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Book details
  • SubGenre:American / African American
  • Language:English
  • Pages:216
  • eBook ISBN:9780989192538

Bet on Black

African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama

by Kenrya Rankin Naasel

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Inspired by President Barack Obama’s commitment to encouraging and supporting responsible fathers—he created the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative to do just that—Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama aims to wrestle back the much-maligned image of the Black dad and expose it as something that, while not perfect, is a human, loving presence in the lives of his children. In turns insightful, clever and laugh-out-loud funny, 20 Black women writers share deeply personal stories that prove the stereotypes wrong. More than just love letters, their essays spin truths that examine the positive/complicated/ bittersweet/hilarious/awe-inspiring relationships they share with the fathers in their lives. From the girl whose dad pulled double duty to fill the space left when her mother died, to the woman whose brother has successfully raised six children from behind bars, to the young mother who knew her grandfather truly loved her when he threatened to beat up her boyfriend, the stories in Bet on Black will shift the dialog about what it means to be a Black father in the United States.
“So I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle—that if I could do anything in life, I would be a good father to my children; that if I could do anything, I would give them that rock—that foundation—on which to build their lives. That would be the greatest gift I could offer them.” —President Barack Obama, Fathers Day 2008 speech at Apostolic Church of God When writer Kenrya Rankin Naasel first read those words from then-presidential candidate Obama, she recognized her own story in his message. She knew first-hand the value of the gift he sought to give Sasha and Malia; she was raised by a single father who valued taking care of his children above all, who taught her to expect as much from the world as she expected from herself, and who never had to tell her she could do anything, because he showed her that she could do everything. And she knew she wasn’t alone. After she married a man who took the work of being a daddy as seriously as her own, she was inspired to find more women whose lives had been impacted by strong Black fathers. This lyrical anthology is the result. On these pages, 20 women gather to swap the stereotype-busting stories of their fathers, grandfathers, husbands and best friends, inviting readers to join the conversation and honor the men in their lives who made their own resolutions to be the best dads they can be. You’ll meet a young father whose love for his daughters compelled him to care for a wayward “dancer” one crazy night, a man whose fierce determination is the glue that holds together his blended family, and another who used an indiscretion as a catalyst to rededicate himself to his children. Whether you are a fantastic dad, or just adore one, these powerful essays will forever change the way you view fatherhood in America.
About the author
Kenrya Rankin Naasel was raised by an amazing single dad. Today, she’s an author and editor whose work has appeared in more than a dozen national publications, including Reader’s Digest, Ebony, Glamour and Redbook, and has been translated into 21 languages. She is founder and editorial director of parenting site, and currently serves as contributing editor for Uptown, Latina and ShopSmart magazines and a writer for Kenrya earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from Howard University, and her master’s degree in publishing from New York University. Bet on Black is her third book.
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