By Kimberly Allers
dir. Black Maternal Health
Friday, June 12, 2009
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. Two Dads flip that notion on its head.
(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.
"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.
Makes Me Wanna Holler
Mocha Dad: A Celebration of African American Fatherhood
Note: Women's eNews is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites and the contents of Web pages we link to may change without notice.