How can you tell when someone is lying to you? Can you read it in their face, see it in their movements or speech? What if you can’t see their face or aren’t in their presence; can you still tell if they’re lying? What if they presented an idea to you that wasn’t real, could you poke holes in it? What if society constantly bombarded your mind with this same lie, legitimizing it with TV shows, movies and statistics which misrepresent reality, could you then see the deception?
If I told you that black fathers are statistically the best dads in America would you think that it was a lie? If you didn’t think I was lying to you, you’re probably assuming the statement is stretched from the truth, but in actuality it is not. According to a study released by The National Center for Health Statistics, black fathers are involved in the day to day lives of their children more than dads in Hispanic households as well as their white counterparts. So where did we get the “Black Dad’s are the Worst” idea from? Stereotypes and statistics geared towards making black fathers believe they are some how inadequate at being a good dad. As you read this article, it will touch on some new facts to change the perception, but will not dive deep into all the numbers. I leave it up to you to continue your research and find more for yourself.
To all black fathers who have done everything in their power to be good role models to their children despite all the stereotypes and statistics to prove otherwise, I SALUTE YOU. We have created a culture that hates and despises you. It depicts you as deadbeat, it throws you to the fire through media and movies, and rarely shows you as having any worth in our communities. Worst of all, our community believes it to be fact. Let this be a testament on your behalf, YOU ARE GREAT and the rest of this article will prove it. But you also need to understand that you can be better and there are things we can do as a community to help our fathers become better dads.
Before I reveal a few statistics to you all, I want to say this; statistics rarely tell the whole story. Even though the facts that I will present to you portray black fathers in a positive light, they don’t touch on the issue of the “absentee dad”, which is a major problem in the black community. Take the statistics for what they are, but also keep an open mind into understanding that we still have a ways to go in repairing the plight of the Black family.
In the report released by The National Center for Health Statistics, black fathers were more likely to bath, dress and read to their children as compared to their hispanic and white counterparts. This suggests that black fathers love being involved in the raising of their children. They also pay less attention to gender roles, completing tasks that are normally deemed for the mother. Black fathers who lived with their children also helped them with homework more often than Hispanic and White fathers. Even black fathers who didn’t live with their children had a higher percentage of helping their children with homework. The study also suggests that black fathers not only took their children to and from activities more often than whites and hispanics, but also were more likely to talk with them about things that happened during the day. According to this study black fathers are the most engaged fathers in America, but you would never know this by watching Reality TV.
Black fathers are doing their job in our communities and we need to support them with praise and glory, not baby mama TV shows and salacious movie characters who love to “hit it and quit it.” We also need to address the one’s who perpetuate the stereotypes and feed the cloud of negativity that hangs over our communities’ fathers. Lets make it cool to be a Dad again. Instead of feeding into what we see and hear, let’s change the narrative and create stories and folklore about warrior dads who fight for their children’s love everyday. Let’s also call out the ugly when necessary. Forget buying your son a pair of Jordan’s for Christmas, then not seeing him until next Christmas. Instead, take your son to work, show him how to be a man, teach him the meaning of hard work, reveal to him the ways you’ve became a better man in hopes that he will grow up to do same. No more lies, no more stories. Being a black father is priceless, but your worth is greater than any amount of money or wealth. You are the leaders of our next generation and no lie will ever be able to change that.
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