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An abundance of focus is often attempted to magnify Black single Mothers and Black Men as being zealously designated foot loose and fancy free producers of offspring without apparent post pregnancy commitment from the Father. The discussions have been many and long centering on the lack of the Black Men and Black Fathers in the Black household and community. Then let us not forget the disproportionate number of Black Men that are incarcerated and the impact that has on their involvement with their families. All of these dynamics collectively have painted a portrait of Black Families severely void of the Fathers that are responsible for impregnating the Mothers.
However, according to new data, recently published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Black family is much more complete than is widely assumed. The report focuses on the role American Fathers play in the parenting of their children.
Though most of the CDC’s, and family think tanks reports have cynosured on the Mother’s participation in the family for public health and child development purposes, this study looks in-depth at Fathers and the results are revealing; especially in the case of Black Fathers who have been so regularly derided as derelict sperm donors.
The data dispels the assumptions and sentiments that most Black Fathers are AWOL when it comes to their children with aggregated data that diffuses any debate to the contrary while debilitating some age old stereotypes about Black Fatherhood.
Some highlights from the study:
1) Among children under the age of five, Black men not in the household are more likely than other fathers who live with their kids to eat with their children everyday.
2) For parents of children under the age of five, Black men were more likely than white and Hispanic Fathers who do not live with their kids to eat with them every day.
3) Among Fathers unable to live with their children in the household with kids under the age of five, Black Men were more likely than dads from other ethnic groups to bathe their kids daily.
4) Among parents with kids under the age of five, Black Men were more likely to read to their children daily.
5) Among children above the age of five, Black Men were more likely to make sure their kids did their homework. This is true whether or not they lived with the child.
6) Among parents of children above the age of five, Black Men were more likely to talk to their child about their day.
Considering the fact that “black fatherhood” is a phrase that is almost always in the company of the words “crime and absentee” in U.S. society, it’s understandable that the CDC’s results seem innovative.
The Pew Research Center, which has tracked this data for years, consistently finds no big disparities between white and black Fathers. The data seems abnormal because of all the negative innuendos that are dispersed about Black Fathers
It is a fact that black Fathers are more likely to live separately from their children; the statistic that’s usually used to prop up the phantom parenting crisis that’s so often charged back to Black Families. As the data bears out though, many of them remain just as involved in their kids’ lives as they would be if they lived together. Pew estimates that 67 percent of Black dads who don’t live with their kids see them at least once a month, compared to 59 percent of white dads and just 32 percent of Hispanic dads.
It’s a breath of fresh hair to come across insights and studies that put to rest stereotypes and misconceptions about a group of men that begin everyday profiled by every movement they make.