Five years ago, on Father's Day, Marvyn Harrison sent a message to his friends that changed his life for the better. His son and daughter were young. He couldn't help but feel like a real person. He said he felt like he was faking it.

He was going through the motions of being a loving dad and a supportive husband, without feeling the intense emotional bond he had always expected. He says he didn't know how to connect deeper.

He thought his priority was to support his wife in her role as a mother when he was home from work. Something was missing from his relationship with his children.

When he saw other fathers holding their children, playing games and having fun together, he thought to himself, "I don't think I've had many of those moments." He assumed that it was his fault because it all looked so easy. The thing had to be me. The thing had to be.

When his daughter, Ocean, was born, he felt like he didn't have a deep and meaningful connection with his children.

He couldn't help but see himself through the lens of his father's failure as he faced the challenge of parenting a toddler and baby. I was thinking about the lack of experience I had with my father when I was thinking about being a father. I was close to being a demon. I wanted to be present, active and loving in a way that he wasn't.

While his wife was resting, he tried to look after his two children alone. I tried to appease her after she began crying. She cried more because of that. She was saying, "Get your hands off me, where's my mother?"

 ‘My baby was crying so I picked her up and she cried even more’

He didn't feel like he was accepted. She cried and he was like, "I want my mom as well."

His wife was woken up by the "kerfuffle". I had to give my daughter to her and then my son ran past me and jumped on her. We would like to have mummy.

He didn't feel like he was adequate. I thought I couldn't support my wife when she's sleeping because they want her so much. He wondered what he could do as a father if he couldn't. That made me sad. It felt bad.

Father's Day was when he sat down with his feelings. I didn't celebrate. It didn't feel right.

He wanted to wish the other Black fathers a happy Father's Day, so he sent a message to a group of 23 people. I wanted to thank everyone here because I look to you when I think about how I parent.

He found out that other black dads felt the same. We were all staring at each other. He talked about how he felt. Everyone began talking about how we need to celebrate each other more.

It was the beginning of a discussion about Black fathers that would lead to a global movement. Black dads from all over the world joined the group to share their experiences with their children. Harrison realized that many of the challenges faced by Black fathers were related to racism or cultural beliefs and that they needed a proper platform to support each other.

He began to build an online community of Dope Black Dads with other dads.

Thousands of black people around the world use his forum to discuss the highs and lows of male parenting. Harrison is excited to celebrate Father's Day.

He feels that parenting is his greatest strength. I like it a lot. He wishes he could have told his younger self that he couldn't force a connection with a child. When you put in the work and time, it happens.

He was able to breakthrough when he began practicing Affirmations. I would make him laugh by saying, "I am brave." He yelled it at the top of his voice.

He learned what being a father really meant by spending more time alone with each of his children, talking to them about his hobbies, taking them on outings, and playing with them. I like it. You need to get into it. Mistakes will be made. It is going to be difficult. You won't sleep on days. You'll be thrown up on. They will let you know when you get there that they want to go home. You will learn to love your children and character building will be a big part of that.

He wishes he had more skin-to-skin contact with his babies, carried them in a sling, helped his wife with the night feeds, and talked to them more often. Your voice should be soothing to your child and so should your smell and touch. It all helps you because of your connection to them.

I would say, ‘I am brave,’ then my son would yell it at the top of his voice

He knows that when his babies needed comforting, he didn't have the tools.

His dad wasn't there to help or guide him. I didn't realize how much information I didn't have until I became a father. He didn't teach me who I wanted to be.

He understood that he could get help from his peers. His children have taught him a lot and he is grateful for his wife's support.

He realized that being a loving and present dad is not that complicated. There is just time. Quality time with them is just watching how they observe the world and who they are when they are free.

As your children get older, it becomes simpler. As they got more aware of things, I realized I could teach them little things and they would come back to me and want to learn.

When he was a child, he was called the N-word and chased down the street by a group of people. He wants his children to have a positive inner voice and to know what to say to themselves if they are ridiculed for being different. It is important for my children to be told that they are beautiful, powerful, loving, and kind.

He decided to write a children's picture book after seeing how his children benefited from saying Affirmations. Harrison hopes that other Black fathers will use the illustrations in I Love Me! to connect with their children.

It will feel like you are talking to the child when you read the book.

His priorities have changed since he started Dope Black Dads. He used to work 13 or 14 hours a day. I wouldn't stop going. I don't want to do that anymore I would like to be with my kids. I would like to experience them. I would like to take them somewhere. The most important people in my life are them.

He doesn't have to wonder what his purpose is or why he's here. I have that glow that I was looking for and it is really powerful.

The book I Love Me! is available at