Two Common Myths About African-American Fathers

This year is moving by fast and we are already in the month of February. February is full of great things like Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. However, the greatest thing about February is that we take time to observe and appreciate the African-American community and the contributions that we have made for this nation. I thought it would be only right to touch on the subject of African-American fathers and two of the most common myths about them. They tend to get a bad rep in society and hardly enough praise. Since this month is about recognizing our black heroes, let’s start with the ones at home.

 

 

  1. Myth – Black fathers are absent.
    • Truth – Black fathers are very present in their children’s lives. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that:
      • * Children under the age 5: Black Fathers prepared and/or ate meals more with their children vs their white and Hispanic counterparts
        * Children 5-18: Black Fathers took children to and from activities daily more compared to their white and Hispanic counterparts
        * Children 5-18: Black Fathers also helped their kids with homework more than their white and Hispanic counterparts
  2. Myth – Black men can’t be/aren’t good fathers because their fathers weren’t.
    • Truth – First off, not all black men have terrible fathers. The same how not all men from other backgrounds are good fathers. You have so many awesome fathers in the African-American community. You can read Sarah Bouchereau’s letter to her father, or you can read this amazing article written by Domonique Matti about the black fathers you don’t think exists, or lastly just log onto Instagram and check out @theurbandads to see hundreds of pictures of black fathers spending quality time with their children. Second, just because a man has a bad father doesn’t mean he will follow in his footsteps. There are plenty of fathers of all backgrounds and ethnicity that didn’t have the best example growing up and used that as the driving force to be amazing dads themselves.

So just in case there was any confusion:

Yes, we are present in our children’s lives.

Yes, we can be great fathers (and mothers).

No, we aren’t always like our fathers who may have been absent or not the greatest.
And just in case you forgot, yes…we do matter.

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