Friday, June 19, 2009


Father in Chief Barack Reflects on the Meaning of Fatherhood

Barack Obama: 'We Need Fathers To Step Up' |

While I am not a father (yet) I can appreciate the significance of a Black man being "father in chief." Black fathers have taken a beating in the public imagination for quite a while, so it is refreshing to have a black father acting as a positive role model. I too had an absent father. So, I understand the void one feels because one grows up without a father. Thankfully, I've had wonderful, generous and generative men who have modeled for me what it means to be a caring, gentle, loving and responsible man. I hope that my life choices reflect their generosity and love and that wherever my father is in the universe, he is proud of me. I miss you dad.

From "We Need Fathers to Step Up" by Barack Obama

"In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence—both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.

That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.

As fathers, we need to be involved in our children’s lives not just when it’s convenient or easy, and not just when they’re doing well—but when it’s difficult and thankless, and they’re struggling. That is when they need us most.

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