Black men are often vilified as being perpetually absent in their children’s lives. People use statistics about Black children being born out-of-wedlock and/or being raised in homes with only one parent living there (usually the mother) to suggest that Black men are, by default, absent fathers.
This is a narrative we need to change because it is simply not true.
The truth is, the Black Family structure has faced unique challenges ever since Africans were kidnapped, traded, and sold into American slavery. Slavery forced Black people to adapt to new family structures and create family in the best ways they could. Yes, there has been a lot of pain and hurt– there’s absolutely no denying that. We also cannot deny that the measures used to critique our families often vilify both Black fathers and Black mothers.
I want to do something to help.
I’m creating “Don’t Believe The Absentee Hype” as a photo essay on Tumblr, a work-in-progress. As I did with Men In Suits and The Hoodie Revolution, I hope to project positive images of Black manhood, through the lens of someone who adores them greatly. I hope to encourage more support and understanding of the challenges facing Black fathers and use their images to change the narrative.
While I plan to capture my own photos, I cannot be everywhere at once. I would LOVE to receive photo submissions of Black men with their children. It can be you, your brother, your husband, your son, your father, your best friend.
- Photos should be Hi-Res (No Instagram photos. No filters)
- Include the Father’s first name, age, and the children’s first names and ages. If you’re uncomfortable revealing the children’s names, you can provide initials.
Send all photos and information to firstname.lastname@example.org