Sunday, October 1, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Maywood native Darrick Campbell recently completed his first book, a memoir called “My Father’s Son,” which is available for $12.99 at thebookpatch.com. Campbell said he’s working on getting the book on Amazon in the near future. During an interview earlier this month, Campbell talked about his inspiration for the book and the purpose he’s found in writing it.
So what’s the premise of the book?
The premise of the book is fatherhood. Unfortunately, my father left me when I was eight years old and it affected how I was a father. It complicated my life. I had my daughter at 18, my senior year at Proviso East High School, and I could feel what I went through with my father happening all over again. This time, though, the father was me.
When I wasn’t able to stay with my children’s mother, my first wife, all of these emotions started festering. Was I a good father? Was I destroying my children’s lives?
This is my first published book. I wrote it because I had to get some of this stuff off of my chest. Black men, especially, and men of all cultures have a hard time expressing ourselves and we keep things bottled in. This was a way for me to be free.
When I wrote that last sentence, I was able to relinquish a lot of things I felt. I hope this book will help other men out as well. I just want to bring awareness to so many things that we face — from mental illness to communication issues — and aren’t able to talk openly about without feeling victimized.
What’s your vision for the book now that it’s out in the world
My vision primarily is to get this into young boys’ hands so they can have a platform to overcome obstacles. I feel like it’s my obligation to be in schools like Garfield, where I graduated, helping those young people figure out what they’ll be doing. I want to circulate this book through Districts 89 and 209, so they can have it as a guide to overcome those obstacles.
Me being from Maywood, graduating from Garfield, I feel a lot of emotion about not being able to help in a way I’d want to. So, I hope this book gets into the hands of the right people — administrators, board members and others.
I’ve also got 18 years of experience as a juvenile justice expert. I just want to come into these schools and tell my story, but I need a platform to do it and I hope this book is a stepping stone for getting that platform.
How important is Maywood as a place in the book?
I grew up in Maywood. A lot of the book takes place in Maywood. I just wanted to let the residents of Maywood know that there are so many people who are trying to give back. This community is very special to me. If it wasn’t for Maywood I wouldn’t be telling this story.
How did you overcome some of the challenges of fatherlessness
Time. Time and help. You know, men have a phobia about getting help. It wasn’t until I had hit rock bottom with anxiety and depression that I went to see a counselor. That was the best thing I could’ve done. It made me more confident speaking about my fears. Many days I felt like giving up. If it wasn’t for faith, prayer and therapy, I don’t know where I’d be.
How’s your relationship with your father now?
My father is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. He’s a good man, but I think some of the issues he went through with his own father explain how he was with me. I forgive him for not being there but he’s here now. He’s here in the way he knows how to be. I can’t expect him to be more than what he can be.
But he’s the greatest man I’ve ever met. When I’m around him, I’m still eight years old. I’m still his son, still his little boy. He’s taught me so much he doesn’t know he taught me. We have a great relationship. VFP
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