Pledge To Participate In The President’s Fatherhood And Mentoring Initiative

By Team BLAM

Being a dad is one of the most important jobs any man can have. As the father of two young girls and someone who grew up without his dad in the home, President Obama knows firsthand the power of a father’s presence in the lives of his children – and the holes dads leave when they are absent.

That’s why he launched the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. Its goal : to encourage individuals, especially fathers, to be involved in the lives of their children, and to be positive role models and mentors for other children in their lives and communities.

Signing the Pledge is just one way to show that you will do your part to be a positive and supportive figure in the lives of children to help them reach their full potential.

Join the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative by signing the pledge at:

What do you get when you sign up?

· Information on local and national events that support fatherhood and mentorship

· Links to exceptional fatherhood and mentoring resources

· Access to unique content

When you take the President’s Fatherhood Pledge, you’ll receive updates, tips and resources from fatherhood organizations, prominent dads and other supporters of responsible fatherhood around the nation. Join with the President and fathers, mothers, and other role models from across the country by signing the President’s Fatherhood Pledge today.

TRAILER: Black Fatherhood: Reconnecting With Our Legacy

FILM TRAILER: Hats off to filmmaker and author Dana Ross for making this film and shedding light on the reality that good, solid, strong, loving fathers do exist in our community. Ross utilized her own family history, research and interviews with hundreds of Black fathers, Educators and Historians such as Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu and Dr. Ira Berlin, to explore Black men in their roles as fathers from their time of enslavement to the present.

This ten year docu-journal, presented in both book and film formats, display very clear facts about the history of Black fatherhood, the many extraneous circumstances Black fathers face, how Black men became disenfranchised; how it affected the Black family structure and solutions to issues fathers face today.

We love the effort to show a positive black men loving and leading their children! #BlackFathersRock!

Fatherhood Is A Journey

By Lome Aseron

Whether you’re expecting your first child or your kids are grown and on their own, being a dad is a new experience.  When my wife was pregnant, we decided to have a homebirth.  We hired a doula and two midwives.  I won’t tell you how much it cost.  According to them and other experts, labor was going to last 10-12 hours.  My son had other plans.  My wife’s labor was so short that the only other person in the room when he was born was – guess who? – me.  After nine months of preparing to support my wife in the birth of my first child, there I was, with no medical training, serving as midwife, doula, and doctor.  I fought off the strong desire to run out of the room as fast as possible.  When I caught Joaquin, I experienced pure exhilaration and love.

After only 2 days into Joaquin’s life, I told my wife, “it’s amazing how something so little can make me feel so inadequate.”  For the next few months, I experienced periods of intense anxiety.  Realizing that I needed to grow just as Joaquin was growing, I started looking for resources to support me in what was sure to be an emotional journey.  To my dismay, I found very little.  Sure, there are father’s advocacy groups and organizations dedicated to maintaining the traditional family structure, but as for resources that addressed the personal development of fatherhood – nothing.  This was a sharp contrast to the wealth of resources for moms.  I found magazines, support groups, books, blogs, and newspaper articles for new and expectant mothers.  What I found for dads was mostly re-packaged how-to guides originally directed to mothers.

Even as a new father, I recognized that failure to acknowledge the inner work that must accompany fatherhood could have dire consequences on my personal and family life.  This is not, of course, a new idea.  In a recent article in Newsweek, a father shared that his wife had to parent him as much as his children, which led to a painful divorce.  My own father told my mother that he wasn’t ready to be a father after I was born.  If we fail to understand, acknowledge, and do something about the emotional challenges that we experience as fathers, we run the risk of alienating our partners, our children, and, most of all, ourselves.  We may end up leaving our loved ones and our emotional well-being behind.  The logistical aspects of fatherhood aren’t what tear families apart through neglect and divorce.  No father ever abandoned his child because he couldn’t figure out how to change a diaper.

The path of fatherhood has never been more rich or challenging.  Provision of shelter and food are no longer acceptable as the standard by which fathers are measured.  Our children, our partners, and our own innate intelligence dare us to be more – to be nurturers, companions, guides, and counselors.  The dramatic increase in stay at home dads proves that the model of fatherhood is changing rapidly for the better.  The fatherhood paradigm shift should not be underestimated.  Without recognition that change requires inner work, we run the risk of missing out on all the opportunities that fatherhood provides to become a better man, a better partner, and a better global citizen.  A fellow new dad once told me that fatherhood was wonderful because it burns up all of your bad habits.  I don’t know if I’ll ever shed all of my negative patterns, but I know that I owe it to myself and my son to be as available as possible both emotionally and physically.  If I don’t, I might just give in to the urge to run out of the room the next time he decides to do something wonderfully unexpected.

Lome Aseron was born as a father on the same day as his son was born, Lome helps dads on the journey of fatherhood through workshops and one-on-one coaching. He recognizes that fatherhood is a personal journey for fathers as well as their children and strives to balance the more traditional responsibilities of bread-winner with more recent models of father as care-taker. To learn more about Lome’s work, visit

I Hope You Feel Bad On Father’s Day

By Ayize Ma’at

You’re probably thinking WTF!!??!  Like my wife, you may be thinking why would you hope someone feels bad on Father’s Day? As co-owner of this site she expressed that she didn’t like “the energy” of this post on a day like Father’s Day. But, it’s my day and I’m gonna keep it 100. To be honest…. Your recklessness, abandonment, and shameful acts of irresponsibility have become my problem.  Yes…when you don’t do what you are supposed to (i.e. teach your children) someone else does.  What man allows another man to carry his own weight?

As a father raising four children I find myself shielding and protecting my children from a chaotic world that exists in our community because of your negligence.  Boys disrespecting girls in our community exists because of YOU.  High out of wedlock birthrates exists because of YOU.  Bullying exists because of YOU.  Teen pregnancy exists because of YOU. Identity confusion exists because of YOU.  Low self esteem exists because of YOU.  Angry black boys in an assembly line to prison exists because of YOU. Low academic achievement exists because of YOU.

Yes, the aforementioned statements are sweeping generalizations void of the panoramic perspective needed to examine black fathers.  Yes, there are plenty of socio-economic variables that contribute to the host of social issues previously mentioned.  Although I recognize the plethora of contributing factors, today I’ve chosen to focus exclusively on the communal impact of absent black fathers because they need to hear real talk and feel the real pain of neglected children and disappointed black men who have “manned up” because they’ve decided to “man down”.

For many of you the instinctive reaction is to turn toward your “baby’s mama” and say she’s the reason why you are not in your child’s life.  I hear you.  I believe she may have made it difficult for you.  I know you probably hate her.  But guess what champ…..GET OVER IT!  IT AIN’T ABOUT HER.  IT AIN’T ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HER.  IT IS ABOUT YOUR CHILD.  It may be hard as hell to get back in your child’s life.  But isn’t your child worth going to hell and back?

Today, tomorrow, next week, next year when I’m walking down the street holding my sons hands or holding my daughters hands and I notice the furtive glances of children who have no father in their life…I WILL BE REMINDED OF YOU.  Their eyes tell a story of disappointment, frustration, anguish, and abandonment.  So yes…I hope you feel bad on Father’s Day…..  because your absence has caused your children to feel bad EVERYDAY.

When A Father Cries For His Son

By Ayize Ma’at

I hesitate to write this post as I sit here…trying to make some sense of the cluster of emotions that have bum rushed my spirit.  A part of me is reluctant to express what is weighing heavy on my heart….however, the greater part of me NEEDS to tell you the story of my tears in an attempt to release the frustration, anger, fear, and sadness that I’m wrestling with.  I love my son with every ounce of my being.  Since he is our first born…he holds a special place in my heart that is reserved only for him.  As a matter of fact when he gets older he may possibly read this post….so let me say this:

Duah, I love you completely.  I am thankful for you, I am committed to you, and I am proud to be your father.

A year ago we were told that our 9 year old son has arthritis in his hip.  Yup…a 9 year old with arthritis…go figure.  When the  Dr. first shared that news with me… it broke me down.  Now I know arthritis within itself is not the end of the world, but for him to deal with Sickle Cell Anemia, Asthma, and now Arthritis…..that’s a bit much.  So being overwhelmed with emotion I cried.  I cried because I don’t want my son to hurt.  I cried because i don’t want my son to have to deal with the embarrassment that may come from his physical limitations.  I cried because there’s a good chance my son won’t play sports the way I played sports as a child.

That was a year ago when we got the news about arthritis….well today he had a follow up appointment with the specialist and the condition of his hip has deteriorated to a point where the Dr. said NO running or jumping for the next year.  When Aiyana called me and shared this info with me….every part of me screamed “FUCK….here’s something else my son has to deal with”.

Asante has developed a remarkable ability to find the positives in his experiences.  When I talked to him he sounded sad…but there was a hint of optimism in his energy when I told him I love him and we’re going to have a great time riding bikes and swimming this summer.  When I got off the phone with him,  tears started welling up in my eyes.  Why does he have to deal with this.   I don’t want him to experience this.  I wish I could carry his pain, fear, frustration, and embarrassment for him.  I wish I could give him more than my love.

I love you Duah.

I’m Not “Mr. Mom”…I’m Not Babysittin’ My Children…I Am DAD

By Eric Payne

Most if not all of you probably don’t know that I’ve been home alone for the past 16 days. By Sunday it will be 18. Not literally sitting in my home by myself, but on the last day of March my wife boarded a plane headed for the Middle East and Europe for her Business School Externship.

While she’s been gone I’ve:

  • been to the DMV 3 times.
  • been to traffic court where I was treated like a felon for an expired registration.
  • traversed most of Georgia at least 8 times taking my son to basketball games.
  • registered my daughter for multiple Kindergartens.
  • had 2 job interviews.
  • worked out nearly every day and lost 12 pound in the process.
  • kept the kids comforted during a power outage.
  • spit shined my home to museum standards.
  • made 4 trips to a body shop making sure my wife’s car was fixed properly (she was in a minor fender bender).
  • landed one of the 2 jobs I’ve interviewed for and waiting to hear back from the other.
  • sifted, sorted, shredded and resubmitted more paperwork than any sane man should ever have to.
  • worked out at the gym with my son.
  • slept an average 3 hours a night.
  • set up a tutoring schedule for my son
  • volunteered my usual 3 hours per week and added mentoring a young man in writing to my goodwill basket.
  • put up new curtains and curtain rods.
  • gotten both of my children up, dressed, fed and out of the house before 8 am.
  • done my daughter’s hair almost as well as mom does, including, washing, conditioning, oiling her scalp, detangling her hair (which now is to the small of her back) and braiding it
  • taken my daughter bike riding everyday after school and on the weekends as weather permits.
  • taken both kids on a picnic.
  • cooked 5 out of the 7 days of the week.
  • arranged 3 playdates with my daughter and her little friends.
  • watched Inception 3 times (it wasn’t that deep to me – I got it on the first watch).

The only thing I didn’t manage to do was actually be in two places at the same time, though I tried. I was quite terrible at it.

Over the years my wife has traveled often but never for this long. And after this trip I will probably seriously insult the next woman who cracks a joke about me being Mr. Mom, or struggling with my kids when Mom isn’t around because guess what? None of that is true. But I guess gender discrimination washes both ways.

No I’m not Mr. Mom, or “babysitting” my own damn kids, or frazzled or hanging on by a thread. Have I been tired? Yes. Have I had moments where I’ve been at wit’s end? Definitely! Have I had any time to myself? After midnight when I can’t leave the house and I’m delirious with fatigue. Have I ever once considered that I can’t do this? Not even once.

I’m DAD, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, doing it thanklessly, doing it because I love my kids, doing it because I was ordained to do so, doing it because I’m not a boy, doing it because it’s my responsibility, doing it because I love doing it, doing it with my eyes closed, doing it in my sleep, waking up and just doing it, doing it and not thinking twice, doing it and doing it well.

I’m not some dude married to a woman that has my kids and then I “help out”. I’m not just the guy who steps up when it’s time to drive or pay a bill. I’m DAD in every sense of the word, and maybe even redefined. If my wife’s trip showed me anything, it let me know just how far I’m willing to go to see to it that me and mine are taken care of. And how far is that?

As far as the eye can see.

I’m DAD. Period.

E.Payne is the author of Investing In An Emotional Letdown and I Didn’t Invented Sex. Additionally, he has a new E Book soon to be released titled Dad: As Easy As A, B, C .  For the past 3 years he has posted 600+ articles about fatherhood, marriage and everything in between. You can check him out at