#ThanksPops: A celebration of Black fatherhood

Photographer: Luis Antonio Thompson

In celebration of Father’s Day, theGrio commissioned New York City based photographer, Luis Antonio Thompson to present his collection of images dedicated to Black fatherhood. 

In it Thompson showcases the bond between Black fathers and their children, dispelling the myth that Black men aren’t attentive, sensitive, kind and loving towards their offspring. Instead, you’ll bear witness to fathers who are both breaking a dysfunctional cycle and debunking the idea of that engaged Black dads don’t exist.

Below are 17 fathers from our community who genuinely bask in the joy of their roles as fathers and aren’t ashamed to show it.

READ MORE: Former NFL star Rashad Jennings talks about the transformational journey in repairing the broken bond with his father

Albert Lovelace, with son Alijah, and daughter Ardelia

Albert Lovelace, 44 with son Alijah, 12 and daughter Ardelia, 17

“I love watching my children pursue their passions. Ardelia is a skilled artist, and Alijah loves basketball. Watching them pursue what makes them happy is the most gratifying feeling I could ever ask for.”—Albert Lovelace


Quoom Wilburn with sons Jaacob, (left) and Ashriel

Quoom Wilburn, 36, with sons Jaacob, 8 (left) and Ashriel

“Every little step in watching my kids grow is a milestone for me. The fact that I’ve influenced them to be percussionists and that they not only love it, but are *good* at it is so gratifying to me. I’ve played with a lot of people over the years, but the best help I’ve ever had is from my sons. They make me better.” Quoom Wilburn


Desmond Prass Sr. and son Desmond Jr.

Desmond Prass Sr., 64, and son Desmond Jr., 38

“Seeing someone that looks like me and acts like me is great! But also to witness the changes he’s made in his life as he has evolved into a man – that is pretty special. We have a wonderful relationship, and I love being a dad. It’s pretty rewarding.”Desmond Prass Sr.

READ MORE: Celebrate Black fatherhood with 5 #ThingsdaBombBlackDadsDo

Dennis Williams with son, Élan

Dennis Williams, 42, with son Élan, 1

“For the first time in my life, I have to think about someone else other than me. Selflessness and planning for a future for someone other than myself. That’s the best part of being a father.”Dennis Williams


Sam Nisbett and stepdaughter, Naasia

Sam Nisbett, 53, and stepdaughter Naasia, 7

“Even though she is not my biological daughter, we’re like BFFs. We have a lot of fun together. Karate classes, roller skating – she does a lot of things that I am proud of, and I love watching her grow up.” Sam Nisbett


Jay Henry with daughters, Antoinette (left) and Celestine

Jay Henry, 58, with daughters Antoinette (left), 27, and Celestine, 31

“Best job I’ve ever had is being their father. I still remember when each of them were born. Watching a life that you created actually come into the world is the most exhilarating thing ever, and I will never forget that moment.”—Jay Henry

READ MORE: Use this Father’s Day to fix and heal your broken relationship with Dad

Teddy Turenne with son Tyson

Teddy Turenne, 33 with son Tyson, 3

My son is a little comedian. Everything I do, he mimics it and makes fun. I love that I’m raising him to be carefree and good-natured.”—Teddy Turenne


Darrell Anderson and daughter, Chanel

Darrell Anderson, 57, and daughter Chanel, 23

“It’s hard to pick a moment that I would say is my “proudest.” But I will say I remember celebrating her 16th birthday – it was the first moment that I realized she was maturing into a beautiful young lady. Since then, I’ve made it a point to savor each day and every moment with her.”—Darrell Anderson

Devon Davis and son, D’kari

Devon Davis, 37, and son D’kari, 10

“The most satisfying part of being D’kari’s father is watching him interact with other people. He’s kind, he carries himself well, and he has such a good heart. That’s what this world needs more of, and I’m proud to mold him into that.”Devon Davis


Omari Edwards with son, Milo

Omari Edwards, 25, with son Milo, 1

“I feel like I have a chance to make the world a better place through my son. Spending time with him, being active in his life and showing him how to be a caring, generous man are things I feel like I’m privileged to do.” —Omari Edwards


James Gibson and son, JDupre

James Gibson, 50, and son JDupre, 33

“The best part of being his father is watching him become someone that I am really proud of. My only issue is that we don’t see enough of each other – I love him so much I could spend every moment of every day in his presence.”James Gibson


Tristan Verette and daughter, Noah

Tristan Verette, 32 and daughter Noah, 1

It’s exciting for me to playing a role in developing her and her amazing personality. Best part of my day is the moment that she greets me at the door – after a long, hard day at work- and says “daddy!” with a huge smile on her face. That’s always my proudest moment.”Tristan Verette


David Stewart Sr.with sons, Tyriek (left) and David Jr.

David Stewart Sr., 43, with sons Tyriek (left), 15, and David Jr., 20

“I didn’t have it easy growing up. So to watch them achieve things like graduating middle school and high school are probably my proudest moments. It’s not easy, but they make me proud of being their father.” David Stewart Sr.


Michael Solomon Sr. and son, Michael Jr.

Michael Solomon Sr., 42, and son Michael Jr., 10

“My son is a talented dancer with an energetic spirit. I’m proud of being his father and watching him grow.”Michael Solomon Sr.


Paris Morris and son, Paris

Paris Morris, 26, and son Paris, 2

“I feel like I can show him things that I learned when I was growing up, and more importantly, things that I didn’t know until I was an adult. How to be a good man, how to tap into your artistic side – so many things that I’m excited to show him.”Paris Morris


Russell Clemons with son, Isaiah and daughter, Jessica

Russell Clemons, 59, with son Isaiah, 27, and daughter Jessica, 30

“There’s never a moment that I’m not proud of my children. They’re smart, educated, congenial, and have become more than I could have ever imagined. I love them so much.” —Russell Clemons


Herman Pardon and son, Koi

Herman Pardon, 38, and son Koi, 4

“I love that I not only am able to teach my son new things, but he teaches me as well. We learn from each other. He’s an amazing, humble little human being.”Herman Pardon

Luis Antonio Thompson is a writer and photographer from New York City. Find him at @AntonioTheWiser.