cheerful black father and son hugging
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

The name Sonora Smart Dodd may not ring a bell but her idea dating back to 1909 to honor her father who became a single parent of six children when her mother died has since developed into the day the U.S. refers to as Father’s Day. 

Dodd joined others who are credited with helping to establish a national day of recognition for fathers which President Woodrow Wilson made official 57 years later, celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. 

While not as popular as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day celebrates the vital role fathers or father figures play in the family and the community, especially in the growth and development of boys to men. Franklyn Malone, founder of 100 Fathers, Inc., stresses that a father’s active engagement with his children and family helps to promote health and wellness, eliminate violence and inappropriate behavior in our youth and promote values and character development in their children.

Increasingly, however, children in the U.S. are being born to single women. 

In an article written by Kenneth Braswell for the Institute of Family Studies, Black Dads Matter, the writer said more Black children are being born to single mothers and at a disturbing rate. 

“The share of Black children born to single mothers has more than tripled from about 24% in 1960 to nearly 70% in 2018, indicating that Black fathers are less likely to live in households with their children than fathers of other races,” Braswell said. “But it’s important to note the share of children in single-mother families among all races has risen dramatically since the 1960s.”

Still, Malone agrees with Braswell’s research – fathers and particularly Black non-residential fathers, “are more involved than Hispanic dads and share more responsibilities and generally co-parent better than white or Hispanic nonresidential fathers.”

Dr. Ivory Toldson, author of “No B.S. (Bad Stats) Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People,” has published a list of Black Dad facts about Black fathers that shatters many of the myths about Black fathers including they’re absent from both the household and their children’s lives. 

Toldson offers one statistic indicating that more Black children than white children report that their mothers supported their relationship with their nonresident father. In essence, don’t believe the negative hype about the absence of Black fathers. According to Jahdziah St. Julien of New America, it’s a “racist narrative” that must not go unchallenged. 

Black fathers, even the youngest among them, strive to be the fathers they wish they had. They are active, engaged and present in their children’s lives. They deserve to be celebrated, just like moms. 

Happy Father’s Day!

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1 Comment

  1. If these men are admittedly creating broken homes how can they claim to be active fathers? Active fathers reside in the home with their children. You can’t just get online and say stuff without offering any trackable data

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