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BLACK FATHERS


Dr. Daniel L. Hollar, PH,D.

Fatherhood plays a crucial role in enhancing resilience against trauma, suicide ideation, cultural misorientation, and psychopathology (mental illness) among Black boys and young Black men. In numerous research studies and personal accounts, it has been observed that the presence of an involved and supportive father figure can have a positive impact on the well-being of Black boys and young Black men. This active fatherhood role provides essential support, guidance, and a sense of belonging, which allows them to navigate challenges and experiences more effectively. Having a Black father actively engaged in their children's lives offers a protective factor against trauma. The emotional support, stability, and mentorship provided by a caring father figure can contribute to the development of healthy coping mechanisms and resilience in the face of the adversity, oppression and disenfranchisement found in systems of racism-white supremacy. The involvement of a Black father can help mitigate suicide behaviors among Black boys and young Black men. By fostering open communication, promoting emotional well-being, and providing a supportive environment, fathers can play a crucial role in addressing mental health concerns and reducing the risk of suicidal thoughts. Additionally, Black fathers whho are African centered contribute significantly to the cultural identity and preservation of traditions for their children. They serve as mentors, sharing knowledge, values, and cultural heritage, which helps combat assimilation and cultural misorientation. This involvement strengthens a sense of belonging and competence, and helps Black boys and young Black men develop a positive racial and cultural identity; which must be fortified when operating under the current system of racism-white supremacy. Active Black fatherhood has been linked to lower rates of psychopathology or mental illness in Black boys and young Black men. The presence of a supportive father figure promotes emotional well-being, reduces the likelihood of internalizing or externalizing symptoms, and helps in accessing mental health resources when needed. The role of Black fatherhood is essential in fostering resilience against trauma, suicide ideation, cultural misorientation, and psychopathology in Black boys and young Black men. Recognizing and supporting active fatherhood can empower these individuals to overcome challenges, develop a strong sense of self, and thrive in their personal and cultural identity. It is the main tool for creating stronger Black families which is why they are the main targets of white supremacists and their institutions. Sincerely, Dr. Hollar Daniel L. Hollar, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology Assistant Dean, College of Nursing and Health Sciences Bethune-Cookman University 640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114 Office: Lemerand Nursing Building Room 214 Phone: 386-481-2526 Email: hollard@cookman.edu

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