Debunking the ‘absent black father’ myth

President Obama launched his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative Thursday, geared toward getting non-profits to pledge $200 million over the next five years for the advancement and enrichment of young men of color. 

“I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short,” Obama said in the East Room of the White House. “And the only difference was that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics reported on fathers’ involvement with their children. Here are some of the findings: 

“The fact that too many of them are falling by the waistside, dropping out, unemployed, involved in negative behavior, going to jail, being profiled, this is a moral issue for our country,” Obama said. “Cycles of hopelessness bread violence and mistrust and our country’s a little less than we know it can be. So we need to change the statistics - not just for the sake of these young men and boys, but for the sake of America’s future.”