Oprah’s Life Class: ‘Daddyless Daughters’ to address plight of women with estranged fathers

Iyanla Vanzant and Oprah Winfrey

Iyanla Vanzant and Oprah Winfrey. (Photo: OWN)

When I interviewed Iyanla Vanzant for her OWN special Oprah’s Lifeclass: Fatherless Sons, I asked the motivational guru if she was also planning to address the impact of growing up fatherless on black women.

She told theGrio that she would, in a special dedicated to women who share this plight.

‘They’re called ‘daddyless daughters,’” she said in her thought-provoking interview, which focused on the emotional issues of men. “A boy needs a father. That’s a role. That’s a demonstration. That’s a model.”

But, regarding women who don’t enjoy the joys of contact with their dads, Vanzant elaborated: “A girl needs a daddy. That is an energy. That’s a position. That is a place in her heart. Very different. But yes, we will do something on that.”

The time has come.

On Sunday, July 14 at 9 p.m. EST, OWN will air a special dedicated to the specific trials women face when they must cope in life without the input, love, and guidance of their fathers.

Oprah’s Life Class: Daddyless Daughters, Part 1 will show Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant as they “address an audience and online community of daddyless daughters who reveal their personal stories of how not having a father present in their life affected who they are today,” states a release from OWN. “With symptoms of low confidence, overcompensating in other relationships, and seeking love in all the wrong places, daughters who want to heal seek guidance from Oprah and Iyanla in order to prepare to move forward with their life with a positive, new outlook.”

For those who want to participate in the discussion, “This dynamic, interactive show allows Lifeclass viewers and students from over 200 countries worldwide to be a part of the online classroom experience by joining with Oprah Winfrey via Oprah.com and Twitter using #Lifeclass.”

If Daddyless Daughters has as much impact as Fatherless Sons did, by encouraging important revelations about the fall out of broken homes in the black community, the airing is sure to be a communal outpouring of mutual sharing. This will promote much-needed understanding — not only for “daddyless daughters,” but also for the children, partners, and other loved ones of such women who may be struggling to heal.

Currently, approximately 70 percent of African-American children are being raised in single parent homes, mostly in households headed by women. Research shows that children raised by single mothers tend to experience less social, educational, and professional success, while at the same time such households are on the rise across color lines.

Forty percent of all births in America are to unwed mothers.

Daddyless Daughters is addressing the needs of the zeitgeist.

This episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass will air on Sunday, July 14, at 9 p.m. EST. Will you be watching?

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter @lexisb.