The absence of fathers in the African American community have been discussed numerous times on this website, and countless others. However, I can't help but wonder if we are not exploring all the factors which contribute to this trend. On the superficial level the explanation is simple: That of irresponsible men, who care nothing of their children or community. Deeper examinations of this problem point out that many of these men grew up without fathers themselves, and this void contributes to the behavior of "dead beat" dads. Another observation has been poor dating/mating choices made by black females, as well as a lack of birth control usage in the African American community, both of which contributes to unwanted child births (and increases the probability of male-flight). I believe that all of these behaviors and occurances contributes to the extremely high number of fatherless homes in the African American community. However I think the issue of black men abandoning their children has to be explored more on a psychological level. This exploration can not just concentrate on the man, or woman, but the community as a whole. One thing I've noticed that few others have mentioned, is that when a black man leaves his child. That child is not only abandoned by the father, he/she is ignored by the father's entire family (including the paternal grandparents). It is one thing for a irresponsible man to ignore his child, but when the grandmother & grandfather (as well as the rest of the father's family) does not recognize the child either...this suggest a communal problem. In addition to the recognition that black children are not just being abandoned by their fathers, but by their entire paternal family. I have also noticed that many single mothers of boys do not encourage their sons to take care of their children. Indeed I have personally witnessed on several occasions single mothers attack women who come after their sons for child support, instead of identifying with them (and encouraging their son to do the right thing). This has always puzzled me, and to this day, I still can't figure it out. My only explanation is that these patterns within our community is the manifestation of a deep psychological illness. One which threatens to destroy us from within, unless we change (and quickly)!