Will "My Brothers Keeper" Address the Real Problems in Inner Cities?

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On Thursday, President Obama announced a new initiative to provide support for minority men who face struggles in their journey toward adulthood. "My Brothers Keeper" may be a start in shedding light on the institutional barriers that perpetuate cycles of poverty and violence in Black communities, but the President, in his unveiling speech seemed to focus on absent Black fathers as a primary obstacle. Many are left wondering what will be the the lasting effects of the proposed public/private partnerships.

Melinda Anderson of Crooked Liars expressed her frustration with the stereotypes the President's rhetoric perpetuate, and presents some evidence that challenges the President's assumptions.

Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on American fathers’ involvement with their children. Whether it was reading and playing with children daily, eating meals together, or bathing and dressing children 5 and under, black fathers living outside the home were more involved than white and Latino fathers. The level of involvement continued into the teen years, with black fathers scoring higher than whites and Latinos in helping children with homework, shuttling children to activities, and talking to their children each day.

As noted by ThinkProgress:“…it’s understandable that the CDC’s results seem innovative. But in reality, the new data builds upon years of research that’s concluded that hands-on parenting is similar among dads of all races. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to bust this racially-biased myth.The Pew Research Center, which has tracked this data for years, consistently finds no big differences between white and black fathers. Gretchen Livingston, one of the senior researchers studying family life at Pew, wasn’t at all surprised by the new CDC data. “Blacks look a lot like everyone else,” she pointed out.”

Read the entire piece at Crooks and Liars.

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