Tag: Black fatherhood

When I was working on Black Dad Matters: Because We’re More Than Just the Headlines, a collection of essays on Black fatherhood and an attempt to explore it beyond the monolithic approach that we too often take when it comes to matters of Black identity, it had me asking a fundamental question—what’s Black fatherhood, anyway? What makes it different from the fatherhood journeys taken by dads and father figures of any other skin pigmentation? As perhaps the only large-scale group whose people aren’t tied together by any one language, land mass or belief system, we probably have more differences between us than the things that tie us together, but when the world looks at us, the first thing they see is “Black”.

 

And—pardon the pun—that’s what colours our experience as dads. That no matter how much you try to be the best dad possible for your kids, you’re up against a world that sees Black men negatively—as dangerous womanizers who often fail to take care of their kids. It isn’t fair and oftentimes it isn’t even right, but it’s something we learn to fight against from a very young age so we can model what our kids need to do to survive.

 

It’d be nice to live lives where Black dads could raise their kids the same way as everybody else, but when you know you can be profiled, pulled over, or even murdered at a moment’s notice, you learn to operate by different rules with the hope that your kids won’t have to.

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