I’ve always enjoyed watching paternity court. A high-profile version has been circulating recently in regard to superstar gospel singer Kirk Franklin. The video, “Kirk Franklin’s Father’s Day,” is free on YouTube. Basically it documents the 53-year-old finding out who his true biological father is. After watching the video, I think it should be mandatory viewing for every Black kid around 12 years old and up.
In a nutshell, a woman dies. She was Franklin’s biological aunt. Because he’s been estranged from his biological mother, he didn’t attend the funeral. But a man who did attend the funeral was surprised to discover that the deceased woman was a sister to Franklin’s biological mom. In passing, the man mentions that he used to mess around with Franklin’s biological mom back when he was around 14 and she was 16. All of a sudden, the church folks got to gossiping. They began to note similarities between the man and Franklin. The gossip got so strong, that Franklin’s biological mom called Franklin up, told him there was no way the man could be his father, and to let it be. And that is what Franklin did.
However, the gossip was so hot and heavy that the man couldn’t ignore it. So much so that the man gave his DNA sample to a mutual friend to give to Franklin. And for whatever reason, Franklin decided to test his own DNA against the man’s. And the results came back that the man is his father.
Franklin’s mom couldn’t/wouldn’t believe the results. So they did a second DNA test with all three of them giving samples at the same time. And guess what? Like Ivory soap, it was 99.99% positive. And do you know Franklin’s mom still denies it? That is something anyone who is careless with their sexual conduct should see and comprehend. Because for years his biological mom had claimed another man was his father even to the point that on the man’s deathbed, he still thought the man was his father.
Franklin has been very honest about his upbringing and being adopted while feeling not wanted. He spent years struggling to fit in, while at the same time rebelling because of his situation. And one of the more poignant points he makes, is that with Black folks, the biological parents, even after a person is adopted, rarely are completely out of their lives. So they come and go which, in a lot of ways, adds to the child’s continuing trauma because there’s never a full healing without the biological parent turning up again.
One of the major problems affecting the Black community to this day is single parenthood. Fatherless children are constantly rebelling because of the decisions their parents made. Unwanted pregnancies produce children who don’t get the love they deserve.
Kirk Franklin sharing his truth and allowing all of us to take the journey with him is just one step toward a healing many of us need to understand.
His phrase “win wounded” will hopefully one day become the motto for everyone struggling with similar issues.