A Look At What It Means To Be A Black Dad


A Look At What It Means To Be A Black Dad

A few years ago, a photo of went viral. Among the usual homophobia were positive comments from people who were thankful that a photo like this — of Black men who not only loved each other, but also took care of their children — existed on the internet.

It broke through stereotypes of Black masculinity and fatherhood, and for that reason, this image was special.

Now, following the Black Lives Matter movement, a photographer has taken it upon herself to continue disrupting stereotypical ideas of what it looks like to be a Black father.

Lucy Baber started the 100 Black Dads project in February to "explore what it means to be black while raising children in today’s culture," .

Baber is a white woman, and well aware that her privilege could shape this project. So she's doing her best to keep herself out of it.

"I’m trying really hard to use this time to listen," she writes on her website. "I want to make sure to keep myself out of the way and just let each dad’s unique story unfold in front of my camera organically.

Each dad fills out a questionnaire about his experience, which Baber posts alongside the photos to her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

So far, she has photographed 17 dads. Read on to see their stories.

" I'm extremely proud to be a black father in today's society. For years the stigma around our culture has many times been negative, but I grew up with a great father who had a major impact on where I am today."

"I take it so personally that I am charged to lead these beautiful creations that I work tirelessly to make sure they have the things they need to be successful. There's nothing more satisfying than to see them smile."

"Being a black dad in America is quite complex - unlike the average American dad, we have to be conscious of the way we carry ourselves. We have to work twice as hard to counter the negative perceptions society has bestowed on us."

"It's truly difficult to have a child understand that someone might not like them or play with them just because they look different."

"My fear in this day and age, is that people are trying to rewrite history by undermining what Black folks went through (and still go through today). That said, I also fear that some of the blatant hatred from years ago is coming back to our society. For this reason, I need my children to understand who they are and that they have to advocate for themselves."

"My hope in raising a black child is that one day she might only be judged by her character and not by the color of her skin. My fear is that society will remain the same and won't change for the better."

"It means a lot to be able to show people that we're here; we're raising our kids, loving our wives and are striving to be the best examples of men to our communities as possible."

"In our home we talk a lot about politics, race, gender, as well as regular teenage stuff like music, school work, and friends. One of the most challenging things of late has been to explain why this country is spiraling, specifically leading up to and since the November election. I try to provide some historical context and reassure them that we will get through these dark times as well, although I know this not true for everyone."

"In this society, I could lose my life at the hands of a paid government official, on camera, with my daughter by my side, and still be blamed for it or have it justified...even when the story comes to light and it shows an accidental killing....My fear is that my daughter might have to struggle to make it to adulthood with a father. The overall fear is that I won't get to raise her to adulthood because my life could 'justifiably' be cut short."

"I worry about raising a son with autism. In a world that's so cold and fast paced, will there be compassion and true love for my son after I'm gone?"

"It's a beautiful thing, a powerful thing. To watch my children grow is amazing. The Black Lives Matter movement has impacted me by making me more aware and appreciative of the moments we have together."

"Being a quality, present, active father is priority over everything. It is important that my daughter sees me as supportive loving Black man, so she understands that this is the rule NOT the exception."

"My wife and I are proud to have daughters with such a rich heritage. I hope we can teach them to love themselves and to value others as well. Being black and Indian will likely be a subject we'll have to tackle at some point. I do have some fear about how that conversation will go some day. I love my girls just like any other father would and want the very best for them. We are all human and ultimately not all that different from each other."

"I hope that my girls know, feel, and believe that they are 'good enough.' I want them to know that they can set any goal for their lives, attend any school, live in any society and perform any task as well as their counterpart, whether that be a man or woman, black or white. I don't want them to dim their light to make the world feel comfortable. Let the world adjust to their #blackgirlmagic."

"First and foremost, my job is to let my daughter know that she is beautiful just the way she is, and to lead by example for my son."

"It is both wonderful and scary to be a black dad. I get to lead by example, but I also fear that society will dig its claws into the beauty and innocence of my children."

"We must teach our kids their worth, knowing that society will constantly show them images degrading what it means to have their skin color. Knowing that there are laws in place to keep them at the bottom of society, we must teach them what they deserve. We must teach them their history, the parts of history that have been expunged from school history books. We must show them examples of how black people have ALWAYS been an educated, innovative, and strong people that have made so many contributions to this society."

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Tags: Fashion, Music, America, Black Lives Matter, Black, Facebook And Instagram, Baber, Lucy Baber

Source:  http://www.refinery29.com/2017/06/159808/100-black-dads-photos?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss