Maplewood Memorial Library is hosting a screening and discussion with the director of From Fatherless to Fatherhood on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Maplewood Memorial Library. The film is a documentary that explores how father absense impacts African-American communities, and showcases men who are fostering quality relationships with their children and families.
Directed by Kobie Brown, the film includes a segment on Tuscan Elementary School assistant principal Kevin Mason, whose struggle to become a great father despite himself growing up fatherless inspired Brown to create the film. Brown and Mason were friends in high school and college.
"I think my sharing my story is one way of helping other young black males see that even though you may not have a father does not dictate your future as an educated man, professional man, and father," said Mason, "and also showing positive black male father role models from all aspects of life from the neighborhood barber, to school principal, to Grammy Award winning singers."
The library will screen a 45-minute version of the film followed by a discussion with Mason and Brown, moderated by Maplewood resident Louis Copeland, Executive Director of Arts Unbound. The event is free and open to the public.
Brown, a music industry executive raised in East Orange, NJ, has been profiled by CNN, Ebony and Essence Magazine. A graduate of Morehouse College, he has worked with such artists as Queen Latifah, Naughty by Nature, Mary J. Blige, Usher, The Fugees and Lauryn Hill. He currently serves as Senior Director of Music Licensing at Sony Music.
Mason has been married for 16 years and has two daughters. Before coming to the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD), he was a scientist for the United States government and a math and science teacher in Pennsylvania and Newark, NJ. At SOMSD, he served as site supervisor for the Achieve Tutorial Program, coordinator for summer school, program manager for YouthNet’s after school program, youth advisory board liaison, and member of the district’s Task Force on Excellence and Equity.