Community Conversations: Changing the narrative around Black fatherhood

Community Conversations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Changing the narrative, or even correcting it, when it comes to the stereotypes of Black fathers is the mission of Knoxville resident, Mike Dorsey.

The author, performance and personal development coach and husband, takes his job as a father to heart. “It’s my job as a dynamic black father to a father in the community… It’s my job to be that example,” says Dorsey.

His kids agree.

“He is one who will push you. He will inspire you. He will teach you new things. He’s not tough but he has some rules but he is a really good father,” says 9-year-old Morgan.

“There’s a lot of narrative being created about absentee fathers and Black fathers not being in the home and things of that sort but the thing was, I looked around at my contemporaries, the vast majority of my contemporaries were good dads,” says Dorsey.

He’s the host of the Black Fathers NOW! podcast.

“So my mission with Black Fathers NOW!, my current podcast, is to really help that brother, move the middle of the road (fatherhood) to go from good to great, and to also help reshape the narrative of Black fatherhood because we are here. We are doing a great job. We are, you know, doing amazing things throughout the world but that story does not always get told.”

The conversations show the different ways Black fathers are stepping up, even when the life throws a curveball. One of those stories told by 90s hip hop’s rapper, Speech of Arrested Development.

“I was raised in a single parent household but my father was still involved even though they were divorced,” says Speech. “So his father actually made sure that they had the good house and he stayed in like a rental house somewhere, so it was this whole concept of putting the family first, even if the relationship was not intact.” says Dorsey.

From the podcast, a clothing line would also grow called Black Family Apparel, then a book called “Dynamic Black Fatherhood Manifesto: A Commitment to Excellence in Life, Fatherhood and the Support of Dynamic Black Men.”

“Telling those stories and showing that all of these guys, these Black fathers, these Black men, are impacting the world in magnificent ways, but yet the stories behind how they got here are the parts that we can all pull from build on and then use in our life, to give us that level of confidence or courage, as we, you know, meet obstacles that we face,” says Dorsey.

The name, “Dynamic Black Fatherhood Manifesto: A Commitment to Excellence in Life, Fatherhood and the Support of Dynamic Black Men,” was actually inspired by Billy Graham’s the Modesto Manifesto.

Dorsey’s book is 10 commitments necessary for excellence in Black fatherhood and comes with a contract to help hold fathers accountable.

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