She Said What??!!!

Listen at me over here hollerin'

Fatherhood Matters

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My book is about two children who have a very present father… present but destructive.  Writing it has made me intensely aware of the importance fathers have in the lives and well-being of their children — not just materially but emotionally and in terms of their self-esteem.  Young women raised without the presence of a strong father figure are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior (which increases the risk of STD transmission, and pregnancy), and have trouble creating meaningful emotional attachments to the men in their lives.

Young men raised without their fathers present and accounted for suffer a tremendous emotional burden as they essentially raise themselves and have to discover manhood on their own without that vital link to the men who came before them, the culture of manhood in their own families… except in that it too was emotionally distant, neglectful and absent.  I cry for these poor babies.  (Of course, I’m a pretty soft touch especially in regards to children, so me crying isn’t that unusual an occurrence.)

This Father’s Day, I’m so excited to see Barack putting an emphasis on the need for father’s to step up and participate in the lives of their children.  And not just as rule-makers and authoritarians, but as mentors and friends.  Every man I know wants to be a leader, to be granted respect and authority, well, no place better to start than with your own kid!

TheHill.com – Obama enlists celeb fathers in parenting push

Last year, during the presidential campaign, Obama took some heat from prominent blacks after he delivered a speech in Chicago harshly criticizing absent black fathers.

“They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men,” Obama said last June, noting his own single-parent upbringing. “And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

On Friday, two days before Fathers Day, Obama, some of the invited guests, and senior White House staff will pair off and visit different nonprofit organizations that focus on mentorship, the White House said.

Later in the afternoon, the president will hold a townhall-style meeting in the East Room of the White House “featuring five fathers from a diversity of backgrounds discussing their personal stories and commitment to fatherhood and personal responsibility.”

I hope that this starts a national dialog about fatherhood, and how it is about helping children to become independent and responsible, good people. He took a lot of flack last year for airing dirty laundry, but, honestly, none of that was news and anyone complaining is well aware of the Runaway Daddy epidemic we have going on in the Black community. Whether we lay it at the feet of sociological pressure or not, Black women have had to step up and take care of children under circumstances that are just as dire, if not more so, because of the threat of domestic and sexual violence that many women (of all economic and ethnic backgrounds) face.

As a dear friend of mine says, “Put on your Big Girl Panties and Deal.” So break out those Big Boy Britches and get to it!

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Written by Alyss Dixson

June 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm

One Response

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  1. nice post, alyss

    thanks for sharing

    renee swindle

    June 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm


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