Faith of Our Fathers: African-American Men Reflect on Fatherhood

Overview

There is perhaps no greater influence in a son's life than his relationship with his father; nor is there a greater joy than being a parent. Too often in popular consciousness, however, negative stereotypes about African-American fathers persist as conventional wisdom; the complexity of the father-son bond is glossed over or ignored - or more to the point, too many people assume that black men are incapable of responsibly raising children. Faith of Our Fathers eloquently answers these powerful stereotypes, ...
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1996 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. New Hard cover. Book is from Bookstore Inventory: Book might have a Remainder mark, Minor Edge wear, Hint of Page edge soiling. Book has ... been Displayed NOTE: FILL-R Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 256 p. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

There is perhaps no greater influence in a son's life than his relationship with his father; nor is there a greater joy than being a parent. Too often in popular consciousness, however, negative stereotypes about African-American fathers persist as conventional wisdom; the complexity of the father-son bond is glossed over or ignored - or more to the point, too many people assume that black men are incapable of responsibly raising children. Faith of Our Fathers eloquently answers these powerful stereotypes, bringing together twelve prominent African-American writers and thinkers, fathers and sons, to discuss the various issues that surround this critical relationship. Among the writers in this rich and varied collection are such celebrated names as John Edgar Wideman, author of the classic Brothers and Keepers; Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author of the acclaimed memoir Colored People; Cornel West, who wrote the bestseller Race Matters; and nine other leading journalists, novelists, and academics. Each author offers candid, and often intensely personal, reflections about who his father was and the impact of his father on his dreams, passions, and beliefs. Readers will find echoes of their own father stories in the pages of this book: the authors speak of fathers who were absent or distant, loving and involved, stern and demanding, accepting and welcoming. Each author discusses the influence his father's parenting has on his efforts to raise his own children, whether he seeks to emulate his father's parenting, to repudiate it, or to transform it. The book also brings to light how such issues as racism, class, patriarchy affect and inform the ways African-American men choose to raise their children. The twelve essays that comprise Faith of Our Fathers will enrich and enlighten every reader. The book marks the first time many of the contributors have shared their insights on the subject of fatherhood with a wide audience, and readers will learn from and identify with th
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite the presence of several big names, few of the 12 original essays in this collection display dazzling style. However, this book has value as a solid, honest survey of the range and challenges of black fatherhood-from the perspectives of sons and of fathers. Cornel West offers a eulogy for his "deeply Christian" father, who never lost his capacity to love, while John Edgar Wideman, prompted by learning (at the age of 51) of his father's out-of-wedlock son, attempts to understand the burdens his closemouthed dad had carried. Others are fighting their legacies: Anthony Cook describes how he finally learned to give the unconditional love his father denied him, while Robin D.G. Kelley explains that his authoritarian father taught him "the limitations of patriarchy as a model." Most contributors address race explicitly. Delfeayo Marsalis recalls how his father conveyed a "refined, contemplative type of militancy." Playthell Benjamin reflects on the crises in values and economics that have devastated the black family, while Michael G. Hanchard dissects media stereotypes of black men as irresponsible fathers. Although the collection has good variety, one absence is a voice from the hip-hop generation. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525941583
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 1
My Father's Son 9
From Boys to Men: Breaking the Cycle of Pain for Our Sons 21
On Black Fathering 43
Notes on Black Parenting in the Late Twentieth Century 57
On "Good" Black Fathers 73
Considerations on Fatherhood 91
Reflections on Fatherhood 103
Of Sons and Fathers: Remembering George M. O'Meally 127
Countering the Conspiracy to Ignore Black Girls 157
Negroid Fatherhood 173
Fatherhood: If You Buy the Hat, He Will Come 193
Are You My Father? 207
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