Fatherhood is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and it becomes even tougher when one must combat harmful stereotypes.
In his work, Khalid Akil White actively challenges the negative stereotype of the “Black Father.” White is both a father himself and a professor of African American studies. With these dual qualifications, he is the perfect candidate to combine personal stories with cultural context. White holds the image of the “irresponsible Black man” up to the light and fully engages with it. His work is a tender, moving argument against the stereotype of the absentee Father.
The men interviewed are certainly not absent. Instead, they have used the stereotype as a way to structure their own stories about the challenges of Fatherhood. Dr. Steven Millner discusses his drive to continue his family’s legacy of cohesiveness while Eric Jay Handy recalls an encounter with his own father and its impact on his parenting style. Dr. Sydney Sukuta compares cultural expectations of Fatherhood in Zimbabwe to those of America. Jamal Bey challenges traditional gender roles as a stay-at-home dad. These men and others deepen the social discourse surrounding Black Fatherhood and regale readers with stories of both struggle and triumph.
Black Fatherhood by Khalid Akil White is a fascinating piece of literature. I have always been curious on co-parenting and what it was like for single black fathers. These pages covered both topics well. It gave a deep inside view to outsiders like me on these fathers journey of parenthood. Parenthood is composed of both the ups and downs when raising children. Being single makes that harder. Being a single father is harder yet. Each father represented a new set of emotions and struggles. I was captivated. For fathers everywhere, this is a must read. It shows what happens and how fathers can still stay on top. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.