Fatherhood On Friday: In Defense of #BigScaryBlackDads

by dad2summit on September 23, 2016

Panel on African-American Fatherhood at Dad 2.0

The above photo was taken at Dad 2.016 following our “Parenting and the Modern African-American Man” panel, which covered many topics, viewed through the lens of the reality of life as a black man in America. It was February, and Ferguson, Missouri, was frequently used as an example of systemic racism in the United States, as a focal point for the effects on community, and, for many Americans, an introduction to the activist movement Black Lives Matter.

We’ve shared this photo before, but we’re sharing it again to support our friend Tshaka Armstrong, who, after the shooting of Terence Crutcher, launched #BigScaryBlackMan to address the implicit bias toward black men:

“The messaging and perception around males of color has been so skewed for so long,” Tshaka says. “In my own small way, I wanted to flood people’s social feeds with images of who we really are.”

We love this photo, and all the men in it. We want to share it. We wish the reasons for doing so weren’t what they are, but wishing won’t change anything. Action can, if we all act together.

Recommended reading:


This “big, scary, black man” knows that, when you’re preparing your daughter’s before church, every bit of encouragement helps

Does your child have a pacifier addiction? Can they quit any time? Adrian Kulp offers some support at Parents Magazine with “Breaking Binky: How My Daughter Finally Dropped Her Pacifier Habit.”

While the popular movement in advertising is leaning into fatherhood, Holden, a New Zealand car company is trying to shake its “dad image.”

Everybody’s got something to say about co-sleeping with infants. Here’s the latest in the “pro” camp, an op-ed in the LA Times from Robert and Sarah LeVine: “It’s OK to sleep next to your infant child. In fact, it’s beneficial.”

“Parents in every culture at a given moment think they’re doing the optimal thing for their kids,” but Uri Friedman at The Atlantic asks, “How Much Do Parents Matter?

“A lot of our kids don’t see their dads in school unless they’re in trouble.” Principal Marvin Moore wants to change that by inviting dads to school.

Jed Oelbaum, who has Crohn’s disease, writes at Fusion on the challenges of parenting while being chronically ill in “How I’m learning to be a good dad despite my messy, smelly, blindingly painful illness.”

There is crying in baseball, especially where babies are concerned: Taking paternity leave is now expected (and accepted) as a thing that Major League Baseball players do. We think that’s a home run. (Dad joke!)

At Entrepreneur, Lisa Sugar (founder and CEO of POPSUGAR) says her parents were all about the work ethic, and she’s better for it in “6 Reasons I’m Grateful My Dad Made Me Get a Job Every Summer.”

Have you ever wondered where the bunny parents were? Max & Ruby creator Rosemary Wells says, “I believe that kids resolve their issues and conflicts differently when they’re on their own.” That makes sense, but we were still pretty excited when the couple made an appearance.

“Raising a courageous, independent child means being a courageous, independently minded parent.” As Katie Arnold writes at Outside, “Being Brave Isn’t Just for Kids.”

STAND Magazine founder and editor Dwayne Hayes opened his heart with a powerful look at loss, life, grief, and fatherhood in “Five Years Later: Tessa & Sabine and the Healing Power of Love.”

“Starting off with positive affirmations can set a great tone for how your day unfolds.” Ron Alston and his daughter Aliya get it.


We’re big fans of Brian Gordon‘s Fowl Language Comics, and love reading/sharing his work. Needless to say, we really enjoyed his recent interview with Your Teen.

Fowl Language Comics

Don’t forget, our Call for Speakers and Ideas window closes on September 26. Get yours in now!

Share your traditions of fatherhood news or stories that you would like to share you can find us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Snapchat using the #FatherhoodOnFri hashtag!


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