Two weeks ago Jay-z turned a quiet Monday afternoon on Twitter into a frenzy just days after he and his superstar wife, Beyonce Knowles welcomed their first child into the world. Her name is Blue Ivy. Months after Beyonce announced she was pregnant at the MTV Music Awards the media chatter grew. Now with Glory, Jay-Z’s love song to his daughter, even the most reluctant celebrity observer has to admit there are lessons there for all of us.
The Blueprint rapper would definitely be an unconventional parenting expert to most with his expletive-laced-lyrics and knack for describing women in less than flattering ways. ‘Glory’ is not atonement for the mogul’s misgivings but is a step in the right direction. A large portion of Jay-Z consumers are Black men and they should listen to this newest track on a loop. The first lesson is to uplift and motivate the children in our lives. The hip hop star gives us an example of how to tell the little ones in our lives that they matter. The most poignant lines on the track include ‘my greatest creation was you, everything that I prayed for I wished I would have prayed more.’ This affirmative action will forever be etched in pop culture memory but more than that it will always be a praise song for his little girl.
It is so easy for the average father to get caught in the cycle being the provider to the detriment of all else. Proving that you care by saying it amounts to a great deal, the sum of articulating your love and affection means something to that child it says I see you and you matter. These are tough times, this media moment is defined by problematic perceptions of who we are and ought to be and thus repeating the line you are kind, you are smart you are intelligent does for the esteem of our children what spinach does for their physical selves. Contributing to the confidence of any child is one way of investing in the future of the world.
The second lesson in Glory is that we help one another and ourselves by sharing our life’s pain and challenges .Part of surviving this world is silence, or so we have been taught, consequently any event in our lives that tests our resilience leads us to suffer in silence.
On Glory the new dad speaks of a previous miscarriage which him and his wife suffered which the public never knew, to sing of such a tragedy and challenge tells those who have never graced a stage anywhere that wounds can become wisdom, that telling each other our stories can encourage us all to soar. Its hard not to think that Jay-Z’s honesty did not help someone this week, a couple struggling with the emotional stress of a miscarriage or anyone grieving any kind of loss.
Andwele Boyce is a freelance journalist based in the Caribbean. He is also an advocate for people with disabilities and a Contributor to healthyblackmen.org. You can follow him on twitter @AndweleBoyce.