Omar Epps made his acting debut in Juice in 1992 and he has not slowed down since. We have seen him on the big screen (Higher Learning, Love & Basketball, Almost Christmas) and small (ER, House, Shooter). He married Keisha, one third of Bad Boy group Total back in 2006, and they’re raising 3 children, Aiyanna, K’mari and Amir. Now the actor turned author is ready to talk about fatherhood.
Omar was raised in Brooklyn by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal after his father left them. He only spent 4 days with his father growing up. Like a lot of black men who grow up fatherless and raised by strong mothers, Omar had a fulfilled upbringing and didn’t lack and lament not having a father since you can’t miss what you never had. It was only after working a very long day on set and coming home hungry and tired and just wanting to relax, but his son Amir wanted some quality time too, that Omar realized parents always put their children first. His father did not.
With this realization, Omar knew that it was time to take a deep dive into his own story to uncover “the depths of torment and pain” he felt toward his father for the lack of presence in his life. That was the genesis of his self-published memoir, From Fatherless to Fatherhood released in June.
From Fatherless to Fatherhood shows how men can break the cycle of fatherlessness within their families, and come to terms with their own issues surrounding their fathers. Omar’s father died years ago and Omar found peace about their lack of relationship long before his demise. He explains,
“I’ve been at peace with that for a long time. Through the years, I’d try to build a relationship, but relationships are dialogues. They’re not monologues. So you learn to love certain people from a distance. I had love for him as a human being. I didn’t know him really personally, you know. At the end of his life, I just felt a sadness and it was just like damn. It didn’t have to be that way.”
You can catch Omar in Shooter on the USA Network. From Fatherless to Fatherhood is available everywhere books are sold.
|Omar Epps & Family