Photo of Tim Matthews and his 12-year-old son, Sean Matthews on IG

In 2009, the government National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) published a research volume studying the manifestations of fatherhood in African-American culture. It was entitled: ‘The Myth of the Missing Black Father’, and for good reason. Indeed, it is clear that the facts surrounding unwed births in Black community have received disproportionate media attention. Much less publicized are the CDC reports showing that Black fathers are actually more engaged with the daily lives of their children than either White or Hispanic fathers regardless of marital status.

Here are four amazing stories from present Black fathers to shatter the media stereotype:-

1)  Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is a loving father of 12-year-old Sean. The two share a special bond and help around the house in spare time. When his son received nearly all As at school and even started earning on the stock market this year, Tim knew he was obliged to do something special, too. Over the course of a week while Sean was away at his mom’s house, Tim gave his bedroom the makeover of his dreams. The entire wall was painted blue, a Nike-themed dresser was custom made, and all kinds of cool gadgets were added to Sean’s collection.

When Sean returned to receive the surprise, the family had a heartfelt moment they will remember forever. He was featured on TheDadgang on IG..

2)  Teran Trotter

Teran Trotter, 36, did not get the best deal out of early life, growing up without a father at home. To make up for it, Trotter decided to be the best father he could to his own son Teric. All his life, Teran was told he was “Too young to be a dad”, but his actions at Teric’s graduation ceremony proved otherwise.

Up until this point, Teran had not missed a single basketball game of his son at the school. When Teric finally graduated with flying colors this year, his father could not hold back his tears and, in his own words, “Cried the whole graduation”. The incident was caught on camera and the pair later recounted their story to Good Morning      America.

3)  Tyrone Hopkins

Less viral but immensely powerful are the lifelong struggles of fathers like Tyrone Hopkins from Baltimore. A parent to two girls with different mothers, both of his daughters were born after unexpected pregnancies. While Hopkins confesses to feeling discouraged at first, he has stuck up for both his children throughout the years.

His 14-year-old, Tyrone told an interviewee, has always been a “Daddy’s girl”. He did not even know about his younger daughter, now 2, until after her first birthday, but still decided to be actively engaged with her upbringing and has been ever since. A truck driver by profession, Tyrone Hopkins is part of the Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Program since 2014, which he credits with helping steer his relationship with his non-custodial children.

4)  Josh Stewart

Josh Stewart is the founder of the Wayfinder Foundation and current CEO of Citizen Education, both non-profits dedicated to helping uplift women of color through direct community investments. On Father’s Day 2018, Josh decided to bring the unsung tale of his own father Chris to light. Chris Stewart was a tremendously influential force at every step in Josh’s childhood, as well as those of his younger siblings. He taught both ‘by example’ and through explicit life lessons that only come through decades of grind. Josh still remembers doing summer homework with his dad and listening to the descriptions of Civil Rights leaders from a man who witnessed it all first-hand.

It is to the empathetic and responsible citizenship education of his father that Josh credits his lifetime of community activism. Chris is always kind his children and the wider community. By simply doing whatever he could to help those around him on a daily basis, Stewart represents the millions of inspiring Black fathers just like him.

Josh’s favorite advice from his dad remains:-

Always smile at babies.

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Anthony Tilghman, is an 3x Award-winning Photojournalist, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the 2020, 2021 & 2023 Dateline award for Excellence in Local Journalism.

Anthony Tilghman

Anthony Tilghman, is an 3x Award-winning Photojournalist, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the...

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