My Story. This is my father and I in 2001 at the World Trade Center before he was shot and killed later on that year. Fortunately for me, my father was in my life for about the last two years before his death. Before that our relationship wasn’t too great. He was in and out of my life to a point that I started to deny having a father at a young age. I remember being continuously disappointed by him and once in awhile being happy with his presence. Along with not being physically present in my life he also wasn’t financially present in my life. That left my mother to be a single mom with two to three jobs at one time. I am lucky to have a mother that could handle all that responsibility and raise me into a responsible adult but even I have “daddy issues” and unfortunately I notice that most of the Black females and males I know also have daddy issues. This common problem leaves me with one question. Where are the Black fathers? Let’s start with some statistics about single parent homes.
-In 1960, the year before Obama was born, 22 percent of black children lived with single parents. In 1968, the number rose to 31.4 percent. By 2006, the 1960 percentage had more than doubled to 56 percent.
-In 2006, 91.4 percent of single parents of black children were mothers.
-60% of all Black children are growing up without fathers.
I personally believe that Black fathers are absent because Black men are growing up without Black male role models to teach them how to be good men and good fathers. Many Black men are now influenced by the media which emphasizes “money, cash& hoes” not responsibility, family, and love. Even with that point being made there are other reasons why Black fathers are absent. My father died by the trigger at the age of 33 as many Black fathers do. There are also many Black men that are incarcerated and have other reasons for not being around. Here are more statistics I would like to share with you.
-One in three Black men between the ages of 20 and 29 years old are under correctional supervision or control.
-Black males between the ages of 15 – 34 are nine times more likely to die of homicide when compared to their white counterparts.
-Black males between the ages of 15 – 34 are also seven times more likely to suffer from HIV/AIDS.
I have seen many Black females and males struggle because of the absence of their fathers. I have seen females look for love in the wrong place which sometimes resulted in pregnancy at early ages, promiscuity, and effects as severe as prostitution and drugs. I have seen males struggle to find their identity, fall into gangs, and even abuse women because they had no positive role model to show them how to be a man. Here is my last set of statistics that show the sad effects of having a fatherless home.
Children that grow up in fatherless homes are:
-5 times more likely to commit suicide
-32 times more likely to run away
-20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
-14 times more likely to commit rape
-9 times more likely to drop out of school
-10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
-9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
-20 times more likely to end up in prison
These statistics are mind blowing. Have you grown up in a fatherless home? What do you think we can do to fix this problem? Do you have daddy issues and how do you overcome them? Black men have to do better.