NBA defensive player and writer Etan Thomas on challenging attitudes toward black children raised in single-parent households:
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There I was, sitting in Spike Lee’s fancy hotel suite with an impressive gathering of black intellectuals and celebrities, men I have been idolizing for most of my life. We had just finished a heated panel discussion on black athletes. Some of the panelists had gravitated to Spike’s room to continue the discussion. Jim Brown was stating in his usual forceful way that any black child who grows up without a father in their home was doomed to failure. I looked around to see if there were going to be any objections, and nobody said a word. Everyone was shaking their heads in agreement with what Jim Brown was saying. But, I couldn’t sit there quietly and allow that statement to remain unchallenged. It would have been a betrayal to my single mother who raised me and my little brother by herself.