" So it was a time of prioritizing and going back and forth. My kids are well-rounded, they’re healthy, they’re doing exceptionally well, and I think that I’m doing well emotionally, also. I was a boy, so it was kind of easy with my son, but with the girls I had to tap into the maternal side and be a little more sensitive, and going to the store and purchasing things that I’ve never had to purchase before.What were some of the challenges of raising them during a period where they’re dealing with dating, menstrual cycles and prepping for college? Doing a lot of Googling and reading about cramps and things of that nature so that I can have some understanding of what my daughters were going through.And also, if they desired or decided to make decisions that were contrary to what I taught them, to be open and honest enough to have that conversation with me.
In your opinion, what should be done to break down the negative stereo-types of black fathers?Well, I think one of the things that needs to happen is that we need to have African-American mothers search those individuals out so that we can allow our young men to see there’s positive black men out here.There’s a lot of us out here that are serious about being integral, strong, upstanding men who are serious about making an impact in the lives of their children.I do think we don’t get the recognition that we deserve, because many folks believe that it’s a scarcity, but the reality is there’s a whole lot of men out here that are holding it down just like women.He has also extended his parenting skills through his involvement with Western Michigan’s first K-12 charter school, Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology (GREAAT) -- where his late wife was a co-founder.
To commemorate the annual celebration of Father’s Day, Sapp opened to The Huffington Post about what it's like being a single dad, his thoughts on the negative stereotypes out there about black dads, and he shared some advice to all the men out there who may be adjusting to single fatherhood.Raising millennials, they’re very honest and they told me when my music was wack. I think that’s the key thing, because one of the things that always bothered me is when women try to take on the responsibility of being the father and mother, and the reality is, that’s your mother and I’m daddy. Well, my dad and my mother they got divorced when I was very, very young.[Laughs] And when I did something that they enjoyed they let me know, “Yeah, that’s hot.” So from a career standpoint they kind of helped to shape the sound that this last record [“You Shall Live”] had to keep it relevant as it pertains to millennials to understand all the way up to me being an Gen-X’er. My father was from Florida, and he made a conscious decision not to leave.What do you think more people should understand about single black dads, since the focus and narrative is usually centered on single black moms?Every black man out here doesn’t have multiple children by multiple women.Gospel star Marvin Sapp says that getting back in the dating game after his wife’s passing has proven to be a totally different experience! Nowadays it seems like everyone is in a hurry to get married. I come from the school of getting to know someone and taking it slow.