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[Disruptors] Four Black Fathers Using Social Media To Change The Narrative

In our continued mission of changing the narrative for Black men, The Quintessential Gentleman is celebrating Black fathers who have taken to social media to showcase their family, love, laughs, and activism while helping to change the stereotypes of the "missing Black father."

A 2013 Centers for Disease Control study found Black fathers are more involved in their children's lives compared to other racial groups, although the media has yet to help correct the stereotype it helped to create. But, well over a decade into social media on overdrive, fathers are using their platforms to inspire, entertain, and be vulnerable to their legion of followers. All while breaking barriers, myths and generational curses.

Check out these fathers using their social media to help change our narrative.

Chris Childress


How has social media allowed you to break stereotypes of the "Missing Black Father?"

Social media has given me a wonderful platform to challenge stereotypes surrounding the “Missing Black Father." I take immense pride in the fact that being a present father is my greatest achievement. It's not just about personal pride, though. The presence of fathers in our families is of utmost importance because it establishes a proper balance and order in our households.

Fathers play a critical role in providing headship, and when a father is present and actively involved in the lives of his children and family, it allows everyone in the family—mothers, fathers, and children—to operate in their natural roles and spaces. The father's presence covers and supports his family in ways that are truly essential for their well-being.

This is precisely why I'm grateful for social media and the platform it provides me to encourage fathers to be present and available for their families and children. Being a father, or even serving as a father figure, isn't just a nice-to-have; it's vital, essential, and arguably the most important thing one can do in their life. The impact of fatherhood sets the tone for the next generation, shaping their values, aspirations, and ultimately, the future of our communities and society.

Through my social media presence, I'm able to share these beliefs and inspire others to take up their roles as fathers with dedication and love. I aim to create a supportive environment that challenges stereotypes and emphasizes the significance of an active and engaged father. Social media's wide reach enables me to contribute to changing perceptions about Black fathers and, in doing so, help create a more inclusive and accurate representation of fatherhood in society.

Social media has allowed me to challenge the stereotype of the “Missing Black Father" with pride and conviction. Through my online presence, I want to reshape perceptions about the role of fathers in society. I believe that the more fathers we have actively engaged and present in their families, the stronger and more balanced our communities and future generations will become. Social media has empowered me to be a part of this positive change, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Junior Rivera

Speaker, Author, Educator

How can Black fathers combat the war on our community's education?

I believe Black Fathers can combat the war on our community's education by being present in the community as coaches, leaders, educators and fathers. I truly believe education starts and ends at home. Being able to coach allows our children in the community to see Black men as leaders and learn from them as well. We also have to expose our children to our true history through literature, movies and museums. In all, I believe we just have to be willing to go the extra mile for our kids and community.

Hashim Lafond

How do you create activism through your art and celebrating your family?

Activism, for me, is not an act, but a lifestyle. It is intricately woven into the canvas of our daily lives, painted vividly through our art and family interactions. My wife and I cultivate a home where love, Black love, excellence, and awareness are the foundation, nourishing our children’s identities and resilience. Our art, whether it’s painting murals, social media engagement, or television appearances, mirrors our family’s heartbeat: it breathes unity, confronts injustice, and builds a legacy of courage and change. Through our creative expressions, we don’t just celebrate the warmth of our family; we ignite a movement, inspiring our children and the community to envision a world reimagined through lenses of equity and compassion.

Sean Williams

Founder, The Dad Gang

When was it that you knew your mission was to help change the narrative about Black fatherhood?

In 2016, shortly after having my second child, I was stopped by a stranger who observed my interactions with my daughter and felt compelled to tell me that it was good that I “stuck around to be an active Dad”. I was so offended by her comment but the perplexed look on her face showed that it was meant to be a compliment. But why? I realized that I lived in a predominantly white neighborhood and the sight of active black dads like myself probably wasn’t common but furthermore, the black fathers were still seen as mostly deadbeats.

That struck a major cord with me as I knew so many amazing black fathers who could prove that false narrative wrong but no one was telling our story. No one was defending Black Fatherhood. That’s when I knew something needed to be done and that something was creating The Dad Gang.

Since then I’ve been on a global mission to not only change the way the world views black fatherhood but also create safe spaces for black fathers to be celebrated, supported, and empowered to raise the standard of the next generation of fathers by stepping our own dad game up.

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Catherine Barrett
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