Courtesy of Ryan Jor El

Black fathers in America don’t always get the love they deserve. So with that in mind, local author and fashion consultant Ryan Jor El was moved to create an event to spotlight black dads who are making a difference.

On Feb. 23, he will honor six of the Qcity’s deserving fathers during a Black Fathers Rock event at Pease Auditorium at Central Piedmont Community College.

A diverse committee chose nominees based on several qualities – philanthropy, reputation and presence in their homes and community, among others.

In order to “Rock,” the fathers must go above and beyond, impacting not only their children but the community as well.


The categories range from “Father of the Year” to “Surrogate Father of the Year.” (A surrogate father may include mentoring, coaching or simply being a father figure to a child that doesn’t have a male figure at home.)

There’s also a “Dapper Dad” category. Ryan, aka Fashion Connoisseur, is knowledgeable on this subject. His book, “Fashion & Fatherhood,” chronicles the journey of pursuing a passion and finding a balance of juggling work and family life.

Partnering with No Grease Barbershop and the nonprofit Boys to Men Foundation, Ryan said the goal of Black Fathers Rock is to “restructure the narrative of black fathers in today’s society.”

“It’s a celebration of America’s unsung heroes while dispelling the notion that all black fathers are absent,” he said.


Tickets are $40-$50. Reserve you seats at Group rates are also available. Attire: semi-formal.

V. Koh the Designerdiva is author of the blog Living La Vida Diva.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.