TV shows like Family Guy and countless others make jokes about black men not raising their kids. There is a stigma that Black men do not raise their children, becoming the butt of jokes all throughout media outlets. In reality as true in other races, there are children who do not have their fathers in their lives, but there are many who have a father around who just need some assistance.
According to Census.Gov, there are approximately 13.6 million single parents raising over 21 million children in the United States. In Wisconsin, statistics show that 4 out of 10 single mother homes are reportedly living in poverty. While single moms are far more common, there are approximately 2.5 million single fathers as well.
In 2005 Mayor Tom Barrett started the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, in an effort to empower fathers by equipping them with adequate support and resources. Comprised of local father and stake holders, the initiative decided to start a fatherhood summit that would happen annually. On October 6th-7th, the summit was held at Greater New Birth Christian Campus. The event provided services for problems that a large number of fathers in the city face such as, drivers license recovery, child support cases reviewers and employment services.
The event paid host to Grammy award wining artist and philanthropist David Banner, who spoke passionately about the problems single fathers face.
“We can have these so called answers of what men should do, but black folks need mental, spiritual and physical therapy.”
Banner also said “we say take care of kids; well I was not taken care of.”
Alluding to the fact that it is a cycle in the African American community, where fatherless children are growing up and having kids with no guide as to how to be a father. The event saw over 400 participants in the services, some may say it is a small numbers, but it is step in the right direction for fathers who want to be there for their children.