“My son’s name is Quintin Hughes Jr.,” Q said proudly with the same smile still lighting up his face. “He goes by QJ. He takes a lot after me with a whole lot more energy, charm and charisma. His mother’s beautiful so he’s a handsome young guy.”
Q is the proud father of two amazing kids, 4-year-old QJ and his big sister, 11-year-old Nadia. QJ is an energetic preschooler and Nadia is slowly transitioning into her pre-teen years. Q says watching his bonus daughter grow into an affable tweenager has been an exciting process for the blended family.
“Nadia is really smart,” said Q. “She’s 11 and in middle school. She’s basically a teenager, but she’s incrementally getting there.”
The Hughes household is an operation. It’s a well-oiled machine where all members, including QJ and Nadia, move with purpose under the guiding principles of love, family and responsibility. And it makes sense. Q is more than just a family man. He’s an entrepreneur who has used his success in corporate America as a blueprint for his home. He leads two successful business ventures in Oklahoma City: Kindred Spirits, a bar in Northeast OKC, and Northeast Renaissance Inc., an organization aimed at revitalizing Northeast OKC through ethical redevelopment. The lessons learned at work often find their way back to the Hughes household.
“A lot about a household is just another operation,” said Q. “Why not apply the principles that create efficiencies? Why make it hard on yourself?”
Back to the beginning
These concepts frame Q’s family structure. Like generations of Black men before him, Q stands alongside a powerful woman who is his partner in every sense of the word. He’s been married to his dream girl, Sasha Hughes, for five years. The Black love story went something like this: Girl walks into a bar. Girl completely enamors boy. Salutations are exchanged. Happily ever after begins.
“I met her at Urban Roots in 2012,” Q remembers fondly. “I was an Urban Roots regular. I wanted to be there to absorb the culture. I was there to see [Oklahoma artist] Spencer Brown and I stuck around to see him perform. She pulled up. It turned out that Spencer is her cousin.”
It all sounds like a fairytale, but none of it happened by chance. This was part of Q’s plan. He’s the grand architect behind his intricately designed life. The dream family—mom, dad and 2.5 kids—was the hope and desire of a young boy in search of a strong family unit.
“My family was close growing up and we had a southern Black culture,” said Q about his upbringing. “I missed having a permanent male presence as a father in the house.”
To understand Quintin as a family man requires traveling back to his humble beginnings in Little Rock, Ark. The son of a teacher, Q always valued the importance of family. His mom passed down her love of community: she never met a stranger and was a friend to all she encountered. Q makes a conscious effort to pass on the traits he learned from his beloved family matriarch.
“I am intentional about how I show love,” said Q. “That’s something my mom passed down to me. A welcoming spirit [as well as] love and compassion for others.”
Q says his intentions with Sasha were clear from day one. It was much more than love at first sight. Q longed for the same solid family nucleus that Sasha was already accustomed to.
“My mom did an amazing job, but what happens when you have two people present to share attention, provide and offer guidance and resources?” said Q. “I’ve always wanted that for my family. I was always interested in people who had that life. My wife is West African. There is so much rich culture in her family. Her family is so big and close. Her nuclear family had two parents and looked like the American dream.”
The value of fatherhood
Nine years after their initial interaction, the Hughes are still piecing together their own version of that American dream. They’ve been happily married since 2016. Regardless of the external demands, Q makes small, intentional efforts to continue placing the home first.
It’s a Wednesday evening and Q is preparing to meet with the staff at Kindred Spirits. As the meeting begins, 4-year-old QJ interrupts and asks, “I thought we were going to the park?” Q reminds his son of their plans and makes a promise he’s sure to keep: “Once this call is over, we’re headed to the park.”
What’s most impressive during this hour-long conversation is Q’s patience. His attentiveness to both busy areas of his life—his demanding profession and his family—is admirable. Although both forces are pulling him during this meeting, they are not at odds. There is no competition because Q understands and values his priorities. It’s all part of the larger design he’s spent years carefully creating.
Q’s entrepreneurial efforts inform his most important role as a father. He says there’s an abundant number of lessons offered through the structure of a business. These lessons help guide his family and build a firm foundation where love can effortlessly grow through well-intentioned actions.
“We have a family mission statement,” said Q. “The Hughes will practice love, positivity and promising principles daily at home and away. We will pursue purpose, strong family bonds and constant evolution. We will continue constructive traditions and leave a legacy among our family, our community and our people.”
Q’s family believes in collective responsibility. It’s a guiding principle that helps each family member move into the world with purpose, always upholding their responsibility to themselves, the community and to Black folk.
“I want my family to feel a responsibility to advance the culture and be a positive representation of their people,” said Q. “And to always look to others to build the culture. [I want our kids] to stand on our shoulders and elevate.”
Editor’s note: This article is the first in a year-long series celebrating local dads. Author Lance Evans and husband Chris are fathers of Chrystian. Lance is director of communications for Variety Care, and he and Chris were voted MetroFamily’s 2021 Cool Pops.