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‘The Today Show’s’ Craig Melvin Wants You to Know This About Black Fatherhood

Morning show anchor, father-of-two, and now author Craig Melvin sat down with SheKnows to talk parenthood and his new book, Pops: Learning To Be A Son and A Father, which came out June 15. In the book, Melvin explores his relationship with his father, who suffered from alcoholism much of Craig’s life, and his own journey into parenthood.

“I probably spent the better part of my 20s and early 30s desperately trying not to be a father. Twenty-five-year-old Craig looks at 42-year-old Craig and laughs hysterically,” he said from his home in Connecticut.

Married to sports reporter and anchor Lindsay Czarniak, Craig said the best parenting advice he ever received was from another working parent, Today co-anchor Carson Daly: “Focus on quality instead of quantity. You accept the fact that you’re not going to be able to be around for everything, because the reality is we are all sacrificing something. Like some parents are sacrificing time, some are sacrificing money, some are sacrificing, unfortunately, health, I mean everyone is giving up something.”

The book tells the story of his family life and how his father, Lawrence Melvin, struggled with addiction while working the graveyard shift at the post office. Still, Craig said he learned one very important thing, despite his father’s troubles. “. . . My father for all his faults when I was younger, he was always comfortable with who he was. . . . He passed that on to me. And that’s one of the things that I hope they pick up on and value.”

Melvin hopes his children, Delano and Sybil Ann, will learn much from the memoir, and that it can help change the way people look at Black fatherhood. “It is, perhaps, unreasonable to expect a Black father to be able like that to be the kind of father that they did not see growing up. My father didn’t find out who my father was until he was almost a teenager. He did a whole heck of a lot better than his dad did. I’d like to think I’m doing a little bit better than my dad did.”

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