By Aaronette M. White
African American men and women percentage their tales of ways feminism has inspired their day-by-day lives.
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Additional resources for African Americans Doing Feminism: Putting Theory Into Everyday Practice
21 Reflecting on her own childhood of fatherlessness, Jonetta Rose Barras wrote that a “girl abandoned by the first man in her life forever entertains powerful feelings of being unworthy or incapable of receiving any man’s love. Even when she receives love from another, she is constantly and intensely fearful of losing it. This is the anxiety, the pain, of losing one father. ”22 In many ways, Rose Barra’s admission helps highlight the common thinking that young Black girls and women are in need of strong patriarchal figures in their live, but there are other examples of Black women who discuss the absence of Black fathers in their lives in ways that speak more broadly to the impact of nurturance.
22 In many ways, Rose Barra’s admission helps highlight the common thinking that young Black girls and women are in need of strong patriarchal figures in their live, but there are other examples of Black women who discuss the absence of Black fathers in their lives in ways that speak more broadly to the impact of nurturance. For example, even though the parents of literary scholar and activist Sharon Patricia Holland divorced when she was seven Bringing Up Daddy 41 years old and her father, who was a doctor, wasn’t always a presence in her life, she recalls a time when “[t]his woman came in because her daughter was bleeding uncontrollably.
In his book The Nurturing Father, Kyle D. Pruett observes the ways fathers are sometimes treated when they accompany their children to doctors’ appointments. ”9 And then there are the subtleties, such as the general lack of babychanging stations in men’s public restrooms or the great drama of being the only man—and more often than not the only Black man—in a room full of mothers at my daughter’s various extracurricular activities. Political scientist and feminist dad Isaac Balbus recalls his feelings while accompanying his daughter once to her weekly playgroup: “I feared that a male would not be entirely welcome at an otherwise entirely female affair.