Malcolm Crawford Jr., (8 years old)

“He’s very strict, kind and he’s a lot of fun. And most importantly, he’s just a fun person to play with. We always go to run at the track, go get ice cream, and go to Home Depot to get supplies. We just hang around together, and when my mom is not home, we usually stay up late.”

Demetre Brown

“I’ve got two fathers. He brought us up in the world, looked out for us, worked hard and wherever he is – whether heaven or hell – I still love him. My second father (Levi Quinn) raised me from a little pup, made sure I went to school, and made sure I had shoes and clothes on my back. He disciplined me when I was wrong – I love him to death. We call him ‘Pops’ but he’s my stepfather. May God give him many more years because he’s a good man.”

Keisha Parham

“My father has been a very important part of my life. He’s been very supportive, which is important. I’ve learned as I’ve grown that I use to take him for granted. The more people I’ve met the more I realize that not everybody has their father, so it took me a long time to appreciate him – but I do now.”

Paris Parham (9 years old)

“My dad, he feeds me, he takes me places, he takes me to my basketball games and he gives me advice on my basketball game. I play basketball at the Bulls Academy. He also helps me on pitching when I play baseball, and I love him. My father also takes me to the movies, buys me clothes, and he buys me a lot of shoes.”

Kimberly Embery

“My father was a strong man of color. He was a man who reached out to the people in the community as well as outside the community. My father, Abe Embery, was well-respected. He would help everybody, and he gave from his heart. He told everybody about Jesus and what Jesus had done for him. He encouraged people of all colors everywhere he went. My father was a man I looked up to. If it wasn’t for my father, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I love my father and I thank him for everything he instilled in me and in my son Javor.”

Congressman Danny Davis

“He was a boss, a mentor, a guide, a barometer – but mostly, he was a man who wanted his children to have a better life then he had. His stuff wasn’t just reserved for his family and people who were close to him. My father was a kind of humanitarian. He used to take watermelons to town and sit them on the street and anybody that wanted them could come and get them, because we couldn’t use them. We use to let people come out to our fields (in Parkdale, Ark.) and pick peas. They could get as many as they wanted, and they didn’t have to pay for them and they didn’t have to do nothing. Or they could get roasting ears (aka corn). You would just get yourself a mess of roasting ears. But he was tough, tenacious, and didn’t take no stuff. My father was my role model and we miss him.”

Danny Davis’ father, Hezekiah “H.D.” Davis, died in 2004. H.D. Davis’ brother is 94 years. Kimberly Embrey’s father, Abe, died in 2003.