(WOMENSENEWS)--Father's Day is coming up.
That's a good time to remember that when it comes to having healthy and happy moms and babies, Dads play an important part.
That's a message that we need to particularly emphasize when it comes to black fatherhood.
The percentage of black children living in fatherless homes--roughly 50 percent--has perpetuated a stereotype that black men are irresponsible and indifferent to fatherhood.
Yet, a new generation of caring, involved and highly vocal black fathers is emerging in communities and online, talking openly about their experiences being a black man and a father.
Two men share their views on stepping into fatherhood:
"When my daughter was born, I spent an hour crying hysterically after seeing my daughter for the first time. After composing myself, I began crying again. I was smitten, overcome by unconditional love. This new love quickly came in handy and gave me the strength to endure what was next: being up to my eyeballs in stinky diapers, bottling breast milk, losing all of my personal time, catching more colds in 18 months than I ever have had in my life, and losing nights of sleep to a screaming baby only to have to show up to work the next day. My life was forever changed. And I wouldn't have it any other way."
--Eric Payne lives with his wife and kids and writes about married life and fatherhood at http://www.MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He also writes a fatherhood column at MochaManual.com. He is the author of "I See Through Eyes," a book of poetry and short stories, and his short fiction has appeared in Spindle and DiddleDog magazines.
'I Could Hear God Whispering'
"When my wife informed me that she was pregnant with our third child, I was apprehensive. Aside from the increased financial responsibility, I would be responsible for guiding two African-American boys to manhood, and that scared me. But when I held my beautiful son for the first time, I could hear God whispering all is well. Immediately, my fear turned to joy. In the past year, my son has developed into a rascal who keeps me on my toes. However, he knows that he only has to say "Dada" in his cute, little baby voice and everything is right in my world."
--Frederick J. Goodall is a devoted husband and father to three beautiful children. He has published work in the books "Paper Thin/Soul Deep" and "The African American Book of Values" and in magazines such as Essence, Upscale, and Emerge. He currently writes the blog, Mocha Dad--A Celebration of African American Fatherhood at http://www.mochadad.com.
Kimberly Seals Allers, editorial director of the Black Maternal Health project at Women's eNews, is author of The Mocha Manual series of books, founder and editor in chief of http://www.mochamanual.com, an online magazine and community for black moms, and producer of The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy DVD available at www.walmart.com and Acme Supermarkets.
For more information:
Makes Me Wanna Holler
Mocha Dad: A Celebration of African American Fatherhood
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