It’s an unfortunate reality, but we all see the negative images and hear the stereotypes about Black fathers and what they are not doing for their children. If you allow yourself to believe many of these stereotypes, you would think that Black fathers do less for their children than any other race. It seems like so many of us, who know great Black dads, are constantly feeling the need to defend who they are and what they mean in the lives of their children.
On Friday, however, a report was released by the National Center for Health Statistics sharing survey results that show Black fathers being as involved, if not more involved, with their kids than men of other races living in similar situations. The results presented in the report look at data collected from over 3900 fathers from 2006-2010. Data collection also accounted for whether or not these fathers lived in the home with their children.
The study reveals that fathers who live with their children are more likely to be involved with them than fathers who live apart from them. However, according to most measures within the study, of the fathers who do live apart from their children, Black fathers were at least as involved as other fathers living apart from their children, if not more involved.
When researchers looked at fathers who do live with their children, researchers found that the percentage of Black fathers who bathed, diapered, or dressed their children (or helped with these tasks) was 70%, compared with 60% of White fathers and 45% of Latino/Hispanic fathers. This is just one example of several measures showing that Black fathers, whether they live with their children or not, are no less involved with their children than other races in the United States. The report supports the fact that, not only are Black men doing the right thing when it comes to their children, but in some instances they are doing more than men of other races. These results are significant since images and stereotypes that surround us would imply otherwise. A recent LA Times article also shares stories of Black fathers who defy these stereotypes and are doing their very best to be an active part of their child(ren)’s lives.
Sure, not all Black dads do the right thing when it comes to being there for their kids, but that is the case for men of all races. Some dads just don’t do the right thing. It’s refreshing, however, to review the results of a federal survey of fathers and see data that actually reflects what I know to be true because I see it every day with so many men I know (my husband included) – Black fathers across our nation are doing the right thing and taking care of their children.
BMWK, How do feel about the results shared about Black Fathers in this report? What do you see from the Black Fathers in your lives? Fathers, how does this make you feel?