On this Father’s Day, theGrio.com revisits an engaging discussion on the current state of black fatherhood between Al Roker, Tiki Barber, Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Rev. Eugene Rivers, a Boston pastor; Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Princeton university professor of politics and African American studies; and Marni McKoy, Heru’s Principal at Link Community School in Newark.
This is an excerpt from the documentary A Father’s Promise which explores this unsettling crisis of absent fathers in the black community. This special originally aired on MSNBC to coincide with Black History Month earlier this year.
“A Father’s Promise” is a follow-up to “Labor Day,” a documentary made twelve years ago when three babies were born. That documentary began with the delivery of several babies all born the same week at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersery – one of the nation’s poorest cities and a place where the rate of absentee fathers was especially high. That week, Marquis, Tianna, and Heru’s fathers all made solemn promises to be there for their children. Now, more than a decade later, MSNBC caught up with those children to find out what happened to them and to see if their fathers honored their pledges. What they find is both heartbreaking and revealing.