Even though Juneteenth and Father’s Day has passed, Black fatherhood is worthy of praise and celebration everyday. Granted, fatherhood looks different for each family and we believe any male figure can step into a father role as long as they have love and care for a child.
Whether it’s step-dads, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, or neighbors, a child needs to have a village. When children have a sense of community they can trust, they can grow to be well-adjusted people. Seeing positive adults helps children understand and set their own standards in life.
As a child, it’s important for them to hear and see adults apologizing for their mistakes, too. Sometimes those apologies come right away, and sometimes they come later in life. However, the most important thing is that it happens. When it comes to male role models, it’s imperative we decolonize what fatherhood and manhood looks like—for the sake of our children. We want children to see men show a spectrum of emotions. And with that, we’ve selected a few books that showcase the impact of fatherhood; good, bad and indifferent and how it resonates with their family and society.
In this vivid, heart-warming story, a family relocates to Florida for better opportunities. Bree is set to start middle school and she notices everyone in Florida loves to swim—except for her. Bree would rather be needing out, however, her new friends encourage her to try and she almost drowns. Thankfully, her neighbor is a former swimming champion and she gives Bree the training she needs to help her win.
Growing up, Maya Washington didn’t get to experience seeing her father, Gene Washington play first-hand. However, she has always been aware of his impact on the game. In this memoir, she highlights not only her father’s achievements but how he’s also impacted her life.
If you haven’t seen Karma on Netflix, you are missing out. Karma, the brainchild of rapper Ludacris, has created a world where a beautiful little girl has the gift of rhyming. She solves problem and she always relies on her dad for the best advice and rhymes.
Let’s normalize stay-at-home dads, please! In this beautiful book, one family plans an adventurous day while the mother goes to work. They clean, bake and learn together and their daddy is their every step of the way.
Sometimes, people don’t understand the impact of their actions until it’s almost too late. In Don’t Cry For Me, a father is terminally I’ll and while on his deathbed, he begins sending his son letters. He tells his son about his ancestral legacy and tries to make amends with the homophobic attitude he held towards his only son.
A beautiful tribute to Black boys to help build their self-esteem so they can aspire to do great things. This book highlights notable and positive Black role models including Matthew Henson, Fela Kuti and Colin Kaepernick. Full of Black boy joy, this book will be a great addition to your home library.
Looking for more Black authors and Black centering books? Check out this post of books where Black girls are superheroes and protagonists.