Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

25Jul/140

Prentice Powell, Good Fathers and Detrimental Child ‘Support’ Policies

I just came across this clip via one of the facebook posts of the Office of African American Male Achievement at the Oakland Unified School District. I encourage you to visit and find some way to support their work, if and however you're able.

This is brother Prentice Powell, a spoken word artist based in Oakland, California, talking about the congratulatory praise he receives for being "a good father", largely from people who've never met him, only see the posts he shares via facebook and have no idea about his blocked attempts to spend more time with his son.

Through all of the talk about African American fathers, there's so little acknowledgement and exploration of the real structural barriers that stand in the way of men spending more time with their children. These structural barriers include courts, judges, attorneys, child support enforcement officials, among others, who don't see beyond the stereotypes of "absent fathers", and don't understand the value of a father's physical presence in his child's life.

This clip is just under 5 minutes, and is worth talking about with fathers and mothers you know, and even (older) children who have been separated from one of their parents because of unfair court orders and this nation's unjust mass incarceration practices.

I don't care if any of you all clap... I just want my praise, my kudos, my air, my earth, my water, my drive, my moon, my son, my baby, my motivation, MY SON! I just want my chance! I just want my son... I want my son, back!