Crisis of fatherhood

When dad is missing

Fatherhood is in trouble in the black community, and throughout American society. That is the message issued recently by the Morehouse Conference on African-American Fathers, which released a report titled "Turning the Corner on Father Absence in Black America." Preparation of the statement was cosponsored by the Morehouse Research Institute and the Institute for American Values, and supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

It was a breakthrough document on the issue because it recognizes both cultural and economic reasons for the collapse of fatherhood. Furthermore, it claims that solutions must entail both cultural (indeed, religiocultural) and economic initiatives. The statement argues that the most important response to absent fathers is the renewal of marriage. But this must go hand-in-hand with economic measures to help black men become employable and therefore marriageable.


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