Epps’ film comes several years after Obama announced the White House Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, a nationwide effort to support responsible fatherhood and to help re-engage absentee fathers in the lives of their children.
“But we also know that what too many fathers being absent means — too many fathers missing from too many homes, missing from too many lives,” Obama said of Father’s Day several years ago.
“We know that when fathers abandon their responsibilities, there’s harm done to those kids. We know that children who grow up without a father are more likely to live in poverty. They’re more likely to drop out of school. They’re more likely to wind up in prison. They’re more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They’re more likely to run away from home. They’re more likely to become teenage parents themselves.”
“And I say all this as someone who grew up without a father in my own life. He left my family when I was two years old. And while I was lucky to have a wonderful mother and loving grandparents who poured everything they had into me and my sister, I still felt the weight of that absence,” the president said. “It’s something that leaves a hole in a child’s life that no government can fill.”
I hope Epps’ documentary educates Americans and helps to dispel long-held stereotypes that men of color who happened to struggle financially are not responsible fathers.
While there are many men in America who refuse to provide for their children, which is a serious problem, there are countless men who want to step up but have not been able to make enough money to provide for their kids.
That’s not a crime, it’s just an unfortunate situation. And many men are now trying to provide something intangible for their children in lieu of money: Time, patience and love.
I’m glad Epps is bringing this issue to the national forefront – and to the screen.
What do you think?
Omar Epps Produces Documentary That Showcases Importance Of Fathers was originally published on blackamericaweb.com