Hello! I am Dion Hudnall. I am 30 years old, a husband & the father of a 3 y/o boy. I grew up a military brat, my dad served in the coast guard for over 20 years. Because of his profession, I’ve lived in Alaska, Alabama, Ohio & Louisiana.
My parents divorced when I was 14, so I lived with my mom & sister until college. I attended college at Central State University & transferred a few times before graduating from Cleveland State University.
I’m a licensed school counselor and I work in a local school district. One of my passions is to provide high school students with the support and guidance that I didn’t have growing up. I aspire to have those that will succeed me be better off than I was.
Diary of a Mad Black Dad serves my other passion. I aspire to create a space where I can open up about my experiences as a Black man, Black fatherhood, being a husband, and anything else that I experience.
I used to write frequently to express myself when I was young. I thought I was BOMB at poetry. Someone once told me I should publish a poetry book. They were gassing me up, but some of my old work should still be in my Facebook notes if you ever want to read them. https://www.facebook.com/dion.hudnall/notes_my_notes/ I do not consider myself a great writer by any means, I just want to create and share my story.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for following me. Thank you for subscribing. Diary of a Mad Black Dad was created in 2019. Since then, I have been able to share more than I ever thought I could. I am very excited to continue to share parts of me with all of my new readers and faithful readers.
I am not as far in my walk with God as some others. I can’t fire off scriptures that well. But there’s something about 2020 that feels like it was ripped out of the Book of Job. Now, for those who don’t know, I’ll give you the abridged version.
God & the devil was shooting the breeze & the devil was like, I got $50 that ya mans Job turns his back on you if shit hits the fan. God was like that’s easy money. See, God doesn’t make bets he can’t win, so he already knew this bag was secured. Anyway, God let the devil strip Job of valued possessions, starting with his wealth, his animals, and his land. The devil had the birdman hand rub going. Job cried unto the Lord for the loss of the material goods he lost, but he remained faithful. The devil kicked it up a notch, Job’s family died. Job cried unto the Lord but remained faithful. God, still knowing he was playing with house money allowed the devil to cast disease upon Job; painful boils & blisters riddled his body. Job painfully cried unto the Lord, but still would not curse the Lord.
This is what 2020 has felt like, it seems like we have been bombarded be fret, disappointment, and sorrow. We have lost iconic and inspirational people from Kobe to RBG. We watched from our quarantined homes as the coronavirus took the lives of over 200,000 people. We witnessed wildfires rip through California claiming countless homes, and thousands of people lose their jobs because of covid cutbacks. At times it seems like as soon as we get over a financial left hook, here comes an emotional uppercut. With a proverbial lacerated eye & swollen lip, we have to keep the faith that things will get better. Job held tight to his faith in God, despite all of the pain and hardships he experienced.
Job wrestled with the facts of his life, many of us do the same. Whether we are teaching virtual classes, working from home with our children next to us, or feeling the effects of isolation due to the pandemic, we are all grappling with a new reality. I think it is imperative to push forward and pray for the best. It is normal to voice our frustrations, but we cannot allow ourselves to become fixed in that frustration.
I skipped a lot of the story, but in the end, the Lord restored everything Job lost. There was a light at the end of the tunnel for Job, and he was able to hold on long enough to see it. The grass will be greener on the other side, I cannot tell you how long it will take to get there, but as long as you do not give up, you will make it. I did not talk about it much, but we also have to surround ourselves with people that will celebrate with us when we are riding a wave and be present with us when we are walking through our valleys. 2020 has been a rough year for many people. Be thankful for the things you have, cheer for the highs, cry about the lows, and always keep moving forward. Build a support system that can roll with the punches of life. And like Big K.R.I.T said, “Thank God, and stay humble”.
I often think about how I’m on the receiving end of awkward dad comments.
“Love to see black men in their kids’ lives!”
“He’s so well behaved!”
“Awe that’s beautiful!”
“You go, Dad!”
It is nice and it is maddening, mostly maddening. I’m mad. I’m sure people think it is a polite gesture, a compliment even. It's not, it is demeaning and it lowers the standard for Black fathers. It sullies the work that I put in as a dad but especially as a Black dad. Highlighting the fact that I am a Black man in public with his child is a microaggression, depending on what you say it's flat out racist. I know yall not saying this to white dads. I work hard to provide for my son. I am talking about my presence. I am talking about the tenderness that both complements and contrasts the tenderness that Leah gives him. We hear about a mother’s love, there is also a father’s love and I make sure he receives it day in and day out. I have high standards for myself and I will not allow it to be diminished by half-ass compliments that are fueled by racist stereotypes.
I imagine witnessing these comments could make a Black mother feel disrespected. People give Black dads the star treatment for simply walking with their child in a store, meanwhile, Black mothers get little praise when they bust their ass doing the same work, if not more than some Black dads. Black mothers deserve genuine praise. Parenting isn't easy whether it is a two-parent household, single-parent household, or a co-parenting system.
It is interesting to me that not only white people come with these comments (No offense to my white friends and allies, this is not directed toward you). Matter of fact, they mostly comment on Dom’s behavior as if they are surprised that he isn't falling out inside of stores or kicking and screaming. The main culprits are my fellow Black folks, mostly the older ones. I’m sure they mean well, at least that's what I tell myself. Regardless, they shower Black dads with this abundance of support and love for the least amount of effort. Somebody help me understand it. I get it from other young dads too, they try to pull you aside to tell you how good it is to you with your child. Sir, do you truly feel we are that rare? This is not Animal Planet and you are not Steve Irwin, you will not observe me minding my business then invade my space to talk about things I am aware of. Just say hi and ask to go out for a socially distanced beer, hopefully, LSU is playing that Saturday.
I have this unyielding idea that I should not just be in Dom’s life but invested in it, dedicated to it, and immersed in it. If Dom is learning sign language, I'm learning it too, and I'm practicing with him. If I am learning how to handle my emotions, I'm teaching Dom too, and if my wife and I are building a strong foundation, we will teach Dom how to use the same tools so he can continue to build on that foundation long after we are gone. I am not comparing beliefs to any other parent’s, this is how I carry myself.
I am saying all this to say, don’t comment on my presence in Dom’s life.