Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the Philly Native, Temple University graduate, social worker, and the founder of Dear Black Fathers, Inc; Mabari Byrd.
In his youth, Mabari instead found himself walking a path that he describes as “self-destructive”–a path that claimed the lives and freedom of many of his childhood friends and nearly took his. What changed everything, he says, was the birth of his daughter.
Among the experiences that he carries with him are memories of his childhood as one of seven siblings. “As kids, we rarely if ever got what we wanted, but my family worked hard (together) to secure the things we needed most. We shared our clothes, toys, food, and even bedrooms. We always made it work.” Growing up embedded in a large family and learning, from a very young age, how to collaborate informed Mabari’s worldview.
Here is Mabari Byrd in his own words about allowing his daughter to explore the world and giving her opportunities he didn’t have a child:
“I wanted her to experience and appreciate the beauty of this world at a young age as I have as an adult. I wanted to provide more experiences and resources that would potentially shield her from the pitfalls and influences that once trapped me. I wanted to expose her to various things that I either didn’t have or didn’t connect to until later in life.”
Mabari Byrd has made quite an impact on his community and in the lives of countless young people. I’m humbled to call him a colleague and friend. If you are in Philadelphia, this June check out Dear Black Fathers: Luncheon and Panel Discussion, and the Family Boating Experience. Check out the Dear Black Fathers Interview Series on Instagram, YouTube, and other social media outlets.
We at the Evolving Man Project wish Mabari Byrd continued success in the future. He is the true definition of #BlackBoyJoy. Today, we honor Mabari Byrd as this week’s Evolved Man of the Week.