- Aug 28, 2015
President Barack Obama walks with daughter Malia outside the White House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
For half my life, I’ve been a father.
I’ve been an African-American for twice as long.
On Sunday, I, along with millions of other black fathers, get the rare treat of celebrating two milestones: fatherhood and freedom.
That raises an interesting question: What does it mean to be a black father in America today?
It means we’re still fighting stereotypes, some of which are grounded in unpleasant realities — such as the 1 in 12 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 who are incarcerated; and others that falsely suggest black men aren’t involved in the lives of their kids.
We in the media — from Hollywood to your local dailies — have played a huge historical role in shaping the public’s perception of black men in America. We too seldom shine a light on those who’re doing it right — men who are successful and fully engaged in the lives of their children.