I am in total love with this New Yorker cover by artist Kadir Nelson, depicting a Black father and his children enjoying a day at the beach. The image of the Black father is not so much “special” to me; my father and stepfather were very much doting, loving, and involved men in my life. And just this past weekend I was surrounded by Black fathers celebrating the success of their children moving onward and upward. We know that positive images of Black fathers exist, but the media and certain groups would have you believe otherwise. That’s why this cover is so important. It normalizes the image of a Black man participating in the livelihood of his children. Like a Black version of a Normal Rockwell piece, Nelson’s painting just brings it all together: strength, love, fun, security, happiness.

On another note, stay woke on this non-holiday. Remember, our ancestors were not free; therefor this holiday does not celebrate us. Don’t fall for the old okey-doke.

I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.-The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fa thers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.

– Frederick Douglass