Black Fatherhood Project, The

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Subjects: African American Studies, Family Studies, Multicultural Studies, Psychology, Sociology

Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 74 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2013
Available in French: No

In The Black Fatherhood Project, filmmaker Jordan Thierry leads viewers through an honest and essential exploration of fatherhood in Black America, providing historical context and conversation for an issue at the core of the Black experience today.

Nationwide, 67 percent of Black children live in single-parent families, predominantly with their mother, a ratio that has tripled since the 1960’s.

In the first half of the film, Thierry begins by telling his own family story, then with the help of historians and others, traces the roots of the fatherless Black home, revealing a history much more complex and profound than is commonly known. The film digs deep to explore how Black families functioned in Africa before slavery, and how slavery, racism, and other recent challenges such as mass incarceration affect Black fatherhood. It looks beyond major historical events and discusses their psychological impacts, and calls into question traditional family roles and cultural adaptation.

In the second half of the film, Thierry puts that history into contemporary perspective in a candid dialogue among a diverse group of Black fathers. These dads talk openly about their experiences and the value systems they employ to raise their own families. Their stories serve as positive role models for inspiring other dads to help break the cycle of fatherless families. Thierry closes the film by sharing insights and solutions to ensure the power of a father’s love is not lost on America’s Black children.

Featured in the film:
• Dr. Wade Nobles, Professor Emeritus, Department of Africana Studies, San Francisco State University
• Dr. Charles Lewis, President of Congressional Research Institute, Social Work and Policy and Adjunct Professor, Howard University School of Social Work
• Dr. Donald Roe, Associate Professor of History, Howard University
• Dr. Ronald B. Mincy, Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, Columbia University School of Social Work
“The Black Fatherhood Project is an amazing film. I’m especially impressed by the way it conceptualizes history and offers personal narrative. The information is timely, relevant, and is critical for addressing fatherhood in the African-American community.” - Prof. Akil Houston, PhD, Department of African American Studies, Ohio University

"This film is an important contribution to the true image of Black fathers in America . . . The film captures eloquently the challenges, struggles, triumphs, hopes and dreams of African American men." - Dr. Joseph White, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of California, Irvine; pioneer of the field of Black Psychology

“Very powerful… The film brilliantly illustrated the relationship between African American fathers and their children, and the impact of chattel enslavement on the African family unit. The film is successful in presenting an image of African American men that counters the negative and often oversimplified stereotypes of African American fathers…. I highly recommend this film.”  - Ken Morris, Jr., Director of Intercultural Life, Cornell College, IA

NOTE:  The DVD contains both a 74 minute version and a 53 minute version.

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