Black Fatherhood: Revered or Expected?

With Father’s Day right around the corner, some of us are rushing to find the perfect gift(s). Like Mother’s Day, we celebrate and honor the other half that created us, but when the smoke clears, then what? The reality is, not many in the black community will be that enthused for the Sunday holiday. Many of us have grown up fatherless, or our fathers may have been around, but did not play a pivotal role in our lives. Without question, parenting in the black community needs to improve-period, on both sides, but black fathers need to step up to the plate and be better providers and nurturers for their children’s sake. While I can say that my mother did an EXCELLENT job raising my sister and I alone, there were many times in which I wished my father was around for the advice I needed. For the men who are reading this, and grew up in a home void of a father, I’m sure you all feel the same way, more so than me. As children, we need are parents more than ever, but it is not until you get to adult life that you realize that a portion of your life may have been affected by their absence or lack of involvement. This post isn’t to bash black fathers, there are great fathers out there (GRANDPA IKE!), who take care of their children and are there for them. However, just because they are an anomaly, doesn’t mean we should put them on a higher pedestal. So we commend Dwayne Wade and Barack Obama for showcasing black fatherhood in a positive light. Their efforts are not going unnoticed, and they are making strides to improve the public’s perception of black fathers.  Yet, shouldn’t we be at a place where fatherhood is not an option, but an expected requirement?

I related so much to an episode of Braxton Family Values, I had to post. If you’re a product of separated/divorced parents, you know all about the “family gatherings”:

What were your experiences with your father? How do you honor your dad on Father’s Day?

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