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Fatherly Forum

How I’m Overcoming The Negative Stereotypes Around Black Fatherhood

The following was syndicated from Medium for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].

There is a notion of Black fatherhood. The world tells you that black fatherhood is an oxymoron. Those 2 words are so powerful. And wrought with so many negative stereotypes. The confluence of the 2 words creates an arena in which you have to live in. Live and fight. And so, we fight against the negatives whether we embody them or not. We have to answer for them in some way. Paying a debt, not of our own making. That has to be the hardest part.

Black fathers also have to overcome the legacy of their father’s pain. Black fathers often inherit a legacy of stifled lives. Lives stifled by systemic patterns of oppression, depression, harsh economics, self-destruction, and generational ills. Making for a tattered road map to life. If there’s a road map at all.

Even if you are blessed with a most pristine example of fatherhood, the map must be of you own making. The trials you’ll face will be your own. I have to remember that when I’m giving my best, whatever form that takes, there’s no wrong way to do it. There are perhaps better ways. As I learn better, I will commit to doing better.

We fight against the negatives whether we embody them or not. We have to answer for them in some way.

Black father, those 2 words possess a power and grace unmatched. We are pretty blessed to be called as such. Black father. I’ve held no higher honor, offered a no better opportunity, nor been rewarded a greater gift. I’ll take it. I’ll make it my own. For my children’s sakes.

father holding newborn child
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