I pledged that this site would not unduly bash black fathers but rather uplift them, but something needs to be said on this topic. Black men who continue to father children and then abandon them are destroying our community. There is no doubt that black men have many obstacles to face from prison to unemployment, but there is NO EXCUSE for abandoning your financial and moral responsibility to your children.
Children are innocent and brought into this world with no expectation except that they will be cared for until they can care for themselves. Not doing your part as the man who helped bring the child into this world has implications not only for your child, but for the entire black community.
Today millions of African American children are being raised in single-parent households run by women. Although these women are holding it down the best they can your absence creates a myriad of problems for them and potentially serious problems for your kids.
The effect on your sons
The number one role of a father is to teach your son how to be a man. If you have a father who was there think of the thousands of things your father taught you about love, girls, getting a job, grooming, clothing, etc. His mother can teach him some things, but there is no substitute for fatherly advice and guidance. If you are not there to teach him, he will learn from the streets, and often times he will not learn the right things. When do you want your son to learn about crime, drugs, pregnancy and the like - in the moment or in the safe confines of your home? Figuring out all the pitfalls of being a black man when he is confronted with a situation may be too late.
The effect on your daughters
Daughters need their fathers just as much as sons. You are the first example of what a good man is supposed to be. If you're not there you are already sending a message that men don't want to be around and they can leave you high and dry. You run the risk of destroying the psyche of your daughters just by your absence. They may grow up to hate men. they may try to find a daddy in every man they meet. They may have low self-esteem because they feel they were not good enough and you left because somehow they were not a good enough daughter. Low self-esteem can cause all kinds of acting out behavior. you don't want to go to the strip club and see your 18 year old daughter swinging on the stripper pole do you?
The effect on your children's mother
Make no mistake, your children will suffer unnecessarily if you abandon them. Finances will be strained, children will go hungry or without necessities. Even if she and your children are not starving, they will certainly give up many luxuries they could have had if you only were there to provide. Turn the situation around - would you want to be left alone to have to raise children with no financial and emotional support. It doesn't matter how much you dislike your child's mother, leaving her holding the "financial bag" is not right and certainly making your innocent children go without is totally unacceptable.
The effect on society
Abandoning your children plays into the most negative stereotypes that exist in America. To society, abandoning your children means that you are:
- Have no work ethic
- Would rather run the streets instead of take care of a family
- Have low moral character
When you abandon your children you are the anti-role model. The world will not only judge you, but they too often paint all black people with the same broad brush of the animalistic, selfish savage who has no place in civilized society. Is this the picture you want to paint of yourself and your fellow black man?
Black men, we need to step up. If you are one of those brothers who is not there for your children, you are part of the problem - period. For the brothers out there supporting your children, or maybe even without children, go find these absent black fathers and shake them.
- If you are their friend, be a friend and show them the error in their ways.
- If you are a teacher, educate them on the implications.
- If you are clergy minister to them - vigorously.
- If you want to help but can do none of the above - share this article (and pray they read it).
Brothers our survival depends on you.
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