A message from Alabama fathers to their black son(s).
“Most black kids are not fatherless,” said Josh Levs in a 2016 HuffPost article.
Dear Black Son,
Fatherhood exists in Black communities. Black father figures are not extinct, and they love and value their children. Employment obligations nor life’s challenges derail Black fathers from their paternal relationships or responsibilities. These men embrace their role with pride.
Many African-American fathers have high expectations and help cultivate the character, intellect, spirit, and physical abilities of their sons. These fathers know and understand what it is to be a man, and more importantly, what it means to be a Black man.
An even more frightening concept is the idea of being a Black man in America. Men have concerns of inferiority, being viewed as a threat and, what we’ve seen over the past month, experiences of police brutality.
The current tragedies that Black parents of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others have faced have resurfaced concerns, even fears. The heart-wrenching cries of their parents compel us to embrace our sons and daughters tighter. These familiar and realistic horror tales demand us to refocus and relight the path of progress that has been long abandoned. We are now, more than ever, determined to enforce change.
Click on photos to read message from dads to their sons
Black fathers understand that if their sons are to be resilient when the demands of life meet them, it is very important for them to build within them the foundation of security, self worth, and fortitude, especially in a nation that appears to exhibit resistance to the peace and success of Black men.
African-American fathers bring knowledge and wisdom to the table, and feed their sons with strength (sustenance) necessary to push through racial profiling, character assassination, limited opportunities, disdain, unfair policies, inequality, false accusations, and other racist actions that can determine the life or death of a Black man. All of the aforementioned stem from misconceptions.
One familiar misconception is the ‘absent black father’. The torch of African- American fatherhood is too often dimmed because of this ongoing myth, which continues to persist even among those in the African-American community, despite the overlooked fathers in our churches, workplaces and schools.
“Fatherlessness is not defined by living arrangement,” said Saeed Richardson, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Waukegan.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention report, ‘Fathers’ Involvement with Their Children’, shows the majority of Black fathers live with their children (2.5 million versus 1.7 million who do not).
The report further stated that whether living in the same home or not, Black fathers are the most involved of ALL primary recorded race and ethnic groups. African-American fathers who live with their children are actually the most involved fathers of ALL, on average, a CDC study found.
Why is it important for a father to be involved in his son’s life?
It is simple. Although the love of mothers is widely celebrated, there are numerous benefits of fatherhood that are overlooked and downplayed. According to various studies, a few benefits of fatherhood include:
- Promotes social and language skills
- Supports greater academic success
- Encourages self-control and better conduct
- Fosters emotional development
- Leads to positive self esteem
- Teaches how to deal with stress
- Reduces depression
- Promotes more exploratory, independent behavior
Though the presence of African-American fathers is undermined, it is evident that the ‘engaged Black father’ is not a myth, but a reality. Black fathers who accept the commitment of parenting build community through their efforts, thereby developing a productive, stable, healthy, confident, and competent generation of men.
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