Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I am My Father's Son

I am My Father's Son by Dan Hill

Dan Hill is a well-known Canadian songwriter and performer. This is his story.

Dan grew up in suburban Toronto in the 1960s. His father, Dr. Hill was the first Ontario Human Rights Commissioner. He was black and his wife was white. Racism in Canada was not as 'up front and in your face' as the United States but was still widespread. It was more a 'sneaky' type of racism that Dan encountered, including teachers who didn't like him because of his colour.

Dr. Hill was larger than life and having experienced racism was the perfect choice for commissioner. Dr. Hill was bombastic and extremely ambitious. His expectations were very high especially for his first born son. Dan had to excel in school. Although his grades were good, Dan's interests and personality ran contrary to his father's.

The tension and unrest in the Hill household was constant during Dan's teens. Dan loved music and writing songs was in his blood. His father let him know incessantly what a disappointment he was. His father was mean and constantly critical. Dan, however, has his father's ambition and strove to achieve success in the music industry and gain his father's approval finally. Dan's successes and setbacks are chronicled. His mistakes and his highlights are boldly stated.

This story tells about both Dan's life and Dr. Hill's life. It is a very well-written story about the relationship between father and son. It is also a tale of forgiveness. This book makes the reader look at their own relationship with their parents questioning what impact their parents had and what impact they have on their own children

On a personal note, my brother was friends with Dan during high school. As an older sister I did not pay too much attention to his friends. Shame on me! The details of the neighbourhood brought back a lot of memories.

First Line: "Not that this is anything to brag about, but I may well have been the only teenager in the history of the Western world punished for not masturbating"

I am My Father's Son at Chapters


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