We’ve heard the critiques of everybody from Bill Cosby to President Barack Obama. When a police officer was killed in Jersey City, in July 2014, a local television news reporter identified the underlying cause of the “anti-cop mentality” by young black men was the result of growing up without fathers. Reuters chimed in claiming that “Father absence has decimated the black community.” According to present statistics, the black out of wedlock birthrate is now nearly 80%.
What happened? Is this the whole story? Is there something else? It is axiomatic that children who grow up in two-parent households usually finish school, avoid contact with the police and have better chances at success than children from single parent households. But what does this tell us about the present parental relationship between black fathers and their children?
Ebony Magazine recently published a video with statistics that suggest that the narrative of the absentee black father may not be as truthful as we once believed.
African-American dads have outperformed other groups when it comes bathing, feeding and playing with their kids. So where does the myth of the absentee black father come from?
Posted by Because Facts on Saturday, February 17, 2018
More recently, a video of a black father talking in babble to his 19 month old son has gone viral on You Tube. This video lends some credence to the idea that the absentee black father is not only cliche’ but may be a bit over blown.
In the video, amateur comedian DJ Pryor is shown having a heartwarming critique of the season finale of the hot Fox TV show Empire. He and his son Kingston, are seen going back and forth with their analysis of scenes from the show. This soul-stirring, feel good moment is the direct antithesis of the deadbeat daddy ballads such as Papa was a Rolling Store, or even Tupac’s Dear Mama.
According to the statistics in Ebony’s video, black fathers lead other groups of dads when it comes to feeding, bathing and playing with their children. This narrative flies in the face of an almost 80% out of wedlock birth rate. What constitutes the difference?
One possible answer maybe that the statistics measure the number of children born out of wedlock, and not the quality or quantity of the relationships that black fathers have with their children in the absence of marriage to the biological mother.
This also suggests that the “he ran off and left us” party line of many single black women may be a bit more complicated than what we have been led to believe. While a high out of wedlock birthrate is indicative of the sexual irresponsibility of both parties, it does not bespeak of the acrimonious relationships that develops between black men and women when they discover, after creating a life, that they should NOT have been creating another life with each other.
It also brings to mind the old saying that:”white people tend to mate from the navel up, while black people tend to mate from the navel down.”
It is also true that in the present media complex, such as it is, we are the unwitting hostages of a one sided story of deception and betrayal: hers. More often than not, the man’s story is seldom, if ever told. In this environment, female motives are SUBJECT, while the male’s objectives and motives are SUSPECT.
Thus, the lone objection to the present narrative is drowned out by a deafening chorus of “niggas ain’t shit!”
When taken into consideration, it is easy to understand why Pryor’s 1:30 video with Kingston is so powerful. Because for the first time we hear what we have never heard. Black Daddy is back! He’s back because dispute popular opinion to the contrary, he was never gone.
But is also strangely apropos that this message was delivered with all the humor of a black comedian, and the endearing sentimentality of a father and son moment.
TONY MACEO is a senior blogger at the Negromanosphere. Support by Paypal @ Wayofstrategy44@gmail.com or on Patreon at Powerofstrategies. TILL NEXT TIME, I’LL HOLLA!