Noted poet to give her take on Feelin’ Father’s Day

Sons can get a jump on showing their dads some love at “Feelin’ Father’s Day” on June 11 at the Salem-Panola Library in Lithonia.

The tribute to fathers will feature the poetry of award-winning poet and essayist Gwen Russell Green and an open mic segment starting at 6 p.m.

The event, named for Green’s poem “Feelin’ Father’s Day,” explores the portrayal of fathers from a personal and media perspective. Father’s Day is June 17.

Green says the poem celebrates fathers who take care of their families, and the event will show black fathers - who are often portrayed negatively - that they are appreciated.

It's her hope that families will bring their fathers to the event.

“It’s not what we read and it’s not what we see in the media,” she said. “I want to create an environment where families - fathers in particular - can come and hear encouraging things.”

Teresa Totten, the library’s Adult Programming and Services coordinator, believes Green’s program will shed new light on fathers in the community.

“The hope is people will come away from this event knowing that not every dad - particularly in the African American community - is a deadbeat,” Totten said.

Green has hosted “Feelin’ Father’s Day" annually for 20 years. Totten helped her bring it to the DeKalb Library system in 2013.

Both believed in its ability to change the perception of black fathers.

Ev Shepherd, Salem-Panola Library branch manager, thinks it will be well-received.

“When I agreed to it, I was really excited 'cause I love poetry,” Shepherd said.

The library is at 5137 Salem Road. For more information, call 770-987-6900.