She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Father's Day

Yesterday while in Walgreens, I decided to shop for my dad's Father's Day card. I typically don't buy them, but I thought I would do something different this year. I encountered a bit of a problem; the selection was kind of limited. My dad is a Black man born in Gulfport, MS, in 1931. He does not want Al Bundy, Homer Simpson, or any characters drawn on a card that don't look like him, i.e. White folks.
But that seemed to be the majority of the cards. The 'Black' section tended to be all super sappy, or some kind of 'at a boy' sentiment. As if the thought is, "I'm so glad you stepped up to be a father to your child".  Or, "there are daddy's and fathers, you're the good kind!" (insert hive five, on the black hand side). I wanted something funny and cute, but if I wanted a brotha on the cover, it had to be a little more emotional. 

Beyond the obvious lack of diversity, the 'mainstream' section simply just fell flat. My dad is not the barbecue grilling, steak-eating type. He's a vegetarian in fact. He digs beer, but cards with that 'theme' just seem lame.  So those jokes wouldn't work. I found a decent selection of cards that are for wives to husbands. Again, this helps me none. I want the card manufactures to know that there are good fathers, who happen to be Black. They raise their children and keep close and lasting relationships with them. Those same dads don't need a trophy or long dissertation on how wonderful it is that they have done so.  They are real men.  They handle their business.  Period.  What that means is they have a sense of humour.  They can take a joke.  And they come from all walks of Black life.  So there is no need to present a unidimensional portrait of the Black father. 

With that said, the mainstream cards should be more multifaceted.  I noticed that next to "our" section, was the Latino father section.  Those cards intertwined a bit of Spanish.  Again, why can't there be diversity in the mainstream section.  All the artwork doesn't have to feature White people.  If you have a card with only the hands of a dad and daughter, why can't they be brown, representing Black, Indian or Latin folks?  I am now on a hunt for better and more diverse greeting cards for every occasion.

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