This Sunday will mark the 23nd Anniversary of the Real Men Cook Father’s Day Celebration. Across the nation, black fathers will be cooking and catering to their families as well as their communities—in Atlanta, it will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center.
While most dads are looking forward to receiving gifts or being pampered on Father’s Day, Real Men Cook encourages them to do exactly the opposite. Back in 1990 when the event launched, founders Kofi Moyo and Yvette Moyo-Gillard wanted to find a way to create something positive for the black community since the media tended to focus only on the stereotype of deadbeat African-American father. They decided this was an image they wanted to change.
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“Crime is the first thing you see on the news; that’s not reality. You have to control the media and show them that there are men who go to church every week and take care of their families,” said Rael Jackson, the Moyo’s son who has recently taken over most of the day-to-day operations for Real Men Cook. “There are even single fathers out there and we want to demonstrate that men do more than commit crime.”
The event got its start in Chicago, but today Real Men Cook has spread to more than 10 major cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas. For Rael, starting out in Chicago is what created his favorite memory of the event. For four years, then-Senator Barack Obama came out to support the event and even sported a Real Men Cook bandana. Although President Obama never cooked at the event, he did help out by serving the food.
Coming together to see the local dads cook means a lot more than just fun and free food.
“Families tend to come together when men cook. Cooking is like a love offering for men,” said Rael Jackson. “Women have become identified for cooking, but when men cook they tend to put a lot of love into their cooking every time.”
When most families think of their fathers cooking, they can only imagine him behind the grill. These Real Men, on the other hand, go outside the box. In past events, the men have prepared everything from Rael Jackson’s favorite beef briskets to creamy cheesecake.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and range from $10-$20. All proceeds will go to local charities to help out the community.