental health and interpersonal skills." The presence of a father affects a kid on the level of brain chemistry.

Working fathers are reckoning with the consequences of these new insights. A 2013 study from Pew Research found that men and women found nearly identical levels of meaning in childcare. The problem of work-life balance isn't just for women anymore, and the father who works eighty-hour weeks because his job is so important is no longer seen as something to aspire to. He's pitiable. The fact that women are increasingly breadwinners has opened up new options for some—the stay-at-home dad has changed from sitcom-worthy freak into the subject of endless lazy trend pieces—but even men who have power are finding new strategies. Sigmar Gabriel, the vice-chancellor largely responsible for dismantling the nuclear-power industry of Germany—a big job—has decided to take Wednesday afternoons off to spend with his young daughter. "The only luxury is time, the time you spend with your family." This is not the QUOTE of a family-values Republican senator. That's Kanye West talking.

The majority of two-parent American families have men and women who work, and men and women are increasingly sharing the childcare load.13 That reality—basic domestic egalitarianism—is for the most part treated as a surprising novelty, as news. And not just by op-ed writers. By TAX law. By the courts. (Men pay 97 percent of alimony3 although women EARN the majority of the income in 40 percent of families.12) The major institutions in American life are playing catch-up with a fifty-year-old development in home life—women are EARNING MORE MONEY in more families all the time, and fathers are vital to the well-being of the children involved.

Fatherhood is taking on a political imperative: Every American man deserves a chance to spend time with his children without being fired. Every American child deserves a chance to spend time with his or her father without being impoverished.

The Republicans smell an opportunity in the new research on the family but don't quite know what to do with it. This January, in a marquee speech on poverty, Florida senator Marco Rubio put the family at the center of his economic policy: "The truth is the greatest tool to lift children and families from poverty is one that decreases the probability of child poverty by 82 percent. But it isn't a government spending PROGRAM. It's called marriage." The Republicans are right this time. But they have so far used their new appreciation of fatherlessness to do little more than launch broadsides against various something-nothings of culture and to reject the idea that public policy can have any effect on the family whatsoever. For them, the new fatherhood is mostly an excuse for inaction.

If Republicans looked more closely at the consequences of fatherlessness, it might OFFER them new insight into a host of policies: Immigration reform is vital because the current policies destroy families. At the current rate of deportation, about a thousand undocumented immigrants are deported on average each day.5 By one estimate, the current U. S. immigration policy will separate more than 150,000 children from one of their parents.9 Now that we know how deeply family structure matters, that NUMBER can only be regarded as a social and economic catastrophe. The drug war, by punishing African-Americans at nearly four times the rate of whites for marijuana-possession offenses,1 amounts to cultural genocide. A few Republicans who actually DEAL with the fallout of government policies on families' lives, like governors Rick Perry and Chris Christie, have recognized the cost of these disastrous policies. Both have spoken about ending the drug war. It's a start.

Democrats, too, are making a tentative start. In February, the president announced a private-public partnership, the My Brother's Keeper initiative, a first step toward addressing the problem of minority boys through mentoring PROGRAMS. At the announcement, President Obama said: "Nothing keeps a young man out of trouble like a father who takes an active role in his son's life." It's typical "American families" boilerplate, of course. But the data show that it's actually true as a matter of policy, and not just for minority boys but for all boys. The Brother's Keeper initiative is a gesture, an important one—possibly a trial balloon?—but a small one.

For the president, a family-based approach to inequality clearly smells rotten. It has the aura of a host of outmoded prejudices many on the Left have spent their entire CAREERS fighting against. Democrats prefer to focus on the traditional approaches of grievance politics, with the emphasis on class structures and race. But the most powerful way to alter those inequities is through family structure.

It has now been more than a decade since Christina Hoff Sommers wrote her landmark book, The War Against Boys. Boys have not lacked for articulate defenders since—dozens of titles have followed—but the fate of boys has not improved. Every stage of their lives is fraught. The DIAGNOSIS rate for ADHD is as high as 15.1 percent for American boys, a percentage more than two times the rate for girls.10 Boys are expelled from preschool nearly five times as often as girls.15 In elementary and secondary school, boys get D's and F's at more than three times the rate of girls. On twelfth-grade standardized tests, 28 percent of boys score below basic LEVELS in writing (it's 14 percent for girls), and 31 percent of boys are below basic levels in reading (it's 20 percent for girls).11 The gap in the high-school-dropout rate persists even as the general rate of dropouts declines.3 Across grades four, eight, and twelve, boys write at lower levels than girls.11 Boys' juvenile-arrest rate is more than two times what it is for girls. Boys are 71 percent of juvenile offenders.6 Boys are twice as likely to be threatened with a weapon in high school.2

Maturity and despair go together for boys. Between ages ten and fourteen, boys are about twice as likely to kill themselves. Between fifteen and nineteen, they are almost four times as likely. From twenty to twenty-four, almost five times.2 Women account for 56.5 percent of all undergrad enrollments. And women account for nearly 60 percent of bachelor's and MASTER'S DEGREES.11 So what happens in the future? What happens when the category of "man" is synonymous with the category of "uneducated," which is synonymous with the category of "failure"?

Fear is the first response to the crisis, rife even among boys' defenders, and after the fear comes the blame, two brands of it, right wing and left wing. The War Against Boys was explicitly a critique of feminism. "Boys" were the new "girls," limited and despised by a generalized misandry, a politically CORRECT fury that in its zeal to tear down the patriarchy simply forgot that men are people. On the other side, Michael Kimmel, in books like 2008's Guyland and last year's Angry White Men, has argued that the residue of patriarchy drives young men to despair and self-destruction. The old codes, the macho, the defensive response to a changing world, "the ideology of traditional masculinity that keeps boys from wanting to succeed," in his phrase, are the primary culprits.

The boy is now an alien among us, brittle but also violent. But you don't have to look far back to find other responses. Not so long ago, boys and boyishness were the ideals of society. On the walls of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan are written the hopes Teddy Roosevelt had for the boys of his era: "I want to see you game, boys, I want to see you brave and manly, and I also want to see you gentle and tender." Boys were strong but also sentimental—the way the war office convinced them to go to war in the early twentieth century was through their ATTACHMENT to their sisters and mothers. The boy, for most of the history of the twentieth century, represented the best of humanity.

Sommers and Kimmel are both right: The men lost without a patriarchy and the men lost in guyland are the same men. The bridge to manhood has two spans: Give boys and men a way to be proud to be boys and men, in ORDER that they can then understand that being a man is an ongoing, difficult, complicated undertaking. It's not just that the boys' crisis requires a complex response. Complexity is the response. And the best way to give that complexity, to demonstrate that masculinity requires strength and vulnerability, is by the presence of a father or a father figure. Children raised by SINGLE parents are at a greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse.4 Boys are more than twice as likely to be arrested,6 more likely to drop out of high SCHOOL,3 at least twice as likely to commit suicide.2

The father figures have, one by one, been torn down. They have torn themselves down. Male authority figures, for generations, were given a FREE pass, an unexamined prerogative. They abused it. Some of them still abuse it. The past fifty years have been consumed with the destruction of various patriarchies. But the crisis of today is not the handful of monsters who infect the institutions. The crisis is the 17.5 million fatherless children3 with an absence in their souls. There is no cure for fatherlessness. There are only salves. The fatherless world needs substitute fathers, men who are willing to care about the lives of children who aren't their own. The problem isn't bullying coaches. The problem is all the men who aren't coaching. The problem isn't the various inevitable failures of the men who show up. The problem is the men who don't show up.

The evils of a few have overshadowed the good of many. The coaches and priests and TEACHERS are not the enemies of civil society but its creators.

The old fatherhood was a series of unexpressed assumptions. The new fatherhood requires intelligence. It requires judgment. The new fatherhood is messy. It will have to be. In the face of this messiness, there are men, and not just a few, either, who retreat into fantasies of lost idylls, worlds where men were men, whatever that might have meant. Kimmel's work is full of them, guys who wallow in an "aggrieved entitlement." The new father is not so shallow nor so old-fashioned. Only the truly lost man would want to return to his grandfather's way of life. Who would want to go back to the BAD FOOD, the boring sex, the isolation? Who would want to be financially responsible for a family and then never see them? The new fatherhood is a huge gain for men, the chance for a deeper intimacy, a whole new range of pleasures and agonies, a fuller version of our humanity.

At the heart of the new fatherhood is a somewhat surprising insight: Men, as fathers, are more crucial than anybody realized. The changing American father is transforming the country at all LEVELS, from the most fundamental to the most ethereal, economically, socially, politically. The epidemic of fatherlessness and the new significance men place on fatherhood point to the same clandestine truth: The world, it turns out, does need fathers.


Fatherhood changes with the times, and wasn’t always as we’ve believed it to be. Adrienne Burgess shows how fatherhood was shaped through culture and economics (mainly in Northern Europe) and how it CONTINUES to shape YOU as a father. And we ask: “how new is ‘new’ dad?

Hunter Gatherer Dad

We tend to believe that, in primitive communities, men and fathers hunted away long distance for most of the time, while mothers and grandmothers foraged LOCALLY and looked after the children
This was only true in a minority of tribes; but in many, fathers were very present most or even all of the time. In some, both sexes hunted and foraged together locally and in these there often developed a culture of pride among men that they were close to their children.
In primitive communities, it is dangerous for babies to crawl or toddle around OPEN fires, stone or earth floors, deadly insects and reptiles) so they must be carried a lot. We know that fathers did and do this in some communities, and it is likely that they did/do it many.
In some communities – mainly warlike ones - there is strong cultural pressure for men NOT to be involved with babies and young children; in others that is not at all the case. Nor, just because there is cultural pressure, do all fathers do what they’re told.

Pre-Industrial Dad

As Christianity and, later, ‘rationalism’, took hold across Europe, fathers were instructed to be the detached leaders within families. However, again many fathers didn’t do as they were told, and what went on in families was often very different!
In Northern Europe (it was different in the Mediterranean and in other parts of the world) fathers have long been key partners in the parenting team. This was because
large extended families, all living in the one place, were not the norm until the late 19th Century
grandparents often died before grandchildren were born.
there was much migration round the country, so local neighbourhood networks were often disrupted
women usually had ‘trades’ (weaving, brewing) and there is evidence that even quite EDUCATED fathers cared for children and did housework to leave the women free to work
As an example of routine ‘fathercare’, look at this lullaby (written down in 1805)
Hush thee, my baby
Lie still with thy daddy, Thy mammy has gone to the mill To grind thee some wheat To make thee some meat (this meant bread) Oh my dear babby lie still
Rural life was regulated by daylight. In winter fathers could only be away from the lighted house or cottage for a few hours. In summer the whole family often worked together in the fields. Winter and summer, very many fathers were highly AVAILABLE to their children.
Even in wealthy families, children often slept with their parents: the ‘nursery in the attic’ didn’t appear in architecture until the later 19th century
Custody of children after formal/informal DIVORCE often went to fathers; and since 8% of mothers died in childbirth, many more men than women were lone parents I is estimated that between 1599-1811, 24.1% of children lived in lone father households, compared with 1.3% today!

Industrial Dad

As the industrial revolution developed in England, in some districts mothers and children worked in factories – and dads were stay-at-home carers.
Later, the most important thing that happened to fathers was that they started working away, sometimes far away, from their homes.
Into the 20th Century this trend CONTINUED with ‘commuting’ becoming part of most fathers’ lives
Women began to take over ‘traditional’ fathers’ tasks – such as EDUCATING children. Not only were fathers spending less time with their children, but they gradually becoming ‘de-skilled’
Imperialism and ongoing wars, including two world wars, meant that all men had to be an army-and-workforce in waiting’, ready to leave their families at a moment’s notice. Many children lost their fathers, or dads who returned kept silent about their experiences. Communication with children could suffer

21st Century Dad

With women achieving so much at work, in the armed forces, in politics, gender roles are up for grabs and men are BEGINNING to feel proud of their involvement at home and keen to do more of it.
Men’s leisure time is also increasingly located at home, rather than outside of it – so home is no longer so much the women’s domain
Increasing home working and flexible working mean some fathers are getting to spend more time with their children - even though working hours are long
In some districts, as in the early Industrial Revolution, there are more jobs ‘for women’ than men; and in some families women are earning more than men, so the NUMBER of home-dads is increasing again
Adult children are living further away from their parents, so dads are key to the child-rearing team
‘New dad’ in – in terms of more men spending more time caring for babies and young children – is more visible and more common: but in all eras there have a been these highly involved fathers that we call ‘new dads’!

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