Dr. David J. Malebranche is excited to announce the release of his first book, Standing on His Shoulders: What I Learned about Race, Life, and High Expectations from a Haitian Superman Father. In this funny, touching, and poignant memoir, David J. Malebranche celebrates the lessons he learned from his father, a Haitian physician who immigrated to the United States in the 1960s.

Malebranche provides a counter narrative to the current focus on absentee fathers in Black communities across the country, chronicling the ways his relationship with his father morphed, evolved, and ultimately grew stronger throughout his life.

As a young child, Malebranche believed his father to be omnipotent, a larger-than-life superhero. It wasn’t until he became a teenager and experienced the usual adolescent angst about parents that he realized significant culture differences and divergent belief systems could profoundly exacerbate the tensions in his relationship with his father and cause their views of each other to change drastically.

Despite the wide gap between their worldviews and lived experiences, both Malebranche and his father remained committed to finding a way to accept and respect one another. Today, Malebranche can look at his father—and at the enduring lessons about life he received from him—and say that he once more sees his father as a true hero.

"I started writing this book first and foremost as a form of therapy, as during my adulthood I found myself struggling to understand my father, and realizing that I was still holding on to a lot of hurt feelings and experiences from childhood," says Dr. David J. Malebranche. He added, " I wrote the book as a counternarrative to the predominantly negative media descriptions of Black fathers in this country. Much of who I am today can be directly traced back to his teachings when I was a child. I am not here in spite of him – I am here because of him."

Share your favorite and most memorable moment with your father, mentor or father figure for a chance to be featured on the Standing on His Shoulders website and our various social media channels.