In The Black Fatherhood Project, filmmaker Jordan Thierry leads viewers through an honest and essential exploration of fatherhood in Black America, providing historical context and conversation for an issue at the core of the Black experience today.
Nationwide, 67 percent of Black children live in single-parent families, predominantly with their mother, a ratio that has tripled since the 1960’s.
In the first half of the film, Thierry begins by telling his own family story, then with the help of historians and others, traces the roots of the fatherless Black home, revealing a history much more complex and profound than is commonly known. The film digs deep to explore how Black families functioned in Africa before slavery, and how slavery, racism, and other recent challenges such as mass incarceration affect Black fatherhood. It looks beyond major historical events and discusses their psychological impacts, and calls into question traditional family roles and cultural adaptation.
In the second half of the film, Thierry puts that history into contemporary perspective in a candid dialogue among a diverse group of Black fathers. These dads talk openly about their experiences and the value systems they employ to raise their own families. Their stories serve as positive role models for inspiring other dads to help break the cycle of fatherless families. Thierry closes the film by sharing insights and solutions to ensure the power of a father’s love is not lost on America’s Black children.