On Being A Dad in the 21st CenturyInterview by Cat Wayland
n last month’s May issue, International Family Magazine interviewed Roz Williams, actress, producer and mom-extraordinaire. We thought it would be intriguing to our readers to bring her husband Craig in for the June issue and see how the two team members speak differently and the same about their roles as father and mother in their son Coleman’s life.
Cat: How has parenting changed your life?
Craig: I was pretty even-keel before Coleman. But I find as a Dad, that I have to work to keep that for Coleman. I try to find my Zen. Kids are sponges, if you are not on your game; they pick up on it and react strongly. So I practice my Zen as much as I can.
Cat: Yes, yes, yes. I find parenting spiritual in that way. Drawing in my breath, turning on music that relaxes, saying prayers, anything I can to keep it quiet inside because if I am noisy inside and worked up, my boys go bonkers.
Cat: I have admired you and Roz as friends and as parents for a few years now. Your Coleman attended an Emilio Reggio nursery program in New York City with my Brody and I watched both of you participate fully in that program with your son. How do you manage to team up like that?
Craig: I would like to say that it was by design, that we sat down and planned it out a certain way. But it wasn’t. I met and married Roz and both of us were strongly in our creative work at the time. Neither of us wanted to give up our creative endeavors and somehow we have figured out a way for both of us to stay in the business and both of us to raise Coleman. When we look at it from a distance, we feel proud that we have pulled it off successfully. But day-to-day seems a bit like shooting from the hip and hoping it all turns out all right.
Cat: You seem very happy when you are with Coleman, so I am going to guess that you enjoy being a Dad?
Craig: Yes, very much. I am glad that we live in a time when Dads are involved more. All of my male friends are doing the same thing as I am. I get to be there for so much of Coleman’s life - the small and big challenges, and the victories. I think we have bonded in a way that my father’s generation didn’t have the opportunity to do. I think it’s a generational thing and that our fathers didn’t get that level of participation until they became grandparents. I am really glad I don’t have to wait and hope I am around for those special times.
Cat: That was something that Roz, your wife and I talked about that the work industry has changed as much as the family structure; it is almost an interdependent American cultural phenomenon. What do you think about that?
Craig: Oh yes, there is no 30 years at the same company anymore, that just doesn’t typically occur anymore. Roz, Coleman and I function as a family in the 21st Century. We plan and react as best we can to what the economics and opportunities are in the current environment.
Cat: What is the legacy of your fatherhood that you would like to leave Coleman with?
Craig: Wow, that is something to think about. I would want him to have a strong identity in himself. I think that is the most important thing I could hope to impart to him. That he always has a sense of himself, regardless of how people see him. Right now he is a cute little black boy. But what about when he is a black teenager, and a young black man trying to compete? I want him to know his strengths regardless of how the world tries to value him.
Cat: Do you think that Barack Obama and his campaign have made some strides in the direction of how we value a black man?
Craig: Yes, yes I do. And in parts of the world, Barack’s campaign has made a tangible difference in perception. I would like this change to exist in even the small towns of this country and the world at large, and hopefully it will some day. In the meantime, I want to help strengthen Coleman’s identity so he can handle anything.
Craig T. Williams - As CEO of Red Wall Productions, he has produced over 50 film projects including independent short films, promotional videos, educational films, actors reels and the ground breaking documentary BLACK SORORITY PROJECT. Craig has just finished rewriting and will co-produce his first feature film JIMMIE, slated to begin production 2008. His wife and partner, Rosalyn Coleman Williams will direct JIMMIE.