Stan Grant, Troy Cassar-Daley, and Jack Latimore are among the contributors whose letters grapple with racism and identity, and present an honest picture of the struggles First Nations men face.
By
Ilias Bakalla

Source:
NITV News
11 May 2021 - 4:19 PM  UPDATED 11 May 2021 - 4:19 PM

Dear Son, a forthcoming anthology of letters penned by First Nations fathers, aims to honestly address issues facing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, and to break poisonous cycles. 

Author Thomas Mayor, a Torres Strait Islander man, writes to his 20-year-old son, Tinoi Mayor. 

“I teach (him) about intergenerational trauma, and some of my poor behavior as a young man.

“I wanted him to know how these things are passed on and how we can improve with empathy, perspective and a background for why people behave the way they do,” Mr Mayor said. 

The book touches on issues like domestic violence, coercive control and toxic masculinity, which Mr Mayor says men are responsible for.

"These issues don't discriminate but Australia has made it seem like it is an Indigenous problem.

"We have been addressing these issues as Indigenous men for a long time and, given the huge damage and inter-generational trauma being inflicted upon us, we still have a long way to go,” Mr Mayor said.

Mr Mayor concludes the book with a letter to his father Celestino Mayor, who migrated from the Torres Strait to work in Queensland.

“A few of (the contributors) write to their fathers or nephews as they don’t have sons.”

“Like many men of his generation, my father was a hard man and raised me harshly for a world that wouldn’t love me as much as he did," said Mr Mayor.

“I wanted to acknowledge that and end the book with a celebration, even though he’ll probably never read it.”  

Joining Mayor's letters are submissions written by Stan Grant, Troy Cassar-Daley, John Liddle, Charlie King, Joe Williams, Yessie Mosby, Joel Bayliss, Daniel James, Jack Latimore, Daniel Morrison, Tim Sculthorpe and Blak Douglas.

Mr Mayor said all the writers approached the project with enthusiasm.

“Many said to me afterward that they found it to be a healing experience, writing with that depth of emotion and honesty," Mr Mayor said.

The book will be released on the 1st of September 2021.

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