We love our kids just as much as any other human being. Don’t get the story twisted. Many times the balck man is FORCED out of his home. I was not going to allow that to happen with me and my kids during my divorce – neither should anyone else. Our kids need our guidance, discipline, nurturine, experience and love. I am glad to see things like this.
An excerpt from this article: http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/11/portraits_of_everyday_fatherhood.html
This photo essay is part of Life Cycles of Inequity: A Colorlines Series on Black Men. In this installment, we explore and challenge the notion that black families face a crisis of fatherhood. The installment includes a dispatch from Baltimore, in which four dads challenge the easy assumption that all children of unwed mothers have absent fathers.
In June of 2013 I started photographing black men and their children and created The Fatherhood Project, the online home for photos that capture them in ordinary moments. A single dad helping his daughter with math homework during a break at work. A dad teaching his daughter how to walk as they wait to see a doctor. A father and son chilling on a stoop.
Why photograph black men and their children? What’s extraordinary about these subjects?
For starters, black men taking care of our children is, on some level, revolutionary—and a form of resistance to the legacies of laws and other tools used to hinder our ability to parent. During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, for example, fathers were routinely separated from their children as family members were sold. And currently, disproportionately and consistently high incarceration and unemployment rates for black men have made it difficult, if not impossible for many to parent. There’s also the disproportionately high rate of homicide among black men, whether by people in their own communities or at the hands of the state. My own father was murdered by a cop a couple of weeks before my 15th birthday.
As New York Times writer Brent Staples asked in a tweet this past Fathers’ Day: “Imagine yourself jailed on a low-level Rockefeller-era drug charge. Now a felon: denied a job, housing and the vote. How would you ‘Father’”
And yet, even in neighborhoods like my Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, home, beset with problems such as disinvestment and militaristic policing, you see black men parenting or at least making earnest efforts to do so. Some are parenting children who aren’t biologically related to them, too. You see them walking their children to school or picking them up; teaching a son or daughter the fundamentals of basketball on an outdoor court; or simply enjoying a morning breeze on the stoop with an infant son. Ordinary moments that crush white media narratives and stereotypes about black fathers.