Nominated by his wife, Lauren Malloy
Q: How did it feel when you became a father?
A: It was a year after we got married we found out we were pregnant. It was definitely a joyous occasion. It was obviously new and something to look forward to as far as a legacy standpoint for me. It was a great feeling. With our first, we didn’t make the sex a surprise, but with the second, we did. We did the whole gender reveal by cutting the cake to find out we were having another girl. We may have been hoping for a boy at that time, but both are a true blessing, and we couldn’t ask for anything more. They both provide a new outlook on life for sure.
Q: What can you share about your daughters?
A: Naomi is 2 years old and will be 3 in March; Olivia is 4 and turns 5 in February. They are actually two years and seven days apart. They are both very good girls, and both do ballet and gymnastics. We do have our hands full, and they keep us on our toes. As they’ve continued to grow, we’ve started to see their personalities come out more and really started to see them bond with each other.
Q: What was your relationship like with your father?
A: Growing up in the early stages he wasn’t really there. My mother did get married, and I had my stepfather in my life for some time. I didn’t really start having a relationship with my biological father until I was 15 or 16. I think what sparked that reunion was an interest in me to want to learn more about him, about myself and that side of my family. To see where I come from, where some of my characteristics come from and learn a little more about the legacy.
Q: Did he offer any advice that stuck with you?
A: Learn by example. Definitely looking from the outside in, learning from mistakes that he may have made, so wanting to make sure I built those positive relationships and serve as a role model to my two girls.
Q: What are your thoughts on stereotypes about black fathers?
A: I guess the media feels there are not enough black fathers around. I think that there’s a story behind everyone’s situation and how they were developed. I think by heart, we want to be providers. But sometimes life happens. I think dads really do want to be that father that is needed in their children’s lives, but oftentimes due to circumstances, they don’t have the opportunity to do so.
Q: Any advice for first-time fathers?
A: The most important thing is to have patience. As a father of two girls and as the only male in the entire household, it gives you a unique perspective to understand the opposite sex. But know you must have patience, love and understanding, all at the same time. You have to pick and choose your battles and pick a balance that will provide everyone with a positive environment. My father-in-law, Lawrence Williams, has three girls, and there’s a few other older men I’ve formed relationships with that have girls. They all pretty much tell me the same thing. It’s all about the patience and creating a relationship where they know they can call on you and depend on you. You need to be there and be the safety net.
Q: Is there anything in your role as a father that would surprise people?
A: Sibling-wise, I have one other brother and four sisters, so from a male standpoint, I’ve always served in that role of being a protector. So people may be surprised with the way I joke around with the girls. When people see us together, it is definitely a joyous occasion. At this age, the girls love to dance. So I get in there and dance with them. Their favorite song right now is by JoJo Siwa titled “Boomerang.”
Q: What has been a favorite family tradition?
A: I think we make time for them to build a relationship with our immediate family. My family is actually from Philadelphia, so we go back often to visit everyone. My mother, grandmother, sisters and father are still back in Philly. They also have cousins around their age.
Q: Final thoughts?
A: I think it’s very important for men to experience fatherhood and be in their children’s lives. Because at the end of the day, kids will internalize and analyze their parents’ actions more than we think.
— Interview by Ashley Kang, The Stand Director