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BIFF Film Series Presents
BIFF Film Series Presents

Wednesday 6th October 2010  7:30 PM

The Bahamas International Film Festival continues its film series with the movies, "Libermans in the Sky" and "Baghdad Texas". Viewers must be 18 years and older. "Libermans in the Sky" - 18mins An offbeat comedic journey through fatherhood, waterbeds and Cabalistic folklore. It is the story of Alan Lieberman, a beleaguered waterbedsalesman, on the worst day of his life. "Baghdad Texas" - 90 mins While a Middle Eastern dictator is fleeing his besieged country his plane crashes on the Mexican Border. He is inadvertentlycarried into Texas by illegal immigrants. Struck by a truck occupied by three cowboys he is taken to their exotic game ranch where their housekeeper nurses him back to health as they slowly discover his true identity. Or do they? Cost: $12/per screening; $100/complete package, including popcorn. Snack menu & bar available Start Time: October 6th at 7:30pm Where: Old Fort Bay For more information, contact 242-325-5747

News Article
Mount Tabor celebrates fatherhood

Nassau, Bahamas

- In
conjunction with the 40th Independence Celebration Committee, Bishop
Neil Ellis, Sr. pastor of Mount Tabor Full Gospel Baptist church
announced that Mount Tabor will recognize and highlight 40 distinguished
men "who stand out in their role as fathers and who have made stellar
contributions to the ongoing development of our nation."

This announcement was made at a press conference at the Lucayan Room of the Sheraton Hotel on Cable Beach on 1st May 2013...

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News Article
A resolution for fathers


Tribune Features Reporter

IN the popular Christian-dubbed movie "Courageous", filmmakers explore notions of fatherhood and a man's role as leader of the household.

In a critique of the film, local minister and psychologist Barrington Brennen shared is own insights on the meaning of fatherhood and parenting.

In the film, four male law enforcement officers are faced with the same calling, to serve and protect. The producers say these men consistently give their best on the job, but good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads.

"When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Prote ...

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News Article
New law recognizes children born out of wedlock

Bahamian men can now be taken to court to prove the parentage of children born out of wedlock, based on new regulations that came on stream with the Child Protection Act in 2009.

The law could be of major use to children born out of wedlock if they knew their rights, according to Utah Taylor, founder of Find Your Parents Foundation, and host of Controversy TV.

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Father's Day

Sunday 17th June 2012

Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. History of Father's Day courtesy of Wikipedia Father's Day is a celebration of fathers inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. After the success obtained by Anna Jarvis with the promotion of Mother's Day in the US, some wanted to create a similar holidays for other family members, and Father's Day was the choice most likely to succeed. There were other persons in the US who independently thought of "Father's Day", but the credit for the modern holiday is always given to Sonora Dodd. Father's Day was founded in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Arkansas from Spokane, who was also the driving force behind its establishment. Its first celebration was in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, the pastors hadn't enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. It did not have much success initially. In the 1920s, Dodd stopped promoting the celebration because she was studying in the Art Institute of Chicago, and it faded into relative obscurity, even in Spokane. In the 1930s Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present to fathers. Since 1938 she had the help of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion. Americans resisted the holiday during a few decades, perceiving it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. But the trade groups didn't give up: they kept promoting it and even incorporated the jokes into their adverts, and they eventually succeeded. By the mid 1980s the Father's Council wrote that "(...) [Father's Day] has become a 'Second Christmas' for all the men's gift-oriented industries." A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents".In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are fathers.

News Article
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Father's Day

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark Father's Day:

"Father's Day is a chance to say thank you to our fathers and to celebrate the role they play in our families.

"Fathers take on various key roles including caregivers, teachers and
role models. They are sources of strength for their families. And their devotion, values and morals act as a foundation that helps shape who we become.

"Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment that involves guiding children and youth as they overcome life's hurdles and grow into remarkable
individuals. This day is a chance to honour and celebrate paternal
guidance, influence and support...

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News Article
New documentary explores masculinity and manhood

Masculinity is generally described as a set of qualities, characteristics or roles generally considered typical of, or appropriate to a man. It's a simple definition for a word laden with baggage.
A new documentary by author, educator, playwright and filmmaker Ian Strachan, "I's Man: Manhood in The Bahamas", attempts to unpack the baggage in the context of what it means to be male in The Bahamas.
"The film explores issues of gender and sexuality in our society and tries to do it in as balanced a way as possible," Strachan told Guardian Arts&Culture.
The 90-minute documentary looks at what it means to be a "man" in The Bahamas through issues such as education, family, media, attitudes and values, and fatherhood. It brings to the surface some of the prejudices and cultural values that encompass this notion of manhood and what kind of impact that has had on Bahamian society, and how our colonial past may have played a significant role in this definition.
"It's a complex issue," said Strachan.
"The assumption is that there is a problem, and that this is worthy of analysis. That there is a crisis, which many people believe. If you look at it in some respects, this research would suggest in some ways there is a problem but in other ways there is not."
Strachan says that what he's discovered in the years-long process of making "I's Man" is that you cannot talk about masculinity and manhood without discussing feminity and womanhood.
The two go hand-in-hand in this society, he says.
"We are in an odd contradictory space," explained Strachan. "We are still in a patriarchal society that privileges men, where men still control political power and economic power, but those are men of a particular class."
But there is also the overriding fact that there is a problem when it comes to male achievement in education. For example, there are more women attending The College of The Bahamas - about 70 percent of the students there are female.
And then there are the numbers that show that 90 percent of the population at Her Majesty's Prisons is male.
"We seem to be talking about a male problem, but it doesn't mean all men are disempowered in this society," argues Strachan.
Strachan interviews 20-plus academics, professionals and others to closely examine the subject of masculinity. He also uses the story of Utah Taylor Rolle, who is on a search to find the father that he never knew and establish a relationship with him.
Strachan is familiar with the potential impact of an absent father, and says it was certain formative experiences - as a man raised by a single mother, the youngest of five boys, as a "bookish" student in a hyper-macho public school environment, and as a father of three young boys - that ultimately led him to make the documentary.
"When I finished 'Show Me Your Motion', I knew I wanted to do a film about manhood and masculinity," he said.
"I think a lot of it had to do with my own coming into fatherhood, which forced me to think about my place in the life of my children, my role. It caused me to look back on the difference my absent father had made, and how I could have been a different person if my father had been there."
Strachan says he has always been sensitive to this issue of "what is man" and how masculinity is expressed.
He has the sense that being a man in The Bahamas can be associated - for men of a certain grouping - with a number of problems. They are not interested in school, they are hostile to authority and follow a code of behavior that is anti-social.
Strachan believes that a lot of these problems could be addressed if society could re-engineer or re-conceptualize what a man is.
He is not saying that all men are a problem.
"To me this is a fundamental problem, and no man or woman escapes these politics in a culture like ours, which is so misogynist," said Strachan.
The documentary poses a number of powerful questions that deserve to be addressed with deliberate policies and plans.
Why do we have so many single parent and broken homes? Is it a problem that most children are being raised by their mothers exclusively? In education, why are males less engaged, less invested and less successful in the school system?
The school system, says Strachan, is not set up to maximize and respect how boys learn and how they want to learn, and then there are cultural experiences that explain the lack of investment in education.
Strachan says he's not necessarily setting out to answer all of the questions, but is trying to start a conversation.
"If there are any definitive hard answers, I would think you have to come away from the film wanting to re-examine this code of behavior. It calls on us to look at more than womanhood and manhood, and if there's a definite political position, it is that patriarchy is real and it is a problem - for men and for women. It oppresses both. Any concept of self which denies you the right to show vulnerability, to feel all the emotions you have is a problem," he said.
The film makes a clear case that the education system needs to consider how it could best serve the needs of the male population.
"It challenges us to consider some of our prejudices and cultural values, that to be intellectual is feminine and to be intellectual is white, which are extremely harmful values in this country," said Strachan.
"To think the foreign white person is smart and we are dumb. And it's okay for us to be dumb because that's how we stay black. That's how you be a man. That message is a big problem."
Strachan says it is satisfying to know that there are people in this country who have thought and are thinking deeply about these issues, but notes there is a sense of urgency to figure out how we can move to the next phase by putting in place policies and actions to address the challenges faced by Bahamian men.
He believes we are already suffering from the fallout of a social code of black manhood that is rooted in anti-authority and devalues women.
"I hope that the film starts a conversation because you can't address something this deep and complex in 90 minutes," said Strachan. "I hope it starts conversations between men, between women, between men and women, about who we are allowed to be, who we allow ourselves to be, who we allow others to be."

o "I's Man" opens Thursday, September 5 at Galleria Cinemas, John F. Kennedy Drive.

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News Article
Proper fatherhood

Dear Editor,

"Absentee fathers can be blamed for crime" as a front page story of July 1 states, but we are going to have to step back and look at causes - especially if the statement is attributed to a person who has a particular political bias.
We have to step back to the issue of collective responsibility and how it has been downplayed over the past five decades by our political leaders. Sometime after 1967, politicians seemed to take on the responsibility of being 'daddy' to everyone, to the extent that one could get a job (or be given a job) with no real qualification or responsibility if they knew the right person. The politicians became more than daddy, they became involved in every school where any of their party members had an unruly child; as they banished teachers to out island postings or moved around principals who would not stand for their interference.
In one generation they destroyed a system that had produced students who were studious, respectful and responsible. Ironically, it was a system that prepared them (politicians) for the transition that happened in the 1960s. Back in those days even the policeman was fearful of the schoolteachers.

What has evolved is a culture of irresponsibility that may have reached its zenith in May 2012, when people were irresponsible enough to vote for promises that would have been impossible even in a good economy.
Politicians have inserted themselves into the fatherhood dynamic. It may be better if Mr. Keith Bell (state minister of national security) placed the label of 'absentee father' on this particular group. They only see their children every five years. At 40 years, it would be good to put this attitude of 'bastardization' to rest and turn another page. There are too many young men on the road referring to other older men as 'paps' or 'dad', and they have their hands out fully expecting a 'quick five' or a 'slow 10', and trying to stare you down for non-compliance.
We have to pray for our young men who find themselves between a rock and a hard place on this 40th year celebration. Just as importantly we have to do what we can collectively for a substantial number of young men who are losing hope in this generation. Politicians who make such statements have to provide a historical perspective, or they will be seen as irresponsible, even though they think they sound good.

- Edward Hutcheson

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News Article
Young father writes book on responsible fatherhood

Yet another Bahamian has "put pen to paper" and produced an interesting book! He is none other than Andrew K. Coakley, Bahamian journalist, serving in an editorial capacity at one of our newspapers. And the title of his contribution to the rapidly growing store of Bahamian literature is "My Son, Listen To My Words and Live."
This 140-odd page book is written in a simple, direct style, which is entirely in keeping with its didactic nature. Moreover, the writer demonstrates the ability to maintain the attention of the reader literally "from cover to cover." After all, who is not interested in literary works which are family oriented? If there is one word that may be ...

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News Article
A Bahamian 'helter skelter'

Dear Editor,

The Maxo Tido murder case has finally come to an end. Almost 10 years after the senseless, brutal murder of 16-year-old Donnell Conover.
I am satisfied that the Crown has proven its case against the number one suspect in this tragic case, Maxo Tido.
Tido admitted that he was with Conover on the night of her death but maintained that he had nothing to do with her murder. His only crime, he said, was that he did not make sure Conover got home safe that night.
While Tido escaped the hangman's noose, he will likely spend the rest of his natural life at Her Majesty's Prisons, Fox Hill.
I listened with keen interest as it was revealed to the court by his probation officer that Tido was abandoned by his mother. It was also revealed that Tido's father was not a part of his upbringing.
Apparently, both of his parents had left him to fend for himself. The revelation of his mother abandoning him is not all that common in this country. What is all too common, however, is the fact that many Bahamian fathers are siring children but are leaving the mothers of their offsprings to fend for themselves.
The problem of delinquent, deadbeat fathers has been plaguing The Bahamas for decades. According to one analyst, since 1976, more than 60 percent of the children born in The Bahamas were born out of wedlock.
Tido, like so many thousands of Bahamians, is just another statistic. I recently heard a psychologist tell the media that more and more Bahamian women are opting to raise their children out of wedlock.
She said Bahamian women are more independent today than they were in the '70s, '60s and '50s. Women are better educated than men in this country. Bahamian women tend to value higher education more than men do. They are able to obtain well paying jobs. However, despite the many strides Bahamian women have made over the past 30 years, a mother can never replace the role of a father in the home.
American comedian Bill Cosby wrote the following in his book "Fatherhood": ''The mother may be doing 90 percent of the disciplining, but the father still must have full time acceptance of all children. He must never say, 'Get these kids out of here; I'm trying to watch TV.' If he ever does start saying this, he is liable to see one of his kids on the six o'clock news.''
American serial murderer Charles Manson was also abandoned by his father. Manson may have never seen his biological father who historians believe to have been Colonel Walker Scott (1910-1954). Manson left his mother at age 14 after years of being neglected and abused by her. She was a 16-year-old prostitute when she had him.
According to one American writer, Manson never had a place to call home or a real family. He spent his childhood being sent from one place to another and trouble always seemed to follow him. At an early age Manson began his criminal career because he never had a loving, stable home. His mother, who was alleged to have been an alcoholic, sold her son to a childless waitress for a pitcher of beer. He was later retrieved by an uncle.
By the time Manson and his followers, the Manson 'Family', were arrested in late 1969 for their killing spree in California, he had already spent half of his life in jail and reform school.
Many young impressionable persons who lack a strong family structure tend to gravitate to gangs and cult groups where they think they will get the love, nurture and security that they never got at home. The Manson Family was no exception.
Manson, according to one writer, believed in 'Helter Skelter' - an apocalyptic race war. The term Helter Skelter was taken from a song written by the Beatles. It means absolute chaos - to lack organization and order. Manson wanted, in his own words, to create a little chaos and to make people's heads turn.
I think that many of the chronic felons terrorizing the city of Nassau are attempting to create chaos. These criminally minded people are usually the products of dysfunctional homes, where the father is - for all intents and purposes - absent.
They know absolutely nothing about going to PTA meetings or taking their sons to the ball park to play baseball or to the beach for a picnic. They know absolutely nothing about disciplining their children when they go astray.
How many fathers in this country take their children to Sunday school or to church? How many of them take the time to assist their children with their homework? How many fathers tell their children that they love them on a regular basis?
I believe that had Tido's parents raised him in a stable, loving home his life would have been radically different. Perhaps he would have been a productive citizen of this country. He might have been a member of Parliament or a senator. Perhaps he might have been a businessman with a successful barbershop in Nassau.
But now he will have to spend half a century behind bars reflecting on his mistake and on what might have been. To be sure, had his parents raised him the way God wanted them to, young Conover would probably still be alive today.
We can point the finger at the prime minister or the minister of national security as much as we want for the helter skelter the capital is presently experiencing, but I believe the fathers of this nation must share some of the blame for the high crime wave that is gripping Nassau. Irresponsible, deadbeat fathers have created a generation of troubled and criminally-minded children. These neglected, abandoned children are responsible for much of the carnage in this country. Until Bahamian fathers start fulfilling their God-given roles in the home, we will continue to be challenged with a crime crisis.

- Kevin Evans

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