Making Black Men
Many people don’t understand why black lives must matter and why the racial divide seems to be taking the country back 50 years. Like the mythical Sankofa bird, the answer to what’s missing now lies in what existed before. Our Fathers: Making Black Men focuses on one block of St. Louis in the mid-20th century, where African American businessmen living the American Dream also created a sense of community for boys in that neighborhood. Lincoln I. Diuguid, a PhD graduate of Cornell University in chemistry, anchored the block with Du-Good Chemical Laboratories & Manufacturers. The chemistry the book reveals isn’t rocket science, it’s just the lost formula of community engagement. Men like Doc gave boys on the street jobs and a strong work ethic. They did it through sharing the African American narrative of triumphs and tragedies. They pushed the boys to higher expectations and to be the long-held hope and dreams of their forbearers, who were slaves. The black men as mentors emphasized the importance of education and helped prepare the African American boys to be men. This book brings to life an unreported but significant phenomenon that black businesses played during the Great Migration of African Americans from the South. Our Fathers should be required reading for people who want to reverse the despair, improve public education, blow up the school-to-prison pipeline and end hopelessness in America’s cities.
WORDS OF PRAISE
"Lewis Diuguid once again shares the painful, sharp details of how racism shapes family, community and U.S. society. This time, this award-winning journalist takes us on the incredible journeys of his father Dr. Lincoln I. Diuguid, illuminating a beautiful life of resistance, dignity, and deep, undying commitment to support, love and nurture the black men in his life. Despite the impactful narratives that guide readers through historical connections to today’s anti-black violence and ever-present onslaught of systemic racial hatred, Lewis Diuguid’s smooth, fast-flowing writing makes this book an easy read. Diuguid takes readers across time and space, sharing intimate details of his own family stories, immortalizing a man we should all be familiar with, and in the process, reminding us of the permanence of race and racism in the U.S. Our Fathers forces readers to rethink history, challenges what we think we know about the U.S., and ultimately reminds us that our very salvation as a country lies with how we look back in order to move forward."
Christopher B. Knaus, Ph.D., Professor
University of Washington-Tacoma
"When Lewis Diuguid’s mother implored him as a black journalist to give a more accurate and valid picture of black men, neither suspected that he would do this through a vivid memoir of his remarkable father. This social and historical memoir takes you into the long and good life of “Doc” Diuguid, scientist, inventor, manufacturer, citizen, mentor and untiring fighter for justice."
Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., Founder of the National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity), Former Associate Director Wellesley Centers for Women
"Lewis Diuguid’s latest book challenges America and provocatively sears the soul. But like life itself, the book demands a respect for unshadowed realities and untainted truths that exist beyond preconceived notions or prejudices. Our Fathers: Making Black Men is a must read!"
Kansas City Educator
"Reading the story of Doc Diuguid is an opportunity to learn about what it really means to be a black man in America. The reality of having to be twice as good as whites and that failure is not an option held true for him as a black businessman. Those same truisms remain, despite our achievements. This story provides lessons for those wishing to link the long struggles of the past to those we face today."
Earnest L. Perry Jr., Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia
"Throughout his life, Dr. Lincoln I. Diuguid fostered respectable and uncompromising life-standards. I met Doc for the first time at a Science Center of St. Louis celebration for Doc in 2000. I was reluctant to approach such an esteemed gentleman. But he immediately put me at ease. He virtually exuded a caring, characteristic attitude, which enabled him to be so influential to neighborhood kids. That aura is what Our Fathers: Making Black Men is about. The depth of Doc’s ability to communicate with others, and then insist that they learned life’s values was a remarkable quality that needs to be replicated today."
Diane M. Kappen, Ph.D., Social Psychology
Johnson County Community College
About the Author
Lewis W. Diuguid is the recipient of the 2017 Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism at Harvard University. With the honor, he was named a 2017 Knight Visiting Fellow, at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Diuguid was an editorial board member and columnist with The Kansas City Star until October 2016. He started with the newspaper as a reporter/photographer in May 1977 after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. He is the author of A Teacher’s Cry: Expose the Truth About Education Today (2004) and Discovering the Real America: Toward a More Perfect Union (2007). He is a founding member and president of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists. He is the winner of many awards, including the 2000 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.