Best friends Jesse Alex and Lamar Johnson Jr. never knew that when they met over 20 years ago in their hometown of St. Louis, MO that they would embark on a journey that would be a part of changing the narrative for an entire community. Over the years, they began having many conversations about life, and who they were as Black men. They both realized that neither one of them grew up with a father in the home and this led them to have a lot of questions about the real impact of the absent father in a child’s life. After talking more about the topic and who they wanted to be as Black men, they started to research the Black fatherhood space. They noticed a few good brands, but they aimed to dive a little bit deeper into the stories of Black fathers and provide resources for Black men. Since September of 2019, their lives were forever changed with the launch of Dear Fathers.
Dear Fathers is a premiere media platform dedicated to telling stories of Black fatherhood from every angle. Creating a platform so powerful that not only has the chance to impact the community in which it’s aimed, but the founders have admitted that by listening and learning they have also been impacted by this journey. “This platform has helped me in a ton of ways, first and foremost, with the way that I look at and view my dad. I always had mixed emotions about him not being around my household growing up, since I’ve been an adult. I’ve learned that he and my mother both were doing their best, doing what they knew how which led me to dive deeper and ask them questions about their relationships with their dads. That put a lot of things into perspective for me,” Lamar says.
Dear Fathers isn’t only a platform that speaks on fatherhood, they provide many resources for Black men in general. Whether you are a man without children or even a Black woman, this platform has something for everyone. “Black men who aren’t fathers can learn a lot from our platform since we promote and show the positivity of Black men in general, not just fathers. On our platform, you’ll see what positive Black husbands look like and you can also see what Black men healing and uplifting one another looks like as well," Lamar shares. Black women, who are the foundation of the Black community, have the opportunity to learn from the platform by utilizing some of the resources provided by the platform to assist them with raising up young Black men of their own. The overall goal is to promote healthy conversations in every type of household in the Black community. “Since starting the platform, we’ve heard tons of people who are not fathers reach out and tell us that our content and platform have helped them reconnect with their father