KILLING THE MYTH OF BLACK FATHERS
Sept. 1, 2015
Society has created an ugly picture of black fathers. Labeling them lazy, uninvolved in the lives of our children, black men who are fatherless will make terrible parents and has a greater chance of becoming the victimizers of their community. For years we have allow these stereotypes to describe and create a false image of black fathers. When the subject of fatherhood is presented and it involves a black family, studies have shown many of us assume the presence of a father does not exist within the household.
These stereotypes have influence the negative perception the world has of black father, blaming them for destruction of the black community. For years the black community has been rob of the truth, black father stripped of their dignity due to the myths created. Studies conducted by the “Los Angeles Times” and the “National Center of Health Statistics” have shown 79% of African American households have both mother and father present, which is 6% higher than Caucasian households and 16% higher than Hispanic households.
Within some of the major cities such as Philadelphia, there’s a “Million Father March” movement taking place, encouraging father to take their children to school on the first day. The story was covered by the “Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper”.
A group of activists wants inner-city fathers to walk their children to school Tuesday, the first day of class, as part of a national campaign to get fathers involved in their children's education. The campaign is part of the now-annual Million Father March, which started in Chicago in 2004 and has spread to hundreds of cities. In Philadelphia, this is its eighth year.
The goal of the campaign is to get fathers from all over the city to go with their children to school and meet the teachers and principal. "Young people do better with parental involvement," said David Fattah, head of the House of Umoja, the West Philadelphia organization coordinating the march. "It can eliminate violence; it can eliminate poverty."
Fattah said the hope is that the fathers who take their child to school on the first day will remain committed to that child's education."The point of this is to ring the bell and wake up urban males," Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said at Tuesday's announcement at City Hall. The Million Father March has mostly targeted black males in urban areas.
Karen James, the Philadelphia School District's director for family and community engagement, said that she would love for the fathers of all 180,000 students in the district to participate in their child's first day. However, she said, she expects, based on previous years, that only a couple hundred fathers will. Kaleaf Wiggins, 26, is a father who plans to walk his 8-year-old daughter to Overbrook School on Tuesday. "This father thing actually excites me," Wiggins said during the announcement in City Hall. Wiggins said that his daughter's grades had been slipping last year, but once he started helping her and showing interest in her schoolwork, her grades started improving.