Part three of Ed’s recent interview with artist and author Lecrae.
Ed: You talk about your journey of life growing up without a father and forgiving him for being absent. Tell us a little bit about that.
Lecrae: I grew up without my biological father. A lot of the unfortunate, stereotypical scenarios were present in my world: drug addiction, jail, all of those things. Obviously, it’s shaped me in a lot of different ways. It did contribute to some emotional trauma that I now battle. But God has been gracious to me and given me an opportunity to process that, and to meet him [my father] as a grown man.
It is very beneficial, very necessary to have fathers in the home. I also think that we give far too much blame for the destruction of the Black community to the absence of fathers in the home. As much as it’s created problems, I don’t think that’s the ingredient. I’ve broken the cycle by the grace of God.
Ed: When we talk about the African American community and fatherhood, many people think about The Moynihan Report, in which fatherhood was a recurring theme of concern. Now, when people don’t want to talk about systemic injustice, they only want to talk about fatherhood. What are the issues and constructs we need to talk about that would bring about change in the community?
Lecrae: Not to oversimplify it, but no one would ever say that you can have all grace and no truth, or all truth and no grace. For the issues in our society, there is both a culpability and a responsibility of the individual, but there are structural and systemic issue as well. They work hand in hand. It’s a both/and, not an either/or. I’ve experienced trauma. I never saw someone I was ever raised around who went on to become this incredible educator or financially secure individual. All of …