Our Affirming Black and Brown Fatherhood Series concludes this weekend, with some final reflections on Father’s Day. We couldn’t be happier with the responses we’ve published from our featured fathers and the feedback we’ve received from our readers. (Special thanks to PostBourgie for crossposting both Roger’s and Stefan’s features.)
Because no one site can cover everything, as it relates to minority fatherhood, we thought we’d roundup a few really thoughtful posts we read this week. The diversity of perspectives should serve to fill in some of the gaps in our coverage. We hope you enjoy these links as much as we did.
- Camp Diva founder Angela Patton’s TEDTalk shares the story of how the teen girls in her organization all rallied to connect a teen daughter and her incarcerated father for their annual Daddy-Daughter dance. “A letter was written to the Richmond City Sheriff, signed collectively by all the girls.” The sheriff’s reply: “Whenever there is an opportunity to bring families inside, [my] doors are always open…. When fathers are connected to their children, it is less likely that they will return.” Listen to the full story, complete with pictures of the Camp Diva dads and daughters dancing with their fathers in the visiting room of the correctional facility:
- Joshunda Victoria Sanders blogs with breathtaking vulnerability and courage about father loss and the importance of social fathers (father figures) in Father Time:
A surrogate Dad is a lifesaver, like any surrogate. It’s not the same as having the man who helped create you take an active role in helping you see the world and your place in it. There is no substitute for the missed father-daughter bonding, the “talk” or how to relate to men in the world as a strong-willed woman (I don’t think anybody really knows). But being jaded or angry is a waste of energy. Like holding a hot coal and expecting another person to suffer, the saying goes.
- On this week’s Hip Hop is for Lovers podcast, hosts Uche and Lenee sat down with guests Wil and Stefan (who was also featured here this week) for an episode called “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy,” which discussed — among other things — how the terms “baby daddy” and “baby mama” are often used as pejoratives and whether or not black couples “beat themselves up” for not having traditional, two-parent households.
- In his piece for The Atlantic, “YouTube is My Father,” Michael Anthony Adams writes about the various things he learned from instructional clips on YouTube, growing up without a father and with a mother who worked crazy hours supporting the family:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a third of American children are living in fatherless homes, and some sociologists have gone as far as to say that the absence of a father in a child’s life is the greatest social problem facing America. Certainly it would be absurd to consider YouTube as an adequate alternative to an actual father-figure in the home; however, by using it as a free parenting tool, single mothers can help develop father-oriented traits in the child’s growth process.
- Visual artist Sabrina Thompson has launched a photo and video campaign to promote more positive images of black fathers. Here is the first installment, titled “Fatherhood is…“.
- At Momsrising, Brandale Randolph writes about the diminishing expectations of black fathers in Fathers have become unicorns:
Racism says that black men are not fathers. Racism is used to black men being daddies, but not fathers. Racism says that black men do not want to be fathers. To see a black man lead his family by supporting them through self-sacrifice, flies in face of every racist stereotype imaginable. I am not supposed to be smart enough to understand the postpartum depression that occurs among women who are not allowed to continue on the career paths. I am not supposed to be so selfless, that I put the needs of my family before my own. I am not supposed to give my children a sense of self-worth by my continued presence but by the presents that I can purchase for them. I am not even supposed to love their mother but treat her disrespectfully at all times. In a sense, I, as a black man, am not supposed be a father.
I choose to be a father. I love this lifestyle called fatherhood that I have chosen.
- Sean Palmer writes in “It’s Not the Bible’s Fault. You Might Just Be a Bad Dad” at his site, The Palmer Perspective, about fathers who use religious reinforcement of traditional gender roles as an excuse not to be hands-on parents:
In defense of the “Mom-Must-Stay-Home” ideology, I once heard a pastor say, “It’d be terrible for our kids if I stayed home. Ha ha.” If he believes that, he’s right. But he’s not right because he is male. He’s right because his attitude makes him a crappy father. […] as long as the narrative continues which articulates that men lack what it takes to nurture and raise children; as long as some argue that the cultivation of children is the domain of women only, we will continue to produce dads who believe they risk their “man-card” by trying.
- This morning, The Today Show profiled Terrell Starr, a Fulbright scholar who, at 29, found the father he never knew via Facebook. They’ve been in touch ever since.
Have you been reading anything interesting about fatherhood this week? Let us know by leaving a link in the comments.