The Myth of the Absent Black Father

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/01/16/3175831/myth-absent-black-father/

It’s good to see that my own observations and experiences are consistent with the facts.

Unfortunately, I expect this will not get any major press, and will be ignored. It erases a story that’s too convenient for some people.

It can get major press and still be ignored. It’s a Big Lie like Welfare Queens that gets ingrained in culture and will be difficult to eradicate.

The stereotype of the absent black father is not that black fathers in particular are less connected to their children than white fathers, regardless of living situation, it’s that black fathers are less likely to live in the home, a fact which is not disputed by the study.

I though the stereotype about black fathers is that they are often absent. The NYT article only addresses families in which the father lives in the home with the children.

I may be reading it wrong, but this does not even address absent fathers.

The news isn’t as rosy as the synopsis makes it appear.

What seems to be the case is that Black dads living in the same households as their kids are at least as ‘good’ as dads of other races living with their kids, and Black dads living apart from their kids are at least as ‘good’ as dads of other races living apart from their kids - maybe even better.

So far, so good.

The problem, of course, is that allegedly Black dads are more likely than dads of other races, in America, to live apart from their kids - something not addressed in the study.

From the OP’s link:

In sum, Black dads similarly situated look more or less exactly like dads of any other race.

Unfortunately, that’s not what is meant by there being a “crisis”. What is meant by a “crisis”, is that (allegedly) Black fathers are less likely, when compared with fathers of other races, in America, to be living with their kids. Given that it is generally the case that living apart from one’s kids leads, on average, to less involvement, this situation creates the “crisis” - not the notion that Black men make worse fathers per se, which this research clearly shows is untrue.

I’m very confused about the 30+% of fathers (across the board) who both live with their children and don’t talk with their kids about their day daily.
That just seems weird.

Actually it seems rather realistic to me. How many people in general talk about the day daily with any single individual. I am interpretting talk to mean an in-depth conversation, not “How are you doing? Answer: Fine.” And quite bluntly, by the time I was entering my teens when my father had wanted to talk about my day, I responded like a prisoner in custody, yes and no answer with no elaboration.

The sad thing is that a sizable percentage of those men are not living with their families because they are incarcerated, whether justified or not.

Nowadays, I’d say the majority of babies of ALL races are born out of wedlock. At least, that’s the way it is around here. Can’t recall the last time I heard of a couple’s first child being born to married parents.

There’s a difference between babies born to unwed mothers and children living with a single mother. Those are two different stats, but the CDC says around 40% of babies are born to unwed mothers.

This is interesting and good to hear.

I think as a society we equate ‘married’ with ‘involved parent’ which can be crap. I’ve met married dads who care about their kids less than unmarried dads who don’t live with their kids.

Like others said, I don’t expect any airtime of this issue unless one of these dads shows up at a polling station in a new black panthers outfit. That gets media coverage.

This is strongly correlated with social class in the US. Among women who have less than a HS diploma, more than 70% are unmarried when they give birth. Among women with at least a 4-year college degree, 85% are married when they give birth. (source)

I hope that this can bridge the racial divide between blacks and whites once and for all. It’s clearly latinos that make the worst fathers, according to the data. We can finally start the healing process.

And it winds up that households headed by single mothers are more likely to be in poverty and there is a higher percentage of black families with the father living in the home. See this study.

Looking at the last statistic, you need to remember that blacks make up about 13% of the population, but have the highest numbers of low-income children in single-mother families.

Unfortunately, too many people want to point fingers and not enough people want to find good solutions.

Some dads work shifts that keep them from even seeing their kids every day. My dad was a cop and also did security work on the side. During the hours that we kids were at home and awake, Dad was usually either at work or asleep.

Yes, the issue is not how well Black fathers handle the parenting role, it’s being able to play that role in the first place.

What everyone else said. I don’t think there is any significant cultural stereotype that on site black dads are bad fathers or at the least worst fathers than dads in other ethic groups. It’s the fact that they are often not on site at all that’s the “crisis”.

Article isn’t really (IMO) presenting the context of the dysfunction accurately in order to get a “good news” slant on the study.