Happy Father’s Day! Today is one of the few days that us dads get to say, “Today is about ME!” Probably won’t get much attention from saying it, but you can try. Even though some may get a pair of socks and others may get a regular made meal, nothing and I truly mean NOTHING feels better than being a dad. As I personally celebrate my 2nd year of being a black dad in America, today I will start my day off kissing my daughter and thanking her for giving me the best role of my life. Afterwards I will hit the gun range with a few other black fathers. To top off my dad, I’ll hang out with the man who showed me how to be an amazing father, my own dad who is celebrating his 2nd year as a grandfather. One thing my dad loves are movies. So we will probably stay in this year to keep away from COVID-19 and watch a few great movies that shows that the love of a father is unbeatable.
My dad told me when growning up, “You will not understand how much I love you until I have a child of my own.” When my daughter was born I came to understand exactly what he meant. If you are spending time with your children, or just want to take some time for yourself dads (don’t be ashame if you need to because the mother’s do it all the time) here are 7 movies that show that being a father can change anyone’s world.
1. South Central
Glenn Plummer delivers a powerful performance in this angry film based on Crips, a novel written by South Central Los Angeles high school teacher Donald Baker, and directed by Steve Anderson, who served time in prison. Plummer plays OG Bobby Johnson, a young black man trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle of hatred, incarceration, and bloodshed. On his first day out of prison, he comes back to the streets of South Central LA and the only family he knows –the gang. He finds that his best friend Ray-Ray (Byron Keith Minns) is now the leader of the Deuces. Ray-Ray, with plenty of sweet talk, easily talks Bobby into committing a murder, killing a rival gang leader. But before the killing Bobby finds that his girlfriend Carole (LaRita Shelby) has given birth to his son. He also sees that she is becoming too dependent on her drug supply.
After the killing, Bobby is hauled back into jail for a ten-year stretch. In jail, Bobby undergoes a transformation. Introduced to the Muslim community and mentored by an older convict named Ali (Carl Lumbly), Bobby begins to read W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King. He learns about self-respect and how gangs use people like him. When he is once again released from prison, Bobby is a new man. But South Central has gone from bad to worse. Carole, now completely addicted to cocaine, works as a hooker to support her habit. He also discovers that Ray-Ray has recruited his 10-year-old son Jimmie (Christian Coleman) as a junior gang member, stealing car stereos. Jimmie looks upon Ray-Ray as a role model and Bobbie must find a way to save his child from the violent and doomed future of a gang member.
2. John Q
A national health care crisis in the United States yields this tense drama from screenwriter James Kearns and director Nick Cassavetes, who experienced a real-life dilemma with his daughter’s congenital heart disease that mirrors the one in this film. Denzel Washington stars as John Q. Archibald, a factory worker facing financial hardship as a result of reduced hours in his workplace. When his young son, Michael (Daniel E. Smith), is stricken during a baseball game, John and his wife, Denise (Kimberly Elise), discover that their child is in need of an emergency heart transplant.
Although the Archibalds have health insurance, they are informed by hospital administrator Rebecca Payne (Anne Heche) that their policy doesn’t cover such an expensive procedure. Unable to raise the money himself, John persuades the hospital’s compassionate cardiac surgeon, Dr. Raymond Turner (James Woods), to waive his lofty fee, but is still left with too much of a financial burden to bear. With no recourse but to take his son home to die, John snaps and holds the staff and patients of the hospital’s emergency room hostage at gunpoint. John is soon a media hero, the focus of intense news coverage, even as police chief Gus Monroe (Ray Liotta) and hostage negotiator Frank Grimes (Robert Duvall) try to resolve the situation before it leads to bloodshed. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
3. Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son (Jaden Smith) evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.
4. Creed II
Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.
Now I know a few people may be asking, “How in the world is Creed II on here.” It’s on here because it was the first movie that showed me how much I love my damn daughter and SHE WASN’T even born yet. The only movie I have ever cried on before this was E.T. when he was leaving earth when I was like 2. Creed II is for any man with kids, but for me? It’s specifically for the girl dads of the world.
It’s a few parts that got me, but when Creed has a time period where it is him and his daughter alone for the first time together and he is already going through his own turmoil of losing his first fight against Drago’s son Viktor Drago. Creed find himself not being able to get her to stop crying, which makes him break down. After a while he comes to realize that they have something in common that surprisingly gets her to stop crying. If you haven’t seen the movie I won’t spoil it, but that part took me OUT! My wife was crying as well, but when she saw my face, those teary ears turned into a cheese grin. Like she was telepathically saying, “You over there crying, Daddy?”
5. Daddy’s Little Girls
Diary of a Mad Black Woman mastermind Tyler Perry turns the familiar Cinderella tale on its head with this story concerning a successful female attorney who falls in love with a financially strapped mechanic. Monty (Idris Elba) is struggling mechanic and single father of three from a poor neighborhood. Upon learning that custody of his beloved daughters has been awarded to his morally bankrupt, drug-dealing ex-wife Jennifer (Tasha Smith), desperate Monty enlists the aid of beautiful Ivy league-educated lawyer Julia (Gabrielle Union) — whom he recently met during his brief stint as a chauffeur — in ensuring that his daughters remain with him in a stable and loving environment.
Despite the vast social and economical differences that divide them, Monty and Julia soon begin to find themselves unexpectedly falling in love with one another as they work together to save Monty’s daughters from a life of crime and corruption. Now, in order to reconcile their blossoming romance and overcome the forces that threaten to destroy the only thing that Monty holds dear, the concerned father and powerful lawyer will have to bridge the gap that divides them by coming together to prove that true love really does have the power to prevail. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
6. Boyz In The Hood
Director John Singleton’s debut chronicles the trials and tribulations of three young African-American males growing up in South Central Los Angeles. When young Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a bright underachiever, begins to show signs of trouble, his struggling professional mother (Angela Basset) sends him to live with his father (Lawrence Fishburne), a hard-nosed, no-nonsense disciplinarian. There he befriends Ricky (Morris Chestnut), a burgeoning football star, and Doughboy (Ice Cube, in a standout performance), a would-be gang banger. Over the years, each chooses his own path: Tre seems bound for college; Ricky is a blue-chip running back with his pick of schools; Doughboy is a dope dealer and bona fide gangster who drifts in and out of the county juvenile facility.
All is well until, without warning, a rival gang chases down Tre and Ricky with tragic results. Doughboy immediately prepares for revenge, forcing Tre to decide whether to jeopardize his future and, perhaps, his life for the price of revenge and self-respect. Sometimes riveting, Boyz’N the Hood is not without its problems. The film tries to cram every single issue facing the black community into an hour and a half of screen time, making the film seem at times forced. The symbolism seems forced as well, and the film is often unbearably heavy-handed. Also, the characterization often relies on cardboard cut-outs; every white character in the film is a one-dimensional bigot, and the black police officer with whom Tre and his father deal is even worse than his Caucasian counterparts. Still, the unevenness of the film is redeemed by some moments of true brilliance. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovi
7. Hair Love
Hair Love is a 2019 American animated short film written and directed by Matthew A. Cherry and co-produced with Karen Rupert Toliver. It follows the story of a man who must do his daughter’s hair for the first time, and it features Issa Rae as a voice of the mother. The film was produced after a 2017 Kickstarter campaign, and it was also released as a children’s book in May 2019 with illustrations by Vashti Harrison. Hair Love won Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Seven-year-old Zuri attempts to style her thick, kinky hair while watching an instructional video narrated by her mother (Issa Rae). Her father, Stephen, attempts to help her and, after much effort, styles her hair. They enter a hospital room where her mother is wearing a scarf and sitting in a wheelchair. Her mother removes her scarf to reveal that her head is completely bald, the result of chemotherapy for cancer. The family members hug each other and return home together.