The Big Piece of Chicken.

In my search this morning for some songs to honor all the fathers out there on Father’s Day, particularly mine, I quickly came to realize the offerings were very limited. One online list of father-centered songs turned up Will Smith’s remake of “Just the Two of Us.”

I mean, really?

It reminded me of Chris Rock’s classic riff during his “Bigger & Blacker” comedy set in 1999 about the diminished importance  — relative to mothers, of course — of the traditional father.

[The real daddies] Make your world a better, safer place, and what does daddy get? The big piece of chicken. That’s all daddy gets is the big piece of chicken.

From my perspective, it’s hard to argue with him.

Even though plenty of fathers — like my own — worked hard to provide for their families, they’re often ignored and taken for granted because outward displays of appreciation and affection are supposedly unimportant to dads. Real men don’t need praise; they need quiet time in front of the TV with a beer and the sports section of the Sunday newspaper … right?

Or not.

In my case, I could not possibly come up with enough ways to express gratitude for my father. I mean, where would I start?

Thanks for spending all those nights teaching me arithmetic on flash cards; thanks for teaching me how to execute a proper layup; thanks for motivating me for little-league football by promising a video game for each touchdown; thanks for boosting my confidence enough so that I summoned enough courage to ask out a girl for the first time in my life; thanks for understanding when I bawled like a baby on the drive to college; thanks for encouraging me to keep running up The Hill even when my lungs were burning and my legs were wobbling; thanks for keeping all of my college newspaper stories in a clipbook; thanks for convincing me that Oklahoma City wouldn’t be such a bad place to live after all; thanks for hugging me so tight when I found out I lost my job; thanks for being the first to suggest that I ask the First Lady to come join me in Tampa; thanks for being there everday, even when I was less than appreciative. Like, maybe, Tuesday or something.

A big piece of chicken isn’t nearly enough. And neither is a song.


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • Lovely post, black.

    Is this were we get to reminisce about how awesome (or not awesome) our fathers/father figures are? If so, sign me up! Ahem…

    Thanks, Dad, for being patient enough to teach me how to drive a stick-shift uphill and laughing at me when I cried from frustration, until I had to laugh at myself too. Thanks for teaching me how to jab and how to hit a softball. And thanks for moving me into my dorm, two years in a row. And for being the easiest roadtrip partner a girl could ask for on a 3,000-mile drive. Thanks for the hugs, and the boy advice, and always being willing to give me your last dollar. Thanks for always letting me know how much I mean to you. Thanks for not making me feel guilty when I don’t call for a week or two, and thanks for being there when I do. And thanks for promising to cut back on the sugar so you can stick around, because you know I can’t make it without you.

  • t.o.a n.

    This post is truly the sweetest most loving post. I absolutely adore it.

  • It’s usually the deadbeats who get all the attention, while the good guys slave away in relative anonymity. They do it day in and day out without complaint but the deadbeats steal their shine. But this is really what it’s all about. It’s about successful adult children coming back and simply saying thank you. I appreciate the job you did.

  • I will stop lurking long enough to remind you that you are truly blessed to have the father you’ve have. Great post.

  • blackink12

    Thanks, fam.

    And Shani, I’m right there with you on the sugar thing … for both my pops and my moms. Sheesh. To think, I’ve inherited their sweet tooth.

  • Good dads are teh awesome, but as a mama I’m here to let you know that giving dad the biggest serving of food day in, day out–and scrimping on your own plate if the kid wants “more” and there isn’t any–is nothing to sneeze at. Nor is being left alone. I’d be damn grateful for a big piece of chicken, a beer, and an afternoon alone with the newspaper…. 😛