Chris Paul and his wife Jada: It was imperative for Chris to pay homage to his deceased grandfather on his wedding day.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re aware of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I’ll spare you my feelings on the case (I doubt they’re hard to figure out) however what Martin’s murder reminded me of is how much some lives are undervalued in the U.S. Now you’re wondering where I’m going with this and what the heck it has to do with weddings. Well, in addition to showcasing two people joining their lives as one, Tie the Knot Tuesday regularly spotlights real families — men, women and even children loving and supporting each other. I think we all can use a reminder of the ways Black men, whether they are grooms, fathers of the bride, brothers of the bride, uncles or family friends, hold it down for their families. Are these men without issues? Nope; absolutely not. I’m just doing my part to level the playing field a bit. This is for all the Trayvons of the world. Take a few moments to digest all of this and then recognize how many men like these you have in your own life; even if the world rarely does.

  • Akida Neely was honest about not having an active relationship with her biological father and therefore opted to be escorted down the aisle by her longtime swim coach and mentor, Jim Ellis. “I attended college on a swim scholarship largely because of him,” she shared. Ellis is the same swim coach that the film Pride was based on (actor Terrance Howard played him in the flick). Remember, it takes a village…
  • Marshall Brazzley proved chilvary is not dead and went through extreme lengths to get his father-in-law’s blessing before asking for his wife Tewanna’s hand in marriage. Even if you think this tradition is BS, it shows humility and patience — qualities that aren’t typically associated with young Black men.
  • The fact is there are a lot of Black and Brown men who are not carrying their weight as fathers. Period. But there are also men like Lyncoln Dujon who understand that when you truly love a woman, you accept everything and everyone she brings to the table. Dujon’s desire to not only be a great husband but also a great stepfather is impressive. (Be sure to read his quote under Family First about the responsibility of raising a Black male.)
  • NBA star Chris Paul gave his deceased grandfather Papa Chilly a touching tribute during his wedding reception because his grandfather was the family patriarch. He was also the owner of the first Black-owned service station in the state of North Carolina. Chris wanted to make him proud and preserve his legacy. How can you not respect that?

I only chose to highlight five men but I promise you there is an example of this on Triple B every week if you look for it. Change happens with our daily/weekly/monthly activities, not just attending a march every few years or wearing a hoodie in a Facebook profile pic. BONUS: Although this story didn’t initially appear in a Tie the Knot Tuesday profile, Chris Draft defied a plethora of stereotypes with these heart-wrenching videos after losing his wife to cancer.

FYI – We’ll return to the traditional Tie the Knot Tuesday features next week.