Currently, I am reading Don’t Cry For Me by Daniel Black. This is novel about a father who is currently on his death bed journaling or writing letters to his queer/gay son in the form of an apology. It is written with the complexity of the father coming to “grips” with his son’s sexuality. Intentionally, I use that word “grips” in a sense of formation that has reshaped the father’s love. This book is firmly about fatherhood in a radical form. Radical in the root form of going back the basics of the father retrieving or at least trying to retrieve lost time.
It is not the typical how to book, but it is the narration of a father cultivating his love for his son through his cultural awareness of his own failures and success. His intentions from the beginning were well intended but in retrospect they were harmful to the growth of his son. Rather, he approved or disapproved, of his son’s sexuality, it was eventually outmaneuvered by his capacity to love his son’s enfleshment—his sexuality. Ultimately, this is what Dr. Black is getting at through this novel: that fatherhood has the potential to love with no boundaries.
Honestly, the novel is an imaginative critique of masculinity in the shape of fatherhood. What does fatherhood resemble in the lives of men who are broken? What does fatherhood mean in a man who has no concept of tenderness? What is love in a world where sacrifice is considered love? Dr. Black is performing these great “improvisational linguistics” as he tells this beautiful story of Black life transforming Black masculinity.
There is more but I will let you figure it out as you read…