Scenes from Black Fatherhood: ‘Father Noir’ returns with a new cast of Black celebrity dads

In tandem with the third release of “Father Noir,” theGrio rounds up the corniest, sweetest, and most earnest Black celebrity dad moments, from Barack Obama to Offset.

Black fatherhood can be beautiful — and often is. Just ask Tommy Oliver, father of three and the founder of Black Love Inc., who, for the third year in a row, has chronicled scenes from famous Black fathers in the visual memoir, “Father Noir.”   

The project, which includes glossy, intimate, black-and-white portraits of famous Black fathers and their children, highlights Black dads’ strength, fun, and involvement while combating the inaccurate narrative that they are largely absent from the home. Past “Father Noir” editions have featured Wayne Brady, David Oyelowo, Cory Hardrict and Bill Bellamy. According to a release to theGrio, this year’s edition, out on Father’s Day, includes Michael Ealy, Lance Gross, Keith Powers, Marcus Scribner, Karega Bailey, and Robbie Jones. 

While this year’s series is still a few days away, theGrio has a preview and a few images from years past in the gallery below.

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Karega Bailey with daughter. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Karega Bailey with daughter. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Bill Bellamy with his children. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Jason Bolden, his partner Adair Curtis, and their son. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Warryn Campbell and son. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Jeff Friday and sons. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Lance Gross and his children. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Cory Hardrict with son. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Dulè Hill with his children. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Robbie Jones with his children. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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David Oyelowo with sons. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Keith Powers with his son. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Keith Powers with his son. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Marcus Scribner with son. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Chris Spencer with his father. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

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Karega Bailey with daughter. (Photo credit: Tommy Oliver/Father Noir)

Speaking of Black celebrity fathers, it is always so entertaining when they let us in on the realities of parenting while famous. We’ve heard everything from kids not realizing how cool the rest of the world thinks their fathers are (looking at you, Lenny Kravitz) to being full-on embarrassed by them. (Justice for Sasha and Malia, who had to endure eight years of dad jokes in the public eye!) 

Those moments stand as reminders that celebrity dads, no matter how major, aren’t immune to dad-isms, dad-style and dad jokes. And we might be biased, but Black celebrity dads have been behind some of the funniest, most iconic, and endearing dad moments to date. With Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18, and the next edition of “Father Noir” due out soon, we’ve got Dad on the brain, so we’ve compiled a list of nine of our favorite celebrity dad moments below.

When Dwyane Wade cheered on Zaya Wade (once again)

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Dwyane Wade attends the reopening of Tiffany & Co.’s NYC Flagship store, The Landmark, on April 27, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.)

In a recent video posted to Instagram, Dwyane Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, are seen cheering riotously as their daughter Zaya struts confidently past them down a corridor. The video is so sweet, and a moment worth revisiting when you need a boost from the cheering of proud parents. But it also epitomizes the kind of father Wade is. Whether dressing in coordinated looks styled to the gods or penning honest op-eds about loving his children beyond the gender binary, he is a fierce and loud champion of his children.  

When Lenny Kravitz explained why he’s so proud of daughter Zoë

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Lenny Kravitz and Zoe Kravitz attend the Saint Laurent show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on February 25, 2020, in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, singer and actor Lenny Kravitz told E! News he’s proud of his daughter Zoë for a very specific reason. 

“When you watch your child become who they are—not who you necessarily want them to be—but who they were created to be, she’s done it her way,” he said. “She’s done it very gracefully, and she’s doing well, and she knows who she is, and that’s the main thing that I’m proud of.”

Kravitz has said he’s always been a proponent of encouraging his child to be her own person, something Zoë herself has confirmed to be true. 

When Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence debated paying for their kids’ wedding

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Imprisoned for life, Ray Gibson (Martin Lawrence, l) and Ray Gibson (Eddie Murphy)have a humorous way of looking at life in “Life.” 1999 Universal Studios. (Photo credit: Getty Images/ Handout)

The only thing as captivating to the public as a celebrity pairing is when the kids of celebrities get together. This was certainly the case when Eddie Murphy’s son began dating the daughter of friend and “Life” co-star Martin Lawrence. When an interviewer asked which father might end up paying for a hypothetical wedding, Lawrence jokingly said Murphy, who then deferred the responsibility back to the father of the bride. The back-and-forth was heartwarming and hilarious, as two comedy legends struggled with a common parental debate. It also showed their children have their support, even in matters of the heart. 

When Offset took his daughters to “The Little Mermaid” premiere 

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(L-R) Kulture Kiari Cephus, Offset, and Kalea Marie Cephus attend the World Premiere of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” on May 08, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

No doubt fulfilling their Disney Princess dreams, Offset attended the worldwide premiere of “The Little Mermaid” with his two daughters in coordinated regal glamour. The trio appeared on the red carpet and inside the theater; Offset even made sure to get footage of his daughters hugging the film’s star, Halle Bailey. The moment was a delightful and adorable display from the “Bad and Boujee” father.

When Denzel Washington forgot his lines while acting with his daughter 

Denzel Washington (L) and Olivia Washington arrive at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

While actors Jared Leto and Rami Malek were navigating acting alongside the great Denzel Washington on the set of “The Little Things,” the acting legend was trying to keep his cool around his daughter. Washington said while filming a scene with daughter Olivia, who also acts in the psychological thriller, he became so nervous thinking of her experience, he began to forget his own lines. Meanwhile, she impressed her Oscar-winning father, who said while her acting big brother John David is good, she is “pretty good, too.” 

When Kevin Hart gushed about his daughter going to prom   

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(L-R) Heaven Hart, Kevin Hart, Kenzo Kash Hart, Hendrix Hart, and Eniko Parrish attend the Premiere of Universal Pictures’ ‘The Secret Life Of Pets 2’ at Regency Village Theatre on June 02, 2019, in Westwood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Kevin Hart has never been shy about opening up about his life as a parent, both in his comedy and online. When his oldest daughter, Heaven, went to senior prom, he didn’t hold back in gushing about the moment on social media. He also spoke words just about any parent will understand when he wrote, “Where does the time go…” in the post’s caption.

When Karamo Brown launched a children’s book series about feelings with his son

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Karamo Brown attends The Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala at Fairmont Century Plaza on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Daytime TV host and “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown takes feelings very seriously. In addition to helping people of all creeds find inner comfort in his role on “Queer Eye,” Brown has a background as a social worker. With that in mind, it’s not surprising he has launched the children’s book series “I Am Okay to Feel” alongside his son. Together, the two are inspiring young readers by working to dismantle masculine stereotypes. 

When A$AP Rocky shared his hopes for his children

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A$AP Rocky attends the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Since becoming a father, A$AP Rocky has let fans in on his persona’s more sensitive and sentimental side. While he has already had a few sweet dad moments, his shared hopes for his children may top it all. The rapper and model, who has proven a pioneer of men’s style and has unwittingly been the subject of debates about masculinity, told Dazed all he ultimately hopes for his children is that they are “open-minded.” Encouraging his children to embrace the idea that artists can look like and be anyone and that there’s no one or right way to be human sounds like a great foundation to supply them with.

When Barack Obama would tell his dad jokes 

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Former President Barack Obama delivers remarks with his daughters Sasha (L) and Malia during the annual turkey pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House November 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama was the first Black leader of the free world, but he was a corny dad even before that. During his presidency, the man took any and every opportunity to tell a decent dad joke, and was especially relentless during the annual White House turkey pardoning. In response, daughters Sasha and Malia would do the only thing you can ever do when your dad is telling dad jokes: grin and bear it, because the memories will inevitably bring a smile to your face. 

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