Nia Long said that age and time allowed her to see her father in a different light, and she’s now able to forgive him for not being the dad she would’ve liked him to be.
Long was a guest on “The Breakfast Club” on Monday, where she spoke about her father Doughtry “Doc” Long, who recently passed away.
News of Doughtry’s death first spread when Long acknowledged it on Jan. 27 on Instagram. He was reportedly 77 years old when he passed.
During her interview, Long said while in Trenton, N.J. — where her father was a teacher — her eyes were opened to a lot of things about him.
“I learned more about him by being in Trenton, N.J. for a week, just putting the whole thing together than I never knew,” she explained. “I’m an adult. My life is in California. He was in Trenton.”
“And he was such an icon in the community and did so much for so many of those kids, living down there,”added Long. “I was really proud of him. He is a poet, a writer, a photographer, just a renaissance man. Loved jazz music and good food. He was really like Larenz Tate in ‘Love Jones’ but older.”
Long then spoke about her dad not always being around during her childhood, and how she’s now able to forgive him for it.
“Because I think for a lot of years I was disappointed and angry and I wanted my dad to read me a bedtime story and be there and do all of the things that a daddy is supposed to do,” she explained. “And I think my father had a very old school way of approaching life because black people are raised to survive.
“Sometimes, what a person can’t do for their own children, they do for the world, and I’m okay with that if that meant that I had to share him,” added Long.
Long also said at her current age of 49 she’s able to put certain things about her folks into the right perspective since they were young parents. Long mentioned that her mom was 22 when she gave birth to her.
The actress talked about being at her father’s funeral service as well, and said at one point she told her mom that she’d forgiven her for everything — mainly, because there was no way she could’ve been a mother at 22.
“I was in the club with Puff and Heavy and all the guys. We were in the club back then,” Long explained.
“I have understanding and I’ve forgiven myself for not forgiving people sooner in my own life or forgiving my father for things that he was unable to do,” she continued. And it’s a good thing to do.”