About the Author

Dr. Cheryl Polote Williamson is a highly sought after speaker, multi best-selling author, award winning exec. producer and filmmaker, business leader, visionary, philanthropist, purpose connection coach, editor-in-chief of Cheryl Magazine, and most importantly a servant leader.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hi Cheryl,
    I have always enjoyed seeing pictures of you and your dad, love flow freely between you guys! I had my uncles as father figures. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I loved your letter to your father it brought tears to my eyes because it represented a true bond and relationship of a parents love for their child. ❤️

  3. Cheryl I enjoyed reading your love letter to your dad. It was touching and inspiring at the same time. One of the most powerful things you said “Your love is one of the main ingredients in the recipe of me”. I love that statement and know why you are so kind and loving towards others.❤️❤️❤️

  4. This was a beautiful article. Unfortunately I didn’t have my father in my life, but God allowed me to meet him before he passed away. I believe he would have been a gentle guide for me given the opportunity.

    May God continue to bless you and your Father sweetie

  5. What an awesome opportunity to have a father like that! Your article touched me in so many ways. Always lead with love really stuck out the most for me! You are truly blessed to have such an amazing dad! And he is truly blessed to have such an amazing daughter that carries the heart of her father!

  6. What a beautiful and moving testament to the value of having a loving father in your life. Although my father-daughter story was the complete opposite, I can appreciate and glean from what you have shared because it reminded me that the love of the Father was always and is still with me.

  7. This resonated so deeply with me. My dad has also been my biggest cheerleader, business partner, financial advisor, and all around rock throughout my life. Fathers matter. Black fathers are essential to framing our world and guiding us to understand and be productive in this world. My dad is now well into his 70s, he is still my rock; he and my mom have truly been amazing examples of parenthood. I honor you POPs! Happy Father’s Day to you as well!

  8. Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute to your father. It’s so important for Black Fatherhood to be uplifted. Your light shines because your dad’s light shines. God bless you both! God bless all fathers!💙

  9. This is so beautiful! Father/Daddy Polote the legacy builder history maker! Thank you Daddy Polote thank you for shaping the loving person we have all had the honor of impacting our lives. Cheryl simply beautiful. An example of Honoring your father.

  10. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story. Always daddy’s girl! As women, and little girls, we learn to love at an early age; That unconfirmed love. And to have such a responsive, intentional, loving leader/father to demonstrate what real love looks like and feels like beyond the surface to a young girl is the epitome of fatherly love 💕- this is the love that shapes our very soul, as demonstrated and apparent in you Dr. Cheryl.

    So here’s to you, happy Father’s Day “Daddy Polote!”

  11. Cheryl,
    This was so Beautiful. And yes fathers are extremely important. I literally just had a conversation with my Poppi last week to express my gratitude for all of the things in life he instilled. While growing up I didn’t always have those thoughts lol but realized he was very principle and foundation driven, which in essence grounded me. I had to let him know how important his legacy was even though he questions what he is really leaving me and my siblings. But he knows now and as the first born,I will continue those things.

  12. Simply Beautiful. You have painted a heart-warming portrait of your father and his love for you and your family. Thank you for sharing and honoring your dad. 💕

  13. Cheryl,

    This letter to your father simply warms my heart! It is so touching. As a child living down the street from you I fondly remember the days I would see Mr. Polote and he was always so kind. I can see in him every kind word you have spoken about him. May your sentiments reach many other fathers that replicate the fatherhood you were so richly blessed with. Although I tragically lost my father at the age of 8 yrs old to a horrible car accident I am blessed that my children have experienced the love of their father in the same way. What a blessing. Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonder fathers.

  14. Yezzz!! So important!! Fatherhood comes in Many Forms ….Educator, Mentor, Coach, etc. These Roles Shape The Minds of All of Our Futures…The Next Generation. I Salute Every “FATHER” That Stands in the Gap!

  15. Dr. Cheryl, our sister, our friend! This love letter to your father truly blessed my heart. When I think of my father I do not think so much what he has been to me, I think more of what he has been to my sons. He was not in a space to be what I needed him to be for me as a daughter; however, I celebrate what he has been for me as an adult and how he has showed up in various ways to support his grandson’s. Thank you so much for sharing how God’s love shows up for us in our fathers!!! Happy Father’s Day to your amazing dad and man of God!

  16. Dear Daddy,
    This is so odd for me as I have never told you just how much you meant to me while growing up. Coming in as number nine had its privileges: privileges of getting to spend time around you as you were aging and having more time to talk to me because life had slowed down for you since the others were grown. You taught me integrity, the importance of making sure that I uphold the Irby name for after all a good name is most important. You taught me to speak clearly and succinctly and to not waver in my beliefs, and not to be swayed by the influence of others. As being the youngest girl in the family, you wanted to make certain that I wasn’t taken advantage of because of all the love and trust built as a safety net in my world.

    I love you you Daddy, and still remember that smile on your face as you transitioned from this life, leaving me as a young adult now, to navigate life with the words and actions bestowed upon me. So now, living in my senior years, I often reflect on what was important for you to teach me and those matters help steer my behavior today.

    Love, Your Baby Girl, “Gena”

  17. This was a beautiful tribute to your dad. If brought back fond memories of my father, who is no longer here. My dad was my rock, my protector. Always there when I needed him. This had inspired me to write my own tribute toy dad

  18. Hello and Thank You For Sharing your amazing Dad Story .

    Taking the time to write a love letter to your dad during this upcoming Father’s Day – what a gift you have given your beloved dad.

  19. Unfortunately, this has me in tears and hits home differently for me. My father and I have an estranged relationship. It has been my prayer even at my age that before we transition from the earthly realm to being heavenly bound that this special bonding between father and daughter will take place. In the meantime, my Heavenly Father has been there every step of way and for that I’m not worthy but I AM GRATEFUL!!! Thank you for such encouraging words Dr. C! I love seeing and hearing this dialogue. It gives me hope. For all the men that have ministered and been a positive role model for me by being the example of what a good man and father looks like, I express sincere gratitude and on this day know that I love you all. Happy Father’s Day!

  20. What an awesome tribute to your father! He has made a significant impact on the lives of so many people. His generosity and caring spirit have helped to create a legacy that is unparalleled. We are blessed to have him in our lives. May God continue to bless and keep Benjamin Polote!!!

  21. Beautiful share Cheryl ❤️
    A father’s love and teaches to his daughters are precious. My father is 79 years old now and it is my honor to watch over him as he has for me up to this day.
    Thank you for your light and wisdom Shared with us. St. Croix Virgin Islands ❤️🌴🦋

  22. Dr. Cheryl, you are so loved, appreciated, celebrated, valued, and most cherished. Your daddy share created a tsunami of tears for missing my daddy. Nevertheless this story time of love took me way back to the days, my daddy would ask what would I like for breakfast, and I would answer salmon croquettes. Keep in mind that when I returned home from each session of college, my mommie would say you need to call your daddy and stop by and visit him.

    That was a dark period in my life and the relationship between daddy and daughter was a hot chocolate fudge sundae mess. I’d like to make mention that your love and the stories you shared, opened a flood gate of a peaceful anointing of forgiveness on my heart.

    As you shared your college experience, I was reminded about the love of our heavenly Father and what more than to find out that I had some residue from my past to extend grace and peace for what my daddy did at his best. Your share about your grades was a touchstone that if your father can forgive and not judge, then so can I. Our heavenly Father does it everyday for us all.

    I miss my daddy and those awesome salmon croquettes that just melt in your mouth. Daddy Calvin’s recipe: Fresh salmon, skinned, diced(onions, green peppers(all colors), potatoes, corn and whatever you like) mix and pat and drop in yellow meal or Fish fry meal and drop in olive oil or peanut oil if not allergic. When done, your choice of eggs, grits or lemon pancakes and chow down.

    I thank you Dr. Cheryl for your beautiful stories of Daddy Polote. For such a time as this to be reminded of love, grace, and mercy of my daddy and our heavenly Father.

    Simply Make Intentional Love Encounters(TM),

    Dr. Smile aka Auntie Roz

    P.S. God allows editing power for fond memories of my daddy. Learning purpose by way of relational currency and collaborative intelligence!

  23. Dr. Cheryl,

    What a beautiful love letter to the first man to love you. I too had an amazing dad and miss him so very much!

    What an awesome Father’s Day gift to publicly bestow upon this amazing man that you are blessed to call Daddy.

    Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Polote.

  24. This wonderful dedication to your dad, Soror. This a reminder for us to appreciate and honor the incredible and inspiring Black fathers out there, not just on Father’s Day, but every day. From providing for their families to encouraging their children, Black dads are vitally important to our society. It is essential to recognize the invaluable contributions Black fathers make to their families, communities, and the world.

  25. Dr. Cheryl. Thanks so much for the opportunity to thank my stepfather for being a constant support in my life. But more than that, I want to thank my husband for what he means to our two girls. My youngest named her new baby boy for her father, because, “Daddy means the world to me”. My oldest said her favorite warning to her dates was, “My daddy will kill you!” They can change tires with the best of them, and they are strong, educated, no nonsense women because daddy expected that.

  26. This was beautiful. Your father sounds like mine. My daddy is the most amazing man on the planet. He is what I’d like to call a man’s man. A man highly recognized in his community. He has been guiding me through for almost 45 years now even when I’ve disappointed him he still stood on principal and never once let me down. That’s my main man for sure. I’m glad to see another woman recognize her father the way I do my own.

  27. This is an amazing testimony of bouncing back and perseverance.
    Love the transparency and honesty in your story. Mistakes and poor decisions can be a will be overcome in abundance through Christ.
    You are a living example of that!

  28. There is a pulchritudinous love between a father and daughter. In reading this passage written so eloquently by Cheryl Polote Williamson, I am reminded by the lifetime gifts of knowledge, wisdom and humility I learned from my own father. Thank you, Mahogany for sharing this tribute to your masses. The reflections left me in tears of thankfulness and nostalgic as Father’s can be the rock in which we build our own communities!

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