Family life is still essential

I have noticed a trend in the black family since I have been in college. Black families have lost that togetherness that they had back in the 60s when all we had was each other; times when sayings like “it takes a village to raise a child” spoke to the togetherness of black families.

As a race we have lost touch with those values and family ties that allowed us to survive the times.

It’s been three years since I have been able to go home for Thanksgiving. This year I traveled to Tampa with my fraternity brother and his brother.

It was wonderful! My family is close, but while I was in Tampa I saw togetherness like I had never seen before. It felt good to be able to go into the home of another family and be treated like I had been there my entire life.

What made this trip so great was the fact that we didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

Literally all we did was watch movies, play cards and eat. Then we ate some more! We sat around and talked the entire time, but everything we did was among the family.

The most intriguing thing that happened was at dinner. Traditionally families say grace then eat. What made this so interesting was that after we prayed, everyone had to say one thing they were thankful for. I was stunned! All I could think to say was, “I’m thankful for family.”

I’m thankful for being able to have friends whose home I can go to when I’m hundreds of miles from my own home. This one question of what I’m thankful for showed me how much I cared about my family.

We all have a lot to be thankful for; we are able to go to school and have somewhere to go back to and call home, this is truly a blessing.

We take a lot of things for granted in our daily life. It is not until something tragic happens that we begin to appreciate what we have – family.

I’m so thankful for that trip. It gave me the drive to attempt to improve on relationships I have with some of my own relatives. I encourage everyone to take a little time and hang with your parents. When we go home we rush to see old friends and we don’t spend time with the people who were there before we had friends.

You don’t have to always go out with your friends and party. Like in Tampa, it’s okay to just sit at the house with your family and do nothing!

One day we’re not going to have our parents at our leisure and we will regret not enjoying them. You will be amazed at how something so small to you, like sitting and watching television with your father, may be one of the happiest and most joyous occasions in his life.

All it took was a road trip to Tampa for me to realize how blessed I am.

Royle King is a third-year broadcast journalism student from Dallas. He can be reached at