Inspired by President Barack Obama’s commitment to encouraging and supporting responsible fathers–he created the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative to do just that–Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama
aims to wrestle back the much-maligned image of the Black dad and expose it as something that, while not perfect, is a human, loving presence in the lives of his children. In turns insightful, clever and laugh-out-loud funny, 20 Black women writers share deeply personal stories that prove the stereotypes wrong. More than just love letters, their essays spin truths that examine the positive/complicated/ bittersweet/hilarious/awe-inspiring relationships they share with the fathers in their lives. From the girl whose dad pulled double duty to fill the space left when her mother died, to the woman whose brother has successfully raised six children from behind bars, to the young mother who knew her grandfather truly loved her when he threatened to beat up her boyfriend, the stories in Bet on Black will shift the dialog about what it means to be a Black father in the United States.
Contributors featured in Bet on Black: Keisha-Gaye Anderson, Lakeia Brown, Harriette Cole, Corynne L. Corbett, Hillary Crosley, Michelle Duke, Amber Efé, Rochelle Tillery-Larkin Ford, Ashley Foxx, Maya K. Francis, Chee Gates, Ayren Jackson-Cannady, Stefanie Brown James, Tara Pringle Jefferson, Thaisa Eileen Jones, Yanick Rice Lamb, Karen Good Marable, Chidimma Ozor and Charli Penn.
There are a million songs, movies and books about mamas, but it’s the rare artist who waxes poetic about Daddy’s ability to help conjure up the mortgage payment each month or take out the garbage on the coldest day of the year. The picture is even bleaker when it comes to Black dads. As a group, they’re characterized as deadbeat, sex-crazed sperm donors who don’t care how many babymamas they leave in their wake. But as a woman raised by a devoted single dad, I know firsthand that there’s more to the story.
It wasn’t until I started my own family that I realized how important it is to share stories like mine, ones that depict Black dads far outpacing the expected as they run toward their children’s futures, Father’s Day ties flapping in the wind. So I created Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama to wrestle back the much maligned image of the Black dad and expose it as something that, while not perfect, is a human, loving presence in the lives of his children.
Join the conversation and be inspired to thank the fantastic dads in your life.