Because around 70% of children are born to unwed Black mothers, a stereotype has long persisted that Black fathers are absent. But it’s far more complex than that...
Marriage doesn’t equal presence. Many Black fathers continue to co-parent through cohabitation, visitation, caretaking, and financial support. In fact, statistics show that, among men who live with their children, 78% of Black fathers fed or ate meals with their children daily, compared to 64% of Hispanic and 74% of white dads.
Another statistic that shatters the negative myth of absent Black dads is this: amongst men who don’t live with their children, 17% of Black fathers played with their children daily, compared to 10% of Hispanic and 7% of white dads.
There’s also a racist history behind the deadbeat dad trope, and the welfare queen stereotype as well. According to activist attorney Ann Cammett, such racialized metaphors have been used by policymakers since the 1960s to shape the public opinion of anti-poverty laws - and of Black parents.
Black dads are more present and engaged than the world wants us to believe! There’s still work to be done, but daily, many Black men are fighting against these negative stereotypes and showing up - for their families and their children.