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“I Will Be Your Father Figure”: Kirk Franklin, Identity Crisis, and Why We Still Need Fathers

Simone Samuels
7 min readSep 17, 2023

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“I will be the one to love you, ’til the end of time.” — George Michael (“Father Figure”)

I can’t remember if I read this somewhere or if it was a figment of my imagination, but Jesus learned that He was… well… the Messiah by reading the Torah — aka the words of His Father as spoken through prophets of old. I don’t think He stoically lay in the manger as a baby with the knowledge that He was sovereign. I don’t picture him as a toddler telling His nursery teacher, “You can’t talk to me like that — I’m the Christ!” The Bible says that He was fully human. I think, much like all of us, His identity and purpose were gradually revealed to Him as He grew older. Somewhere between birth and when, in his thirties, He stood up in the temple to read Isaiah 61: 1–2 in Luke 4:18, His identity was unveiled over the course of his lifetime through constant communion with His Father.

It is not lost on me that Jesus got His identity from the Father. Even Jesus needed a Father-figure.

I think an identity crisis is happening among people, but men and Black men especially. While today, Black men are more involved in the lives of their children than many other groups, a legacy of fatherless homes has…

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Simone Samuels

I like big stories and I cannot lie. Authentic, transparent musings & connecting with others so we can all feel less alone. https://linktr.ee/simonesamuels