Inner-city fathers face challenges and possibility

Updated

The cultural narrative around fathers in urban areas is still one that assumes they are absent and uninterested. A new book based on years of in-depth reporting dismantles that narrative and offers another, more uplifting one.

Authors Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson spent seven years meeting young men in urban areas and lived with the people they profile in Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, an approach that gives the book much deeper insight into the lives of families struggling to survive under punishing socioeconomic circumstances.

“We thought the dads would respond to a pregnancy by cutting and running, which was sort of the conventional wisdom of the time,” Edin told guest host Ari Melber on Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, “but instead, we found that even though most of the births were unplanned, fathers were really excited. They greeted the opportunity to father with a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Watch the whole conversation above, and watch “Melissa Harris-Perry” every Saturday and Sunday at 10 ET.

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Inner-city fathers face challenges and possibility

Updated