In the last couple of weeks leading up to Father’s Day my email in-box has been bombarded with articles about dads. I would say that 90% of the articles are positive. The other 10% are about black dads.
Let’s take a moment to discuss the 90%. Literally I have articles from as far away as the UK and as close as New York City praising dads. The dad movement is global! Most of the articles are discussing the changing face of parenting, insinuating that up until recently most two parent homes were really one parent homes in disguise. Men, apparently, are coming out of the dark ages of parenting and stepping up their game as dads – sometimes out shining their female counter parts. I even had an article that spoke well of the “trend” of the nearly 100,000 dads in America that are staying home while their wives work. Of 68 million dads in this country 100,000 hardly seems like a trend, but whatever. They deserve their moment of fame.
Now for the 10%. Not so good. In my humble opinion black dads should be taking the positive press with a grain of salt. Or perhaps a boulder of salt. As good as some of us are at being dads (lately I not so sure how I rank, my son is driving me nuts), there is still a serious crisis in parenting in the black community. There are still too many of us black dads in prison. Too many of us unemployed (some estimate that as much as 50% of black males are unemployed in New York City alone) or underemployed. Too many of us are “in the studio” instead of in the classroom. I was reminded of this fact almost every time I opened my email this week, or performed a Google search.
We need to start mentoring our peers and supporting one another in a real and substantial way. We can all be