These 5 Platforms Are on a Mission to Uplift and Support Black Dads

Research finds Black dads display more effective co-parenting than other fathers—but myths about their involvement persist. These five organizations are here to change the narrative.

Happy little girl flying as father holds her in the air
Photo: Getty Images

There's a problem with how the world discusses Black fathers. They are often portrayed negatively in the media or left out and portrayed as "absent Black dads." This continues even as research finds that Black dads often share responsibilities and display more effective co-parentingthan nonBlack fathers. In response to the erasure and negative imaging of Black fathers in the media, Black fatherhood platforms have emerged across social media and other parts of the internet.

Matt Prestbury, the founder of The Black Fathers Foundation, is one of the Black dads challenging the misrepresentation of Black fathers by supporting them. "This was an opportunity for us to show ourselves in our own light and to show we were really out here doing the thing and we weren't what mainstream society portrayed us to be," he says in a video explaining the organization's journey. Prestbury's organization takes a perspective held by many—Black fathers need the resources and support to thrive and the chance to define their own stories. "Other people's perceptions of who we are do not shape our realities. We do," the Black Fathers Foundation says. "Nor do the limitations others place on us define what we can achieve. We do."

Here are five platforms—including The Black Fathers Foundation—that are dedicated to the mission of amplifying, uplifting, and supporting Black dads in their fatherhood journey by recognizing they matter and celebrating that they exist.

Fathers Incorporated

Established in 2004, Fathers Incorporated has a "unique seat at the table," connecting the nation's leaders to the needs of Black fathers. Fathers Incorporated is an award-winning not-for-profit with a mission to "engage, equip and empower a community network of fathers and families" through community support, parent education, and positive representation. Fathers Incorporated builds strong families by promoting "responsible fatherhood" through programs like "Real Dads Read," which places little libraries in barbershops encouraging dads to read to their children while they wait to get a haircut, and campaigns like Million Fathers March, an annual initiative encouraging Black dads to escort their children to school in solidarity on September 17.

CEO Kenneth Braswell also produces a series of children's books, a documentary, and a short film through Fathers Incorporated. The organization provides Black family data reports and resources. It also hosted The Blueprint I, a town hall examining societal ideas of fatherhood for Black Fathers. "It's not easy fighting for something you've never had," writes Braswell. "But it is because of that, that I don't want another child to experience the absence of their fathers." Contact Fathers Incorporated or follow the organization on social media for updates and to learn more.

The Dad Gang

The Dad Gang is a group of "dads on a mission to change the way the world views Black fatherhood. "The organization is committed to building globally and creating a safe space for Black men to find community, support, and socialization. The organization has more than 147,000 followers on Instagram, where it displays the bond between Black dads and their children.

Each year, The Dad Gang hosts the Father's Day March of Dads in Brooklyn, New York, which connects hundreds of Black dads with the organization to "raise awareness that Black dads are present and involved." You can find them on @thedadgang on Instagram for curated Black dad culture and content.

The Black Fathers Foundation

The Black Fathers Foundation is an organization with a mission "to provide resources that enable Black men to effectively raise children and strengthen families." Created in 2018 by husband and wife Matt and Kelly Prestbury, it grew from the Black Fathers Facebook group to a Georgia nonprofit providing resources to Black men, their families, and the organizations that serve them.

Black Fathers Foundation has three focus areas. It provides funding and networking opportunities and creates original content that better represents Black fathers. It financially supports fathers through a Fallen Fathers Fund, an emergency fund for dads and families, as well as a Young Fathers Scholarship, grants, and a storehouse for essential items. The foundation's networking opportunities include happy hour events, local partnerships. and collaborations. The foundation creates original content on its Patreon, which centers on conversations and panel discussions.Black Fathers Foundation supporters can get involved through partnership, volunteering, donating, or purchasing merchandise from The Pop Shop. Supporters can also follow the foundation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Dope Black Dads

Dope Black Dads began as a series of Whatsapp messages between founder Marvyn Harrison and his friends. Now it's a digital safe space for fathers to share Black parenting experiences and their understanding of masculinity in the modern world. It aims " to celebrate, heal, inspire and educate Black fathers for better outcomes for Black families."

The digital safe space includes the Webby-award winning Dope Black Dads podcast, which features global Black dad contributors and other special guests. Harrison has also authored the children's book, I Love Me, to encourage building confidence and self-esteem in very young children through positive affirmations. The Dope Black Dads website also shares Black thoughts on business, politics, family, relationships, lifestyle, and culture. Supporters can donate to Dope Black Dads or join one of its other online communities.

Dear Fathers

The Dear Fathers is a media platform "dedicated to telling stories of Black fathers from all angles." The platform hosts IG Live interviews and curates story series like Dads in Delivery, A Daughter's Memoir, and 1,000 Fearless Fathers. On the last Thursday of every month, the private Stra8 Mental group led by Black male therapists provides a "safe therapy space" for Black men by connecting them to mental health resources. It also offers a Books x Bourbon book club, social events, and a money series in partnership with the Kindly digital banking app.

The platform also features the Dear Fathers Podcast, hosted by James Meeks and co-founder Jesse Alex. The pair talk to celebrity fathers about their journey through fatherhood, their careers, mental health, and more. Devale Ellis, Clifton Powell, and Cedric the Entertainer have all been featured guests on the show. But the goal of the Dear Fathers podcast is to move past their professional accomplishments as public figures to humanize them as "Black fathers who are making an impact on the culture by learning who they are as Black men and dads."

Along with the podcast, you can connect with Dear Fathers by following along on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or by contacting the organization via its website.

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