Since we began Atlanta Black Star more than a month ago, we have endeavored to bring readers the stories behind the headlines—burrowing beneath and beyond the soundbites to offer the black community information that might help readers make better sense of their world.
In no place is that task more crucial than in telling the stories of black fathers. As a group, black fathers have largely been reduced to statistics speaking to what they are NOT: they’re not in the home; they’re not marrying their baby mamas; they’re wantonly spreading their seed across the land; they’re not paying child support; they’re not getting the job done.
But behind those mind-numbing headlines, there’s another tale to be told: The stories of the millions of black fathers who are quietly, solidly, effectively fathering their children every day, supporting their families, loving their wives, lifting up their communities.
We have decided to devote this entire week at Atlanta Black Star to celebrating Black Fatherhood and the powerful impact black fathers have had and continue to have on the black community. Each day leading up to Father’s Day on Sunday, we will focus on a particular theme that we feel encapsulates a different facet of the important work that fathers do. We are beginning today with Lead, and we are continuing through the week with Build, Provide, Care, Protect, Work, and concluding on Father’s Day with Love.
To help us tell these important stories, we have called on a force in our community who knows, understands, loves, supports and protects black men on a daily basis: Black Women. We have asked a collection of some of the most prominent, insightful, brilliant black female writers in our community to craft pieces that honor black fathers and explore each of our seven themes. The series is kicked off today with former Essence magazine Editor-in-Chief Diane Weathers, who reveals the impact her stepfather had on her life and the leader he was in the community. Award-winning writers such as Kuwana Haulsey, Pepper Miller and Joyce Davis weigh in during the week. We conclude on Father’s Day with three-time New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, who will address black fathers and Love.
Our Father, Our Heroes:
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Our week-long Fatherhood project will also bring attention to important events and organizations that have been honoring black fathers for years, such as iconic Atlanta radio DJ Ryan Cameron’s annual Father-Daughter Dance, and the popular Real Men Cook Father’s Day event that puts a focus on black fathers in the kitchen.
During the week, through reviews and excerpts, we will make readers aware of books that have brought the issue of black fathers to a national audience, such as Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, written by NBA veteran Etan Thomas and Nick Chiles, Editor-in-Chief of Atlanta Black Star; and Before You Wed… Read This! , an insightful look at marriage and fatherhood by author and marketing veteran Darryl Cobbin, a managing partner of Atlanta Black Star.
Also be sure to also check out the videos that we have put together, featuring black men expressing their views on our seven fatherhood themes and why black fatherhood is such a controversial issue in our community—and how frustrating it is that the popular image of the trifling, neglectful black father, both in the black community and the mainstream culture, doesn’t recognize the existence of millions of black men who are doing important, loving work in their families and communities on a daily basis.
We invite other sites on the web who consider themselves focused on the needs and perspective of the black community to join Atlanta Black Star in shining a much-needed spotlight on the important work of black fathers during this Father’s Day week.