Myth of the Missing Black Father


Myth of the Missing Black Father



Common stereotypes portray black fathers as being largely absent from their families. Yet while black fathers are less likely than white and Hispanic fathers to marry their child's mother, many continue to parent through cohabitation and visitation, providing caretaking, financial, and other in-kind support. This volume captures the meaning and practice of black fatherhood in its many manifestations, exploring two-parent families, cohabitation, single custodial fathering, stepfathering, noncustodial visitation, and parenting by extended family members and friends. Contributors examine ways that black men perceive and decipher their parenting responsibilities, paying careful attention to psychosocial, economic, and political factors that affect the ability to parent. Chapters compare the diversity of African American fatherhood with negative portrayals in politics, academia, and literature and, through qualitative analysis and original profiles, illustrate the struggle and intent of many black fathers to be responsible caregivers. This collection also includes interviews with daughters of absent fathers and concludes with the effects of certain policy decisions on responsible parenting.



Publication Date



Columbia University Press (Wallflower Press)


New York


Family, Life Course, and Society | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology


Table of Contents

"My kids and wife have been my life": married African American fathers staying the course / Loren Marks [and others]

Poverty and parenting style among Black married couples / Ronald E. Bulanda

Rearing biracial children: the experiences of Black married fathers / Erica Chito Childs, Heather M. Dalmage

Single custodial fathers: a narrative tour of their parenting / Roberta L. Coles

Single custodial fathers and mothers meeting the challenge: a comparative note / Charles Green

Public assistance receipt: a comparison of Black and White single-father families / Aurea K. Osgood, Ryan D. Schroeder

Fathering in low-income Black families: studying father-figure flows / Mansa Bilal Mark A. King

Standing in the "GAP": the kinship care role of the invisible Black grandfather / Aaron A. Smith

African American men rearing children in violent neighborhoods / Bethany L. Letiecq. Caring for the family child: kin networks of young low-income African American fathers / Kevin M. Roy, Colleen K. Vesely

Feuding identities: to be African American, a father, and a college athlete / Jacqueline D. Smith

Daughters' constructions of connectedness to their nonresident fathers / Eunice Matthews-Armstead

Where's your daddy? African American father figures in children's storybooks / Suzanne Lamorey

Parenting on parole or probation: African American fatherhood under community supervision / Amy B. Smoyer, Kim M. Blankenship, Tracy MacIntosh

Fostering fatherhood: understanding the effects of child-support policy on low-income, noncustodial African American fathers / Cheryl E. Mills

Fatherhood responsibility and the marriage-promotion policy: going to the chapel and we're going to get married? / David J. Pate, Jr.

Myth of the Missing Black Father