Youtube can be a space filled with every variety of content imaginable from hilarious viral videos to lectures examining global humanitarian crisis. There is content for video games, cooking, and the list can go on and on. To be honest, almost every other time I go to YouTube I find myself saying, “What can’t you find on YouTube?” or “Someone has way too much time on there hands”. Much of it can be pretty bad and evidently negative in terms of how they influence our culture. After these statements, I usually speculate on why I spend so much time watching useless videos, but some creators in the realm of YouTube counter the negative culture and give me hope on the future of content creation, especially filmmaking on the internet.
Beleaf in Fatherhood is a channel that is counter cultural to the content creation community, specifically on YouTube, because its a channel that invites viewers into what it means to be a father, empower mothers, and invites us to join in the journey with them.
Glen Melanin, also known as “Beleaf“, is the creator of this channel with its contributors being his wife Yvette, sons Theo and Uriah, and the latest addition his daughter Anaya. Previous to stepping into the realm of filmmaking and content creation on YouTube, Beleaf was a hip-hop artist and former member of the group, Dream Junkies.
His music career did overlap with his YouTube career, with his YouTube career beginning in October of 2015, and his second and final solo studio album titled, “In Fatherhood“, being released in 2017, but he decided to step away from making hip-hop albums and create content centered on fatherhood.
“So I got to this point where I was like, “Man, I have a bed at home.” And I realized that I’m performing for 400 people, 50 people here and there, and I realized that the biggest stage I’ll ever be on, the most impactful place I’ll ever be, is in front of my family. In my living room. So that’s the point when I was kind of like, “You know what, man? I’m done. I’m gonna put out this last record, I’m gonna do a couple of shows, and after that I’m gonna make my living room the platform from which I change the world.“ -Beleaf
As I said before, Beleaf in Fatherhood’s focus is to invite viewers in to the life of the Melanin family, and learn what it means to be a father in today’s culture. Beleaf tackles so many topics ranging from identity, schooling, spirituality, etc and what it means to raise children in the world in which we live today. Some videos are more humorous, some is just purely viewing a day in the life of being parents.
What makes the channel so wonderful is the authenticity. They aren’t trying to fake anything, they are learning as they go, and they are trying to use experiences from their past to potentially inform other parents or future parents of how they handled something and what was positive and negative from how they handled it.
The channel continues to grow and Beleaf in Fatherhood continues to press into new ways to use the platform to spread their content and ideas, and they have even shifted into children’s books
It’s Bedtime Now is the first installment of The Chocolate Babies based on the YouTube channel Beleaf in Fatherhood.
“This self published book, inspired by the Beleaf in Fatherhood youtube channel pokes fun at the everyday struggle of trying to put kids to bed. The Chocolate Babies learn a valuable lesson about listening. This is almost an exact scene from Beleaf In Fatherhood, that is light hearted and sure to be a favorite story before putting your child to bed.”
Beleaf in Fatherhood is an excellent testimony to affirm the thought that stories are meant to be authentic accounts of each persons short story and they are meant to be shared to grow closer as a community that wants to pursue beauty and positivity. Beleaf tells stories through music, film, and writing one of my favorite aspects of his art is how his spirituality influences it. They do not throw religion in the faces of viewers, listeners, readers, etc, but they by no means are trying to hide the true source of the gifts and the abilities in which they use to tell the stories.
Please go check out all of Beleaf in Fatherhood’s content, it is quality content and deserves all the attention!