Journalist Ed Gordon, a familiar face to millions of people throughout his award-winning career, is also a doting father who has created a national initiative to strengthen the bond between fathers and daughters. Launched in 2008, “Daddy’s Promise,” enlists fathers to commit to building a special relationship with their daughters and calls upon them to pledge their commitment to be a responsible parent. Gordon, the father of a 15-year old daughter, has been traveling around the country appealing to fathers to be present in their daughter’s lives.
In the wake of the much-publicized incident involving entertainers Chris Brown and Rihanna that has Brown facing charges for domestic violence, Gordon is speaking out on the necessity of fathers to reinforce their daughter’s self esteem. “Fathers should use the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident as a chance to teach their daughters that a man should never lay a hand on you EVER!,” said Gordon.
The alleged attack by Brown on Rihanna, with whom he is reportedly romantically linked, has sparked much debate in the news media in general and in the Black community over the issue of domestic violence. The release of the young starlet’s police photos showing serious bruises the case has become a rallying cry for anti-domestic violence advocates. Still, one of the surprising developments is that some polls indicate that many Black youth are split on who they see, Brown or Rihanna, as bearing primary fault for the incident.
Gordon suggested using the incident as a teaching moment. He said, “Since we started Daddy’s Promise, our initiative has promoted the idea of the invaluable role fathers play in building the expectations and self-esteem of our daughters. The number of battered women would surely decrease if more fathers took an active role in showing their daughters what they should expect from other men.” He also speculates that one of the factors driving domestic violence is that fathers have not discussed the issue with their daughters. He said, “We have neglected in many cases to tell them that no man, not even your boyfriend or husband is to put their hands on you for any reason.”
The long-time journalist believes that the conversation should not just be directed toward young men. “Men need to speak to each other and say out loud this is a cowardly way of dealing with a woman and is a show of misguided manhood,” charged Gordon.
“Daddy’s Promise,” is a national initiative that consists of a series of community engagements. The project will include a father/daughter dance this June in New York City as part of its ongoing effort to create a nationwide conversation with African-American families to celebrate fathers and father figures.
Read Ed Gordon’s blog about domestic violence as www.daddyspromise.com/edtalks.