Our annual Seventh Grade father and son dinner provides the opportunity for seventh graders and their fathers to share an evening exploring what it means to be a good man, the relationship between parent and son, and other mission-related themes.
The speaker at this year's event was author, journalist and media executive Mark Whitaker, who spoke about his memoir My Long Trip Home, in which he delves into the story of his family, in particular, his father. The son of a bi-racial couple who wed in 1956 (a time when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states), Mark spent many years estranged from his father, a brilliant African Studies scholar who struggled throughout his life with alcoholism.
Relationships between family members can be complex and Mark's message of the value in trying to truly understand people in their entirety through consideration of all of their experiences, resonated.
These Seventh Grade Father and Son dinners are always special to me. I love to see the boys with their dads spending an evening together at our school; and, this year, as the parent of a current seventh grader, it was even more special. Appreciation to Mr. Whitaker for his candid talk, and to Alumni Parent Dorothy Faux and John Dearie '95 for making this evening possible.