Black Fathers: An Invisible Presence in America, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Black Fathers

An Invisible Presence in America, Second Edition

Edited by Michael E. Connor, Joseph White

© 2011 – Routledge

302 pages

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Paperback: 9780415883672
pub: 2011-04-21
Hardback: 9780415883665
pub: 2011-04-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203818329
pub: 2011-06-02
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This book offers a broader, more positive picture of African American fathers. Featuring case studies of African-descended fathers, this edited volume brings to life the achievements and challenges of being a black father in America. Leading scholars and practitioners provide unique insight into this understudied population. Short-sighted social policies which do not encourage father involvement are critically examined and the value of father engagement is promoted. The problems associated with the absence of a father are also explored.

The second edition features an increased emphasis on:

  • the historical issues confronting African descended fathers
  • the impact of health issues on Black fathers and their children
  • the need for therapeutic interventions to aid in the healing of fathers and their children
  • the impact of an Afrikan-centered fathering approach and the need for research which considers systemic problems confronting African American fathers
  • community focused models that provide new ideas for (re)connecting absent fathers
  • learning tools including reflective questions and a conclusion in each chapter and more theory and research throughout the book.

Part I provides a historical overview of African descended fathers including their strengths and shortcomings over the years. Next, contributors share their personal stories including one from a communal father working with underserved youth and two others that highlight the impact of absent fathers. Then, the research on father-daughter relationships is examined including the impact of father absence on daughters and on gender identity. This section concludes with a discussion of serving adolescents in the foster care system. Part II focuses on the importance of a two-parent home, communal fathering, and equalitarian households. Cultural implications and barriers to relationships are also explored. This section concludes with a discussion of the struggles Black men face with role definitions. The book concludes with a discussion of the impact of adoption and health issues on Black fathers and their children, and the need for more effective therapeutic interventions that include a perspective centered in the traditions and cultures of Afrika in learning to become a father. The final chapter offers an intervention model to aid in fatherhood.

An ideal supplementary text for courses on fathers and fathering, introduction to the family, parenting, African American families/men, men and masculinity, Black studies, race and ethnic relations, and family issues taught in a variety of departments, the book also appeals to social service providers, policy makers, and clergy who work with community institutions.


"There is a need for this text and many more like it that can shed a positive light on the role the Black father plays. … [The book] is well organized by chapter and section and allows the reader to choose the topic that most interests them. The stories contained in the text are riveting and thought provoking. Some will make you laugh, while still others will make you cry. Anyone teaching the subject of Black families should read this book." - Eva M. Starner, Oakwood University, USA, in Network

"By and large, Black Fathers, much like the earlier edition, is a tremendous contribution to the literature on African American men. The book easily engages and challenges the reader to expand his or her understanding of this demographic group…" - Chammie Austin, St. Louis University, USA in PsycCRITIQUES

"An important contribution to the true image of black fathers in America… I enthusiastically endorse this book… It provides a broad integrated perspective that combines relevant theory and research… I am certain that it will be used in many college and university courses." - Robert L. Williams, Washington University, USA

Table of Contents

Part I: Impact of Father Engagement. Connor, African Descended Fathers: Historical Considerations. Hoskins, Fatherhood Through My Eyes. Jenkins-Monroe, Daddy’s Baby Girl: The Overlooked Story of Reappearing Fathers. Cunningham, Toward an African American Agenda: Restoring the African American Family and Community. Rentie, Debunking the Myth: Understanding Fathering in the Black Community. Mandara, Murray, Joyner, Fathers’ Absence on Adolescent’s Gender Role Development. Allen, Finding Yourself When You’re Not at Home. Part II: Father Stories. Palmer, Man-to-Boy Becoming Man-to-Man: A Son’s Perspective. Toldson, Birthright: Anecdotes of Fatherhood, Race and Redemption. Cokley, Black Fatherhood: Reflections, Challenges and Lessons Learned. Rosier, Black Man Defined: A Boy With a Purpose Becomes a Man When The Purpose is Fulfilled. Tucker, Making Room for Black Men to Father and Mentor. Part III: Thoughts and Reflections. Green, Fatherhood Love. Allen, Rosier, Tucker, Strategies for Therapeutic Success With African American Males. Ahadi, Mandy, Afrikan-Centered Fathering and the Afrikan-Centered Paradigm. Connor, Where From Here – Answers Are in the Community.

About the Editors

Michael E. Connor is a Professor, in the PsyD Program at Alliant International University. He received his PhD from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. His research interests include the psychological well-being of African American males, maintaining and improving relationships with children, and exercise and sport psychology.

Joseph L. White is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine. In 1968, DR. White helped found the Association of Black Psychologists. He received his PhD in clinical psychology at Michigan State University. In 1994 he received a Citation of Achievement in Psychology and Community Service from President Bill Clinton. Dr. White has worked as a psychologist for several hospitals and clinics in California and he has served as a consultant for school districts, universities, private organizations, drug prevention programs, and government agencies.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Couples & Family
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family