INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — John W. Hudson is a musician, an educator, a basketball player, a counselor, but most importantly he is a father.
Hudson, who lives in Independence, Missouri, has two sons.
Over the past 10 years, Hudson has published about a dozen books. His most recent is titled “Because I’m a D.O.P.E. Black father.”
It is the latest in a children’s illustrated series following the main character Fred Dexter and his mentor, Mr. Hudson.
“He [Dexter] is just one of those African-American kids from Kansas City who wants to make a difference,” Hudson said.
The description also fits Hudson. The Kansas City, Kansas, native hopes the book encourages other fathers or role models to be DOPE — an acronym for devoted, optimistic, powerful and encouraging.
“It’s a slang word, people like to use it for things,” Hudson said. “We can use that as an educational word to be a supportive factor for our kids. Whether you’re a dad, uncle, grandfather, brother, nephew, whatever, they just need more DOPE people around to really bring this positive message out to impact the whole community.”
Hudson’s oldest son, Jayzon, confirmed his father is a DOPE father.
“You need to have some people supporting you in whatever you do, so I think family is very important to me,” the 15-year-old said.
By day, Hudson is a family advocate at Emmanuel Family and Child Development Center in Kansas City, Missouri. He said his job allows him to work with struggling parents and families.
He also created a nonprofit called Reasons 2 Believe, which focuses on youth mental health and suicide prevention. He regularly visits schools to spread positive messages.
“Hopefully they can understand life and purpose still exists for everyone," Hudson said. "We want everyone to not just live life, but to live life abundantly."