(NNPA) — Terrence Morgan has heard the stories over and over. Black men are absent from their children’s lives. An African American woman stands more likely to be a single mom than any other race.
Morgan, 33, who has two sons, ages six and four, lives in Southeast next door to a close friend who only sees his child once a week.
“I just couldn’t live peacefully without being active in my sons’ lives,” said Morgan, a medical assistant. “It’s in the inner-cities, all over the news: Black men abandon their children or Black women have to struggle alone. That’s just not me, though.”
A 2012 federal government survey revealed that 15 million American children live in households without fathers—a stark increase over a 1960 study that showed just 11% lived in homes without a dad.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials looked at the role that American fathers play in parenting their children. Much of the CDC’s previous research on family life, which the agency explores as an important contributor to public health and child development, has focused exclusively on mothers.
However, the latest information reveals that the stereotypical gender imbalance in this area doesn’t hold true and African American dads are just as hands-on when it comes to raising their children.
In fact, in its coverage of the study, the Los Angeles Times noted that the results, “defy stereotypes about Black fatherhood,” because CDC officials found that African American dads are more involved with their children on a daily basis than fathers from any other racial group.
“It sort of reminds me of when The Cosby Show debuted 30 years ago. Some people, accustomed to seeing Black folks in subservient or clownish roles, didn’t think it was realistic enough,” said James Ragland, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News in Texas.