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Black men must reclaim our children

12/12/2007 7:25 am 109 comments

As the mug shots of the alleged killers of NFL star Sean Taylor were shown on television, I kept wondering when we were going to see their parents step forward. I saw a couple of mothers, but their dads were missing in action.

Dads matter, and it’s ridiculous for us to act as if all it takes is a loving mom.

Now, I don’t know what it means not to have a father in your life. I’m not familiar with a mom being strung out on a crack binge. And when my parents were called to the school when there was a discipline problem, Mom and Dad didn’t go off on the teacher or principal. In fact, I can still feel the pain of my elementary school principal’s paddle being applied to my butt when I acted a fool. The principal could only pop me three times. Dad? He had no limit.

Bottom line: I can sit here today and celebrate them and enjoy a wonderful life because my parents were hell-bent on raising their children to do right by them, especially my dad.

We can spend all day talking about the ills afflicting urban America — and there are plenty that are institutional — but the decaying value of life in inner cities clearly can be traced to the exodus of fathers from the lives of so many young men. Excuses often are tossed about as to why black men leave their children (and their children’s moms) to fend for themselves. But a lot of them are just sorry and refuse to accept the responsibility that comes with raising a child.

A lot of my colleagues will suggest it’s too simplistic to assign such a high value to a dad being in the life of a child. But just take a visit to your local jail, juvenile hall or state prison. You likely will be confronted with a sea of black men — strong, able-bodied, creative and restless — who have spent or will spend years and years with a prison number identifying who they are.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, of all the black men in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 29 in 2002, 10.4 percent were incarcerated. Hispanic and white men? Just 2.4 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. If a poll were done on how many grew up without fathers, I can guarantee you the numbers would be staggering.

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The rampant poverty that exists has led many young blacks to a life of crime, choosing to sell drugs and involve themselves in gangs as opposed to focusing on education as a way out of the cellar of life.

But you see, when nearly 70 percent of black kids are born to unmarried parents, likely to a too-young mom, that puts tremendous pressure on grandmothers (and some grandfathers), sisters and brothers to take up the slack. But if the person who impregnated that woman were on the scene, not only helping to pay for the raising of the child but also serving as a strong influence, I just don’t believe we would see such a chronic condition.

And the black men who have done their job are scared to death about what the tendency for black men to leave relationships means for their daughters.

The day before leaving for vacation, I got word that a good friend, Chicago attorney Reynaldo Glover, had died of pancreatic cancer.

He was 64.

In our last extensive conversation before he was diagnosed in July, Reynaldo pleaded with me to use my national media stage to be a voice to sound the alarm about what’s happening to black men in America, because he wanted to know that his daughter would have a respectable man to marry one day. (I’m sure if she chose to marry someone who’s not black, Reynaldo wouldn’t mind, but he realized that as a nation, we mostly marry within our race.)

I promised Reynaldo that I would do all I can, because this has been an issue for me for many years. In fact, my mom gets angry because I’m always talking about my dad on television, radio and in my books. That’s because when you see black men who have “made it,” the accolades are plenty for their moms, and their dads are hardly mentioned. I just think it’s critical to show daddy some love, too.

This is not an issue that black America can continue to sweep under the rug. I’ve heard countless folks talk about it, such as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, who noted that his dad left his family when he was a toddler and didn’t see much of him growing up. Even in the Republican CNN-YouTube debate, GOP candidate Mitt Romney said fathers are part of the answer to addressing crime in inner cities.

We shouldn’t shame our young girls who get pregnant, but surely it shouldn’t be seen as a blue-ribbon day. Teenage black girls and black boys should be focused on picking colleges, not the names of babies. When a young girl wants a baby christened, her pastor should be asking to meet with the father as well, even if the two don’t get along. We also should be telling black women not to lie down with any fool. A moment of pleasure could lead you to a lifetime of raising that child. Alone.

A friend of mine suggested more black men need to mentor young black men. I agree. But that’s a bandage. If we get black men to handle their business in the first place, no one else would have to stand in the gap.

Unless black America owns up to this problem — and fast — we are going to see another generation of young black men who are angry with their lot in life. And the result will be more discipline problems in school, which will lead to folks dropping out, and that is nothing but a one-way ticket to jail.

Black men, it’s time to man up. Enough with the sperm donors. We need real men to stand up and accept their responsibility. The state of our boys is on us. And no one else.

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  • spider

    So, do you have any type of game plan or are you just telling us what everyone already know……..again?

    Like the weather, everyone talks about it but no ever does anything about it.

    Like the NRA with the school/mall/office shootings (most, if not all done by whites), we’re just going to have to learn to accept our children being shot. Americans have a Constitutional “right” (don’t read that “…well regulated militia…” par) to own guns and that is that.

  • Holly Siegel

    Dear Mr. Martin,
    I just read your article about the need for black men in this country to reclaim their children. Although the statics prove otherwise, this is not just a problem in the black community. When did it become acceptable for young women to have children and expect family to help them raise them? They act as if a baby is just another trendy possesion like an i-pod!
    Sex among young people is as casual as going to a movie. Respect for employers, friends, and just other human beings is not being taught. I think we have a major problem with the parents of this generation. It seems they are not teaching their children any values.
    I am a liberal 51 year-old women raised in the middle class suburbs. I have no children. I am very concerned about these issues.
    Keep talking about these issues. Talk louder!!! There is still much to be said.
    Thank you!
    Holly Siegel




  • steve


    Your weather analogy is interesting because while you CAN talk about weather, you literally cannot do anything about changing it.

    But the simplicity of the message is powerful because all it is saying is don’t have a kid unless you are willing to go the distance, i.e. play the whole game. We are all players and coaches, so make your own game plan. Don’t look to others. You are smart, healthy etc. Make it happen. Overcome obstacles, celebrate success, solve your own problems.

    And all these “goth” white kids. What a joke. These kids are the weakest and lamest of all. You are right on!! There is plenty of white trash out there. And every race has the “trash” factor. Thats life.

  • Blackice

    The only problem is the black men that read this article are the ones who dont need to be told this. Maybe if a rapper said this in a verse, the young black men would listen to it. But you know that want happen, they are going to rap about women, parties, cars, money, platinum chains ……….

  • marm

    Why do we always try to “shoot the messanger?”

    It may have been said before, but it appears that it needs to be repeated and repeated and repeated, because it’s getting worse and we are killing ourselves as a race in this country. The thing is, jim crow and slavery didn’t do to us what we are doing to ourselves. We need to stop blaming everyone else and take responsibility and make the hard decisions and stop waiting for someone else to set the tone.

    I’m tired of people looking at us as a group as though we are nothing because of how we are profiled in the media and in our music as violent, lacking in class under-educated and oversexed. Don’t know about you, but I was raised by very conservative parents that taught me limits and I knew just how far I could go. That’s all gone by the wayside because as a group, we seem to be very accepting for inferiority.

  • Spencer

    Your call to “man up” provides a direct link in the reimergence of racism in America. So much white frustration stemms from a perception that many opportunities afforded minorities are wasted.

    The self-depricating opinions expressed by many minorities may result in part from fewer opportunities (probably legitimately stemming from the poor states of inner city schools), but the backlash many whites are expressing surrounds questions about how much repayment for past wrongs is enough? For example, the burden of implementing minority school enrollment targets effects younger students who never had an ounce of responsibility for past racist actions – these programs are created by old white men attempt to alleviate any sence of social guilt for lost minority opportunity but the price of reduced opportunity (through pre-assigned seats in a lecture hall) is paid for but non-minority youth competing for admission – this is where the new racisim is stemming from.

    Similarly, native americans in Montana have free undergraduate and graduate school education. As I undertand the program they can even go on and obtain multiple doctorates if they wanted. I now live here in Alberta and the same is true here, but RARELY do you see an eligible student pick up the ball and run with it. I see wasted opportunity after wasted opportunity and have white friends with 10′s of thousands in student loan debt.

    Yes I am white, and I had a father who grew up in the depression, and as was so typical, his family literally lost the farm. His family had nothing so he joined the Air Force and went through law school on the G.I. bill.

    While successful, my father was emotionally absent and spent 30 years drinking a quart of gin a day and my mother was the quintensential enabler. Despite this I became an interntaitonal level athlete and I obtained two law degrees.

    I have two other white friends who got their girl friends pregnant – they both grew-up instantly – went back to school and one obtained a law degree and the other a masters in physiology- both did so financially on their own.

    I guess the conclusion is I agree with you – man up. I just gave 4 examples of how white people had less than stellar starts (1 no financial support, 1 severaly alcaholic father, 2 with pregnant girlfriends) to their lives, took their baggage with them, and moved on.

    Just because you made a mistake or had a bad start in life doesn’t mean you can’t “man-up” and take responsibility for who you are now. Take contol of who you are and you will reduce racism.

  • Kazoo Spartan

    Thank you Roland for your attitude and comments about being a responsible man in today’s society. I am a 37yr old White Male. I grew up in Detroit and attended an all boy’s Catholic High School with the city limits. While most of the students came from the suburbs, we did quite a bit of community service work within the city limits. I can safely say that most of the issues that people found themselves in could be directly related back to family structure.

    The lack of a two parent household is an epidemic in this society. Look at the prison population, take race out of the equation even, and you can clearly see that the majority have no father in their lives. Extrapolate that and consider race and you can see that single parent households occur more frequently in minority’s. It is of little wonder that minorities dominate the prisons in this country.

    As a father I have no greater responsibility than that care of my children. I am a devout Christian as I know you are. I believe God expects me to care for his children until we are all returned back to him. We need strong Black figures like yourself and Jason Whitlock(Fox Sports) to help spread the message. I will continue my efforts to help promote family on my end, but obviously I cannot be as effective as you two.

    God Bless you Roland and your family.

  • new mom

    It is refreshing to see someone call it what it is – but I agree with the comment by spider…. what are you going to do about it? the people that need to hear this message are not reading CNN or your website…. they probably don’t have access or interest in this type of media.

    what is the game plan?

  • louise

    First of all, I enjoy reading the commentaries of Roland Martin, and he’s usually on point when he addresses the topics of his articles. But at times he’s so focus on an interesting topic that when he uses phrases he doesn’t think how other people will take or understand that phrase. Like a phrase you wrote in ‘Black Men Must Reclaim Our Children’, (I’m sure if she chose to marry someone who’s not black, Reynaldo wouldn’t mind, but he realized that as a nation, we mostly marry within our race.) Now, that phrase can be misconstrued in so many meaning that will leave you saying to yourself, ‘he should not have said that or just plain left that out of the article’. Now, for me I understood what you were saying, but then again I took that quote as totally opposite of what you meant it to mean. In the wrong way of my thinking, I pegged that quote as saying that, before my friend passed, with all the hardship in the world and black men not living up to par I’m trying to lead my child to marry anyone other that a black man. Now that was my wrong way of reading that quote, but I understand where you’re coming from. But I do think you should have left that quote out of the article because it makes me hesitant on reading your articles because I think if push comes to shove, you’ll lean more against the black man, but then again that’s my wrong way of my reading your quote. Another quote in this same article had me questioning your way of saying things. ‘A friend of mine suggested more black men need to mentor young black men. I agree. But that’s a bandage. If we get black men to handle their business in the first place, no one else would have to stand in the gap’. Your choice of words just makes me question your way of thinking. I’m just reserved to the fact that black men will never know the meaning of family; momma, daddy, daughter and son. But I truly believe that it’s up to upstanding, hardworking, committed men, from the beginning, to raise their sons to be respectful and loving to these beautiful black women. I feel that men can be a friend to any other man with no problem; therefore I believe that men should be responsible for each other. A strong, educated loving black man will do wonders for our young men today, they just have to get in there and apply, teach and mold what have be instilled in them by their fathers and not consider it as a bandage to their lives but as a blessing to the future of the black man.

    Louise Wade

  • Jackie FL


    To Spider… the way to change it is to print this article 300 times and give it to every dead-beat Dad you know. Spread the word. Post it at your church, post it at the 7-11 and the YMCA. Be proactive instead of looking for someone else to hand you the answer.

  • spider

    One thing that really bothers me in your essay.

    You say your principal spanked you three times and from the sounds of it, your father much more?

    I can’t imagine ever striking my son or my wife. How could a man strike a child or a spouse?

    And, both are doing fine, thank you in advance.

  • consciousness

    I appreciate Mr. Martin addressing this issue in his commentary. Many people within our own community do not believe we have a serious problem. We are in DENIAL. Black men need to realize that they’re “playa” mentality is derived from the purpose of the black male used as breeders through generations and now believing that is what defines manhood. Not only are they leaving their seed behind, but they are infecting women at alarming rates. They have bought into this as there purpose and this contributes to the decline of the black family. Also, the single black woman superhero is a MYTH. Sure, many single black women have raised wonderful productive black men, this is the exception. Single black women often fail when it comes to raising MEN and end up enabling, protecting or finding excuses for their behavior. A woman can birth a man, but it really takes a man to impart man skills. God created man and woman with very distinct purposes and roles, we need to refer to HIS manual.

  • nic

    Good post Mr. Martin.

  • David

    “I can still feel the pain of my elementary school principal’s paddle being applied to my butt when I acted a fool. The principal could only pop me three times. Dad? He had no limit.”

    “acted a fool” – You are writing for CNN and and you use this kind of English? Acted like a fool.

    Now – I was spanked as a child. I came out perfectly normal. All of my friends were spanked as children and came out perfectly fine.

    My wife teaches high school. every single one of her problem kids bring parents in that constantly blame my wife and the sytem for all of their kid’s problems.

    Parents today do not want to discipline their kids at all. As a matter of fact, I have yet to meet a parent that my wife deal with that will tell their kid “no” or get on to their child in front of us.

    My wife told one parent that her kid did not do her homework. The parent called my wife a liar to her face. The kid eventually confessed to lying about her homework to her mother but that did not bring out an apology form the parent.

    People have harped about the teachers being the problem with the education system…. It is not the teachers. It is the parents that are too busy to be a part of the every day lives of their kids. It is the parents that do not check their own kids’ work before it is to be turned in. The parents that do not take the time to sit down for a family meal at least once a day…..

  • Rick Massu

    Mr. Martin——I am a 62 year old retired construction workere, worked all my life with white men, Black men, some Mexican men. I know most of the Black men had families, but this article you wrote did bring back a memory of a black man and his brother invited me fishing on there little boat a few years before we all retired. There was a comment he made about young black men who do not want to work (white men too), but just wanted to live off the girlfriend, or not do anything at all. I just listened to him, he was very, very concerned about his black race for the future.. So this story did hit home here. I found the article interesting, and much to be desired for all. Both the Black and White men should read this, it can go both ways


  • J

    Whoa..lets not make the miss the point! Thoughts first actions second. Oh and yeah I can still remember my dad’s spankings. Didn’t like them at the time…but man do I thank him so much. And yes I will be spanking my children. Ok back to the task at hand…..Is this something that everyone knows…like the weather…eh..NO. Besides…articles like this…in the very least make guys like me say “man i do have a responsibility not just to be a good father but to teach it.” I always knew Dads were important but I got a deeper understanding when I lost my father. I can’t believe how often phrases like “dad taught me this..and he taught me that” come out of my mouth. This isn’t rocket science….a solution doesn’t have to be more than….tell…rather challenge young black men who father children to be a man. Just my 2 cents…like the article

  • Andre’ Martin

    I agree with your article as well as other articles from Cosby, Poussaint, Daniels, Harper and the list goes on and on. As a black male, 30s, career and single with no kids; I’m getting pretty tired of reading chapter of chapter of books and articles telling black men to straighten up. Then I’ll see one sentence of to tell black women to choose their mates with better judgment.

  • hfisher


    Awesome article…. This isn’t just a black man’s issue. 10 years ago I went on a men’s retreat and the speaker was saying that in a teen preg situation. The father of the teen usually blames the wife for not teaching the daughter how to say “no” and the mother is the one who blames herself. The speaker went on to say that if the truth be known it is the father who should be blaming himself. It is the father issues and the abandonment issues that create a teen girl on the quest to search for love.

    Since that retreat I have had a wake up call on how I should be a father. I have spent the last 10 years in men’s ministry. It really boils down to a man’s affirmation in his own initiation as a man.

    To spare a long complicated explanation I will attempt to sum it up here. All cultures have some form of “Rite of Passage” that a young man seeks. In our western culture we truly don’t have one that covers all of the aspects that are needed. We do have the military and gangs. They do have it right as far as a process but they have it wrong in where it leads. They miss the spiritual side. I would encourage people to read authors like Richard Rohr, John Eldridge, Robert Moore, and Robert Bly. These guys are on to something. We can’t just show up as men and say “I want to be a father” if all we are bringing to the table is our own garbage. We need to reclaim our manhood first and we can’t just do that by seeing how many women we can score with. We need to force ourselves to go inside and know that it is ok to go inside our soul and explore, question, and challenge. A man has to deal with his own father wounds before he can be a father.

    In our world of TV Land look at our role models. “Bill Cosby”, Everyone Loves Raymond”, and many others where fatherhood is played by comedians and everything is a joke. The men are characterized as weak. “Wait until your mother comes home and you will get in trouble.” Men don’t know how to be men. Who is teaching them? In this TV land world we aren’t teaching compassion we are teaching war against the opposite sex. “He” against “She”. “They” against “Us”. We aren’t teaching respect. If we don’t like what “she” has to say we leave and go down to the local pub and have a beer and talk about her.

    Yes our western men need to reclaim their male identity. They need to step up to the plate but it is taught and we need to be eager students to go find the answers.

  • danielle ward

    I know, I know, I thought it would all be different by now.

    How about a low-cost solution? What if the community Pastors hosted an outreach for fathers, fathers-to-be and a you-could-be-next father. The church volunteers could call their community businesses for donations to support the cause – then give the $$ to the raffle winning father at the outreach meeting. Pastors could invite speakers such as parent coaches, school teachers and the other 30% of the fathers, etc. A dialog could begin in the small setting of a church – and it could grow from church to church – maybe even filling some now vacant seats on Sunday morning! Hah!

  • KJK

    Good column (both here and on CNN)…I don’t think there are any quick and easy answers, but excuses won’t get any of us closer to solving this problem. Like they say…”something is better than nothing”. So let us do something to point our children in the right direction and make society better. I agree that children do better in their life when they have a two parent example. They won’t be perfect, but they have a much better chance.

  • 1link

    Interesting post. I read it on CNN…

  • spider

    nic – where is the Action Plan?

    Everyone has been aware of this issue for decades.

    Without some sort of Action Plan, this is as useful as nipples on a man.

  • HeadlessHessian

    Considering that 1/2 of the folks you talk about could not read your column if their lives depended on it, and the other half could give a rats behind, how do you expect this article to do anything? Are you involved with the community? Not your community, I’m sure your community is not in a ghetto or rat infested.
    I’m talking about the real Ghettos. By the way that was a serious question I was not trying to be sarcastic.
    Now…for what you said. Kudos, its true! I like the lines “their dads are hardly mentioned”, but you know, I know who my dad was, and he knew when I ‘made it’ that I was following in his footsteps, and although I thanked both of my parents, their look told me I did not have to. And now I know why. Just like my daughter and my son don’t have to thank me. Its my job as a parent! The only praise and satisfaction I need is to watch them be succesful!


  • dreamscape

    I am also inclined to believe that if we researched statistics on black teen pregnancy, the number of absent fathers would be high as well. With boys, they need a father in order to learn how to be a man. Girls need a father in order for them know how a man is supposed to act and how a man is supposed to treat them.

  • Faheem

    Martin, you must read the divine signs that are emerging on a daily basis.

    And, we must not forget nor forsake the divine signs that have already happened….

    It’s time for the “gender agenda” for the “real” black men to rise.


    Roland, you are a man, and you must continue to stand your ground LIKE ALLL MEN DO!



  • Shawn

    Spidey do you really think that physical punishment is not needed! Could it make things any worse? Do you not pay attention to the media? Do you not see what the black youth of this nation is doing to itself in the streets of our cities across this nation.

    It seems to me the moral fabric of society has been eroding ever since the movement to not physically discipline your child has started. Coincidence, …..hum I think not.

    Why do we not hear from any of the Civil rights activist leading this charge. I mean the black youth of this day and age are looking up to pimps, prostitutes and professional athletes as role models, telling me this isn’t true and you are truly lying to yourself. If you want proof go to Very disturbing, but at least they are trying to show the worst in an effort for change.

    I actually hope that Barack Obama is elected president just to shake this country up. Then I want him to lead the charge to get the majority of the black population up off of their asses and find out there is more to life than getting the man to pay for welfare, disability, or child support.

    Do a little survey, how many in your family is either on welfare, getting paid disability, or child support. This country would be twice as strong if half it’s population wasn’t a monetary drain on the other half.


  • Faheem

    p.s. We must stop waiting on “white America” to declare the chronic state of the black family a “state of emergency” or a socalled “threat to national security!!!”

    Black men have always been the fathers of civilization, and now it’s time to show it once again!!!

    We black men designed and built America and taught white people (the Greeks, and also the founding fathers of the United States) the principles of fairness, and democracy; AND NOW WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO HEAL AMERICA, ONCE AGAIN!!!


  • Mark

    You have made some very good points in this article. You left out the fact that these people are living in a racist system, and the bottom line on racist systems is that they divide the family, do not offer true equal access and utilise such people in whatever manner they wish (and wish for you to see).

    These people did not establish gangs, gang colours, drugs and weapons on their own. There was no initial access to funds on that level within their communities.

    Couple of cases in point would be the mining system in South Africa (look at how that works for family unity) and the welfare system in the United States (what is mother’s day all about?).

    That’s how it works guy. That’s how it has worked from colonial days on, with all major powers, and if you go to a well stocked university library…you will find encyclopedia sets written by all of those countries on the techniques of colonisation. Not rows. Whole sections. I’m sure that if we have that immense a unit at the University of Hawaii (then that’s another story isn’t it?) you guys should most certainly have access to that much more.

    I enjoyed reading your article. You do have a good platform. Have a great day.

  • JustAMom

    Action plan??? Do people need a manual on how to take responsibility and behave like a man? 10% of young black men in jail is 10%. 90% are not in jail and that means that there are many fathers out there that are stepping up to the plate. All that needs to be done is to look around and see what type of family life is producing responsible men. Action plan? That is a cop out and a fundamentally lazy attitude.

    Parents (fathers AND mothers) need to re-adjust their priorities and spend time teaching their children to be a gift to society instead of a burden. We need to stop trying to have the biggest, best, most expensive and focus on what is important. What is important is when that child that you brought into the world steps up on that stage and accepts what they have earned through hard work and dedication.

    And this goes for ALL COLORS of Americans.

    Keep talking and writing Mr. Martin…some of us are listening.

  • Brent

    I grew up in a family with a Dad and Mom. My father was a very strong figure in my life. I think the man must be their in that childs life every day weather we are talking about a boy or girl. Fathers in the home keep down the number of young teenage girls having babies and starting the problem. Lets face facts, it a women has children from a number of men it’s hard for any man to raise another mans child, it’s hard on those children. If the men are giving her child support, what does that say to young girl? Get your money here there and everywhere… Men only do what women let them, black women let black men get away with murder. Black women get with black men are doing nothing with there lives, and think because she’s with child he’s going to raise up and be daddy for her and all the kids that are not his. And if he tries to be a father to the kids she will not let him.
    Roland, the only way to fix the problem is for black men and black women to start getting married and stay married! And don’t listen to these people who are into these mixed up families.

  • spider

    Shawn – I cringe at the thought of striking my son or my wife.

    I am 6’2″, 195lbs. My son is 7 yrs old, about 60lbs. My wife, 5’10″, 130lbs.

    How could I?!

    JustAMom – yes, Action Plan! Without a plan for action, steps to take to make change, it won’t change!

    Roland, it’s getting to where I have as many agreeing with me as you do with you!

  • Ray

    To Spider

    No one is asking you to strike your wife, it is your son’s soul that you save by disciplining him now while he is young, so that when he gets older he will not need to be disciplined by the police. I discipline my kids out of love for them and to mold their hearts and change their behavior. I don’t strike them as you say…….And they are fine as well. A man that refuses to discipline his children does not love them as he says. The Bible says that God chastens those he LOVES, not out of anger but to change behaviors and point hearts that are right back towards Himself…..

  • Tyrone

    Roland martin. Im about the only person that can honestly say i was on both of the todem pole of this converstaion. Im 31 years of age roland I never had a dad in mylife eventhough he was living in the same town i was in. THings i learned i learned from the streets and i had a support system as well my aunt and grandmother u know..An dI was Bitter for a long time And some days i use to think about it and cry I didn twant any moneyfrom him all i wanted was fo rhim to just say “SOn how u doing” How is school that sall i wanted. Then i went on to college and i met my college sweet heart and i finish junior college we was toghter for 2 years and she became pergnant and i was 22 HOnestyl i didnt know what to do and when u dont know what to do U run from it and thats what i did Roland.. ANd found myslef being just like my father.. ‘GOod for nohting MAN’. For three or os years I did Nohting. Until One day my GRandmother ask me How wasmy son doing”I was stunned I didnt have an answer B/c I ddint know how he was doing and I didnt wann alie to my grandmother so at that point i began to cry”. She told me its never to late to be afather in your child life so form that point on roland i been th ebest father i can be he is now 11 . BLACK men take care of your Kids Man IT becomes a Cycle ROlamd and i was partof that cycle until someone broke me out of it . MAYBE ROLand u can break other men Out of it as well. KEEP PUSHIN ROLAND LET TH EAFRICAN MEN KEEP GIVIVNG EXCUSES. but u KEEP PUSHING ON THAT topIC . we DONT WANNA HERE THE TRUTH WE WANNA BLAME WHITES, SOCIETY, . ITs hard out here dont get me wrong but u dont turn yo back on yo kids man. Thats REEL TALK white or black. BELIVE ME I KNow the FEELING

  • Roland

    Keep patting yourself on the back spider. People understand what I was saying and they get it.

    Why do a lot of you assume that the people who “need” to read this don’t visit The site gets 27 million visitors a month. There are many men who have said they could do more to help raise their children. This column has been forwarded time and time again to other groups so it goes beyond just the website. You guys just want to complain.

    Action plan? Game plan? I spoke of a simple and basic rule of thumb: get in the game and help raise your child! Man, this is not hard.

    Now, instead of asking for someone else’s plan. Where is yours?

    And as for spanking, whatever. If you don’t and it works, fine. My dad did, and it worked. So whatever floats your boat.

  • spider

    NO YOU DON’T!!



    What action plan would I need? I am with my son and wife all the time. He has two hockey games a weekend, I’m there. He has a class at the Jersey Shore tonight, I’ll leave work in NYC at 5:30, get to the park & ride about 7 and drive 30 miles to his class to see him.

    Are you kidding?! Where my wife and son are, I am.

    I guess time will tell, won’t it. Will you promise next year at this time to check the stats out and see if less blacks are born out of wedlock than this year or will you censor this email and hide from the challenge? What is the percent of blacks born out of wedlock? I think Bill Cosby’s book says about 90? I don’t have it here, but I can check it if you are up to the challenge.

    Well, are you?

    My father hit me, too. I don’t think I could hit my child and look at him again.

  • WMR

    You could not have hit the nail more on the head with your comments on the lack of black men in the family structure. For over a year, I have worked with a non-profit assisting incarcerated man. The common situation I have found is no father in the home in 100% of the cases I have worked. What has made it interesting, I run into resistance with advice that I provide because of the lack of experience these young men have with a male figure?

    I don’t have the answer, but we must emphasis the importance of a two parent family structure.

  • Kimberly

    This is a woman issue as women we set the tone for what is going to be
    accepted, We choose to engage in sexual behaviors without protection with men that are not our husbands and have no plans to be, we also are the same ones who complain about being disrespected by being called hoes, and B&@#$es, however we dress provocatively and run to the dance floor when songs degrading us come on. Men follow the woman’s lead. If we decide no sex before marriage I guarantee they will get the message. We have to decide that we want better and this will stop. Most of those men in prison did not only have fathers that weren’t there a lot of them had mothers that were raising them, however weren’t there, they were hitting the clubs and chasing other men, which is how you get several dads for your children.

  • spider

    “And as for spanking, whatever. If you don’t and it works, fine. My dad did, and it worked. So whatever floats your boat.”

    How can you look at spanking as “whatever”? If I’m not mistaken aren’t there some states where it is illegal to hit your child? If it is illegal to strike a man, how can it be legal to strike a child who weighs 1/3 or less of what you weigh?

    “Whatever floats your boat”?

    As a Christian man, would those be the words of Jesus? Whom did he stike?

  • nic

    Spider what’s with you & these constant “challenges.” Anyone can easily see your intentions. It’s not that you really want to see a change, you just want to keep as many points of contention as possible w/ Mr. Martin. The brother made a point which, although it has been said before, can not be said too often…adding that women need to choose better mates is an interesting twist. Seriously, what more do you want? And come off your parental high horse already. Spankings worked for millions of kids including myself.

    Spencer…gimme a break. Your “white frustration” stems from your idea that your handouts are falling on idle hands…what a shortsighted and pigheaded thing to say…

    Blackice…rappers talk about family erosion all the time. You just don’t see it on MTV because it’s a message the corporate powers don’t want to sell. They’d rather see us buy into self-defeating concepts. But positive messages are out there. Ask Faheem if you can borrow some of his X-clan records.

    And Faheem…seriously…put the pipe down. These aint end-times yet man, things could get a whole lot worse…

  • Faheem

    There has always been an “exact science” on how and when to “hit” or spank a child.

    The age old technique to spanking a child only occurs when the the child is:

    1) Old enough to understand the idea of “severe consequences”. Otherwise, just remove the child from the bad enviroment, because children are curious, and will thus, get in trouble.

    2) Have been told repeatedly not to do something by their parent, also called a verbal “scolding.”

    Children by nature are prone to make mistakes because they are inheriently immature.

    A parent should, in theory, only have to “spank” a child one time in order to experience the consequence of pain.


    Amazingly, and sadly, we have forgotten this million year old “art and science” of how to discipline our own children!!!!!!!!!

  • Roland

    Jesus would be with me. the Bible says spare the rod, spoil the child. So, whatever.

  • spider

    The bible says that. Jesus did not write the bible. What did Jesus say about striking children?

    You could hit your child?!

    What do you outweigh him by?

    nic!! Roland has challenged me! AND I HAVE STEPPED UP. I don’t see that I saved any of his emails, but ask him. being an honest man, I know he will admit he has.

    NO FREAKING WAY WOULD I SPANK!! What do you outweigh your child by? If you cannot control your child without hitting him, well, you shouldn’t hit him anyway!

  • spider

    Jeez, just because I’m close to my kid, now you attack me?!

  • Faheem

    Hey Mr. Nic…

    You mean to tell me that the following are not divine “signs” of the end “times:”

    1) Multiple shootings is school “halls”

    2) Multiple shootings in shopping “malls”

    3) Multiple downlow gay Senators freaking in bathoom “stalls”

    4) Hurricaine Katrina, Ice Storms, and Global Warming…


  • spider

    Faheem, they have been predicting the end of times since the beginning of times!

    It is not, not, NOT coming soon!

  • nic

    Yes Faheem, I mean to tell you that those are not signs of impending end times. Murder, terrorism, dishonest politicians and natural disasters are nothing new. They’re not unique to this century or the last one. I believe it’s Moses who is credited with saying “there is nothing new under the sun.”

    Who told you this was the end? Perhaps whoever told you that would like for you to think that way. This is just as much the beginning, my man. We’ve got a planet we better START taking care of, and a society we need to START healing…cause natural disasters and injustice aren’t going to cease any time soon. Your apocalyptic “warning” looks ridiculous from here. Seriously, if there was a God, I’m sure he’d rather you use your brain to improve conditions NOW rather than assuming he’s going to take care of it all with fire next week.

  • nic

    And Spider….there’s a vast difference between spanking and “hitting” your child. You know that.

  • Mark T.

    It never ceases to amaze me on how we can start in one place and end somewhere else entirely different. Roland, I have taught, preached and have had compelling conversation on the very issues that you have addressed in your column. Praise be to God that you are not alone in your views because there are those of us in the field that are promoting the message.

    It is troubling however to see through the responses how we have taken the focus off of fathers being there to counter-productive debating. I’m a 36yr old father of one – a three year old little girl and I understand fully the role I play in setting her identity and pointing her toward her God who will in her walking transform her into all that He has called her to be. My job is to set her on that path, pray and cover her constantly, teach her who she is from the truth of the Word of God and be real with her about what it takes to be a Christian by testimonial living not by title. I also, have those around me (other black men) who hold me accountable to those responsibilities. Keep in mind I too was raised without a father being there.

    For those who want a game plan here you go, for those children that you know that you can have a positive influence on – then be that influence and trust God for the increase. For those of us raising children realize that number 1 you don’t know enough to do it on your own so stay before the Word and before God in prayer to give you the wisdom to raise those children. Also, and this should have been #1 “BE THERE” for the child and you have to establish that you are the parent and not their friend, they already love you they have to learn to respect you and your judgment. The whole world isn’t going to change but you can only impact those who you are near so start impacting and if you say you are too busy then stand by and watch this generation be blown away like so many leaves in a strong wind. But don’t you dare complain – remember you too busy

  • Coach Tony

    Mr. Martin,

    This is the number one issue in our time today and I’ve decided to do something about it. See So many of our young people are hurting and broken but now it’s time to get the fathers involved. So many dads have told me that they don’t know how to be dads. It’s time to help train the dads and encourage them to be involved. All dads are either trained or untrained and painfully so that also goes for the kids.

  • spider

    nic, I can’t do either. I cannot strike my child. I cannot spank my child.

    My child is very well behaved.

    I’m not on any soapbox.

    I look at me, I’m not a small man. I look at my son. He is small. I cannot spank, strike, hit my child. If you knew my child, you would love my child.

    And, I am not candy ass.

  • spider

    nic, you’re one of the guys whose opinions I respect on this blog!

  • Faheem

    Mr. Nic you just contradicted yourself!!!!!

    First you claimed that we are not in the “end times,” yet then you proclaim the need to “heal” the planet!?!?!?

    Thus, global warming is all the warning anyone should need. You’ve just said so yourself. AMEN???

    …But, to add to that, are the growing shootings, from school-halls to shopping malls!!!!!

    …Oh, and did I mention the numerous church shootings that have occured!?!?!?

    There was a church shooting two days after the Nebraska mall shooting!!! AAAAMEN!!!

  • spider

    Earth to Faheem, Earth to Faheem….come in please…..are you there Faheem?

  • Faheem

    Hey Roland Martin, now is the time for you to begin a talkshow about manhood, fatherhood, boyhood, and all that goes along with this.

    One of the topics would be how to “spank” or discipline children…

    It has already been aknowledged that the black church is in a state of disary when it comes to men’s issues.



    We’ve discussed women’s issues for forty long years since the 1970′s Women’s Movement was launched.


  • spider

    Faheem, I’ve got to go, but it is the WHITE kids doing ALL the shooting up of schools, churches and malls, isn’t it?!

    Us whiteys have our own problems….

  • Faheem

    Hey Mr. spider…

    Hurricaine Katrina, Ice Storms, and Global Warming…




  • Faheem

    Hey Mr.Spider…

    Yes, white boys are going ballistic, blasting, and going berzerk, while the frustrated black boys ONLY DO WHAT BLACKS HAVE ALWAYS DONE TO EXPRESS OUR RAGE, FRUSTRATION, AND DEPRESSION: WE WRITE SOME MUSIC!!

    From gospel, to the blues, to the now popular rap music, it’s all about screaming out our pain during an hostile era!!!

    Thus, the “rage” of black boys is being expressed in their various forms of rap music. Gangster rap is obviously the worse form of lyrical expression.

    Conversly, whites have always declared war when their “back was against a wall”; and this is why so many white men are in the news for killing his wives and children. THE SHOOTING IN TEXAS OF THOSE TWO MEXICAN BURGULARS IS FURTHER PROOF.

  • nic

    Faheem, I’m guessing you are a very young man. People shooting other people in public is nothing new! People have been murdering others in churches and marketplaces for thousands of years! I find it funny that you’d choose those as signs of the impending apocalypse…what about current instances of war, genocide, systematic oppression and corporate corruption? You think these minor disturbances in our relative social paradise really mean the world is going to end?
    And what exactly is going to happen? Locusts? Four horsemen? You’ve been reading too much fantasy kid.

    When I say we need to start healing, that does not mean I believe we’re going to perish in a flood. Nor does it mean that I think we’d better start healing to avoid the negative aspect of some impending rapture…what I mean is we need to stop acting like children – all of us. We need to stop looking to the sky for answers or intriguing fantasies, take a look down at your own two hands and figure out how you can make the world better for you & yours right NOW. That’s all that any of us can do…right Spider?

  • nic

    Faheem!!! Isolated instances of violence rarely constitute PROOF of anything.
    And “black boys only do what blacks have always done to express frustration – write music?!” Again, I’m going to take it easy on you, because I assume you can’t be any older than 16…but seriously man, you need to look a little closer at our history. We’ve expressed frustration in a myriad of ways, including violence and terrorism. We’ve also managed to coallate our collective frustration into focused efforts like bus boycotts…perhaps you haven’t gotten to the civil rights movement in your history classes yet…

    Real problems generally have real solutions. There aint no apocalypse coming, and people are just people homie, all of us capable of being ugly or beautiful, or both at once, regardless of skin color.

  • Faheem

    To Mr. Nick:

    Yes, people have commited “sin” since the beginning of time…

    …In fact, since the proverbial “first sin” was committed by Adam and Eve…




    I think you see my point; therefore, I won’t belabor the point. AMEN!

  • Faheem

    To Mr. Nic,

    your comment implies there is no difference in the races; espically in how they’ve expressed their frustration and rage…

    Yet, the racial differences are as obvious as the news views that Roland discusses every singly day!!!

    Like someone said in an earlier comment: black boys are not shooting up school-halls and shopping-malls.

    …However, black boys do indeed have their violence issues; but it’s usually gangster/drug related/between rival gangs/territorial disptues, etc.

  • nic

    Faheem I still don’t see a point. I see that you’re scared and confused, and I feel for you.

    The original post was about men taking more responsibility for their lives…you’ve responded with a bunch of ethnocentric paranoia & talk about Revelations. Get a grip, please. I think this is what we mean when we talk about losing our black men…whether they go to prison or allow themselves to be enslaved by destructive ideologies…they’re losing touch, know what I mean?

    The internet isn’t going to end the world…in fact, I don’t believe that anyone has yet died in cyberspace. Weapons of mass destruction? Also nothing new…Europeans were hip to biological warfare hundreds of years ago.
    And who has access to these “socalled weapons of mass destruction?” I don’t.

    I do, however, have access to my consciensce, and those two hands I mentioned earlier. I’ll put my trust in those, and keep working toward a positive direction for myself, my friends and family.

  • nic

    Faheem…I don’t have to imply it. I’ll state it simply. There’s not much difference between the races when it comes down to it. We’re all human, and we’ve all expressed our frustration in similar ways over history.

    Black boys aren’t shooting up public places? Given the amount of stock you seem to put into isolated incidents, I’m afraid this might wreck your world view, but take a moment & google the term “D.C. sniper” & tell me what you find…

  • Faheem

    To Mr. Nic…

    You continue to contradict yourself…

    You mockingly asked me if the biblcial locust incects will be a sign of the “end times”, YET GLOBAL WARMING HAS INDEED DISRUPTED ALL OF THE INSECT AND BIRD MIGRATORY PATTERNS!!!

    And even you have admited that the planet needs “healing.”


  • Faheem

    TO MR. NIC:

    One of the conseqences of men NOT “taking responsibility” is that our boys are out of control.

    They are out of control in their:

    1) Manner of dress (sagging pants, now illegal)

    2) Vile lyrics and silly gang activity (also illegal, banned)

    3) Filling jails (black boys)

    4) School, mall and church shootings (white boys)

    And yes, whites have had access to WMD’s and they used them in the past with Indians, and have recently used them in World War Two (atomic).

    Also, AIDS is considered a new form of biological warfare.




  • nic

    Sure kid. You know…you might be right. Maybe God created the earth, and this is all part of his plan. There’s nothing any of us can do about it, since he’s already decided that this is it…

    That’s the main problem with religion, in my opinion. It provides lazy people with explanations and excuses for everything. The message of the day, Faheem, as it relates to this blog, is that Black men need to start taking responsibility for their actions and start raising stronger children. What we don’t need to do is buy into self-defeating notions that it’s everyone else’s fault and therefore someone else is going to have to come down from the sky and save us. That’s ridiculous, kid.

    Global warming is the predictable result of unchecked pollution. It’s not an act of God. God doesn’t have a vendetta against polar bears, does he? Seriously kid…you’re gonna have to grow up sooner or later…and I hope it happens BEFORE you reproduce…that’s the point.

  • Faheem

    To Nic:

    The D.C. sniper was a govenment experiment in mind control gone awry. He was ex-military.

  • Faheem

    To Nic:

    No, I am not a fatalist…


    White men realize that something must be done, and he does it; yet black men remain confused TEN YEARS AFTER HIS MILLION BOY MARCH!!!!

    So, I am very clear of what this blog is about: THAT IT’S TIME FOR THE STRONG MEN TO RISE UP…AND TO PUT THE WEAK MEN BACK IN THEIR PLACE!!!


  • nic

    Faheem, if “women’s issues” were really a top priority, the world would be a much better place.

    Please, please please, do me a favor. I don’t care if you buy into religion, or Farrakhan, but please, please don’t become a chauvenist. We’ve got enough of that in our communities. This isn’t about “empowering” men. It’s about empowering children…which requires participation from both parents, and the fostering of family values (as much as I hate to use that term). It’s a matter of survival, not warfare.

    Nor is it the perfect opportunity for you to point fingers. Just take what Mr. Martin said & run with it. Run fast & hard & who knows…you might eventually find yourself moving in the right direction.

  • nic

    Alright Faheem, seriously…put the pipe DOWN! The D.C. Sniper was a government experiment gone awry? You mean neither of those individuals had any ounce of free will? Roland Martin for President?!

    It’s clear that the crack epidemic is reaching a crisis point. I hope you find help for your addiction before it ruins your family.

  • Faheem

    To Nic:

    Yes, I am a chauvinist because it means “show-finesse”.

    And a man is supposed to be “hard” on a woman, NOT JUST IN THE BEDROOM!!!

    No woman truly wants A SOFT MAN!!!!



    Women’s Liberation would have never happened if corporate America did not support it. VIRGINA SLIMS CIGARETTES MADE BILLIONS TELLING WOMEN TO SMOKE LIKE A MAN.


    I gotta go. PEACE :o )

  • Raheem Muhammed


    Blah. Blah. Blah. Like one of the responders on this blog thread said, “It’s not a race issue”. It’s a man/woman responsibility issue. Do the math; the percentage of fatherless white kids is higher than blacks. It’s all relative bro. Man-made societal requirements and constraints has placed unnatural challenges on humans, which leads to unrealistic conditions and sparking unsavory residual commentary. Man and woman were matched to reproduce offspring and that’s it. Unfortunately, man-made conditions make it difficult to exist as we should. Men are supposed to be sperm donors and women are supposed to be sperm receptacles, incubators, and nurturers to the offspring.

    My father was killed when I was eight. So, what now? Who do I blame for my success? Was I supposed to turn out as a low-life, murderer, societal leach, jail bird, drug dealer, or drug addict? NOT! I grew up in the hood on the east-side of Detroit, fatherless and poor. After my father was killed, my mother had to raise and teach two boys how to be men. She stood all of 4.5 feet tall and weighed a’buck o’five. Both of her sons turned out to be productive members in society with no criminal record.

    Give me a break. It’s all about who you are and who you want to be as a person. I have six kids with six different personalities. 2 turned out to be knuckleheads in and out of jail. 2 decided they wanted more out of life and are flourishing in college life. 1 decided she wanted to be an educated housewife and my youngest is still in school and deciding which way she want to go..thug life or scholar. They all had two educated parents and with prominent careers as an example from day 1 of their lives. So, ultimately, it’s up to them to decide which route they want to take i.e. the easy route or the rough route.

    Keep up the good work bro because obviously you decided to take the right route. Your commentary mimics many in the past and will be synonymous with many in the future.


  • spider

    Roland, so, what do you say?

    Want to check the number of born out of wedlock blacks this year and compare to next year to see if your essay has any effect?

    I’ll give you credit if the number decreases by 1.

  • spider

    Faheem -

    “The D.C. sniper was a govenment experiment in mind control gone awry. He was ex-military. ”

    I agree……I have been afraid to say it until now…..but, now……I feel your strength…..your power….oh, my god!

  • spider

    Roland –

    Your site gets 27 million hits a month?!

    My GOD!! That is about 10% of the population of the USA!!

    Can I advertise my snake oil on your site?


  • Mark Johnston

    Thank you Roland for your comments regarding fatherhood. I grew up during the 60′s and 70′s and married in the 80′s. Unfortunately, during that time period, society began to believe that fathers (and men in general) were simply a biological necessity that eventually would be replaceable via science. How simple minded and wrong.

    Every child needs the influence that a father and a mother offers. Without the strong combination of both, the child suffers from a lack of completion.

    As you have stated, this is not a racial issue as it crosses all boundries.

  • Scott

    This belongs over here.

    Roland, Sir,

    You are my brother, no matter your race, no matter mine. We are bonded by our citizenry as proud Americans. Our heritage and culture may be different because of our backgrounds, but still the same because of where we are from and what country we represent to the world. I am a man of God. Albeit, not perfect and far from steady, but still fearful of His Glory. You proclaim to be the same and that’s good enough for me.

    I read your article on CNN about African-American men failing in their fatherly duties too often.

    While I believe you are targeting the young African-American man in it, I also believe you could and possibly should target every young man in your writing, regardless of race. We could all benefit from its teaching and believe it or not, white, black, yellow, red or green, we are listening. Not trying to critique or discredit your article, I just believe your message could go beyond just reaching that young African-American man. Bottom line, if we, as a society, are to become the true melting pot our forefathers visioned, the first step of many to take, is to stop divvying up our problems and come together to form a combined unitary effort of abolishing them, once and for all.

    Thank you for your time,
    God Bless,

  • Wes

    “Enough with the sperm donors.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    That doesn’t go just for black men, that goes for countless males in this country.

    Society is paying for way too many one-parented kids. It makes me sick.

  • Chicago-Mel

    First and foremost, Roland is not talking ‘rocket science’ here. He’s talking about the most basic and fundamental aspects of humanity, relationships, procreation and family.

    It’s about taking care of self, your partner, your offspring and the resultant family unit. If you as a person [and we'll stay in context here, if you're a man] and you come into a persons’ life and become a part of that persons’ life and out that union a child is born [regardless of going the next step to marriage] both individuals must now re-prioritize their thinking to now focus solely on the welfare of the child.

    Anything less is unacceptable.

    Some may say that it’s not just black men…well…to that I say….IT IS ABOUT BLACK MEN…in this context..and the reality of urban life.

    Black men are currently in a precipitous free fall and the future is not good…and let me further clarify the notion of ‘black men’. I’m not referring to black-skinned men from the many African nations nor the West Indies, or any other ‘black-skinned’ man that’s not born of this country…I speaking about US born multi-generational BLACK Americans…AND WE ALL KNOW WHO WE ARE…don’t we?

    I’m still new to Chicago and as of now, I’m not impressed with the ‘black men’ [but this isn't a blanket indictment either] that I met so far. And this is from a perspective of the great history of ‘black Chicago’ and it’s one time moniker as ‘the black capital of the US[world].

    I’m still looking for just ONE hint of that past ['Periclean'] glory days…but so far, all I see are boulevards lined with ornamental light poles but not much else. [Keep in mind folks that this is also the perspective of the writer. He sees this every day himself and it ain't a pretty site]. Whatever gleaming legacy Bronzeville had is long gone. There is no legacy [that I'm aware of] of venerable and long lasting businesses that have buffeted the black enclaves and made them thriving economic centers. And why, as the article mentions, the destruction of the black family for without the WHOLE black family a community cannot grow.

    In a community with a fractured family unit, where there are few men and too many unwed mothers caring for too many children who are then left for themselves….this can only spell disaster….as they take their place in the treadmill to nowhere.

    The commentary is on point and on time.

    Yeah….it IS time to ‘man up’…..and you DON’T need ‘blueprint’ either to ACT RIGHT…AND DO…THE RIGHT THING.

    They both mean the same thing…when ya think on it…or do we need to wait another 2 decades for another mantra du jour….

    yeah…we’re good on phrases and jingoisms, ain’t we!

  • Tyrone

    Roland …

    I wanna know how do we fix this problem with african american men when so many are lost and in
    the Street life. .Just give me somehting that I can hang my hat on that we can at least put a dent in this situation. WE need not only you REV.AL Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to speak on somehting that THey dont wanna Bring UP. Lets not blame the white Lets talk about us. Its OUR PROBLEM Not theres. Talk to me ROLAND “”"WE need UNITY NOT POinting the finger and whos fault it is . Its Here and we have to deal with it .If not u gone see other 17 , 18 year old boys breaking into homes or gettin killed tyring to gain respect

  • spider

    Roland, thanks for writing the piece on Sean Taylor. It is sad he had to die.

  • spider

    From your blog

    “He will be forever known as a drug abusing man who beat the living hell out of Tina Turner. And that’s really a shame because he was a musical genius.”

    Is your message here that it is ok to beat your kid, but not your wife?

    I’m confused.

    I say, it you cannot control your child without striking him or her, the problem is with you.

  • Rick B

    “Action plan? Game plan? I spoke of a simple and basic rule of thumb: get in the game and help raise your child! Man, this is not hard. ”

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    The call to step up has been voiced by more prominent men than yourself. Obviously something else needs to be done. Your casual disregard for mentoring makes me question the purpose of your essay. Which is kind of sad because up until that particular point I was with with you.

    The problems of the black community are a little more complex than a problem that can be resolved by a simple ‘Step Up”. And before you ask “What Am I doing to fix things” I should remind you that I’m not the one who has this essay posted on about 3 or 4 different sites. What I do to make a difference is not the subject here and would belittle my efforts in listing them here for your edification.

    Like I said, I agreed with your up until that particular point. If you’re talking about a problem on a platform as big as CNN and can offer no viable solutions beyond “Step Up” and at the same time call Mentoring a “bandage” then once again, I question the sincerity of your motives sir.

  • Faheem

    To Mr. Nick (and other disbelievers…)

    On Thursady, December 13, 2007, it was reported in the news that 2007 is the hottest year on record, and scientists now estimate that THE POLAR ICE CAPS WILL BE GONE BY 2040!!!!!!

    Here is a link, or you can do a websearch to see for youself how the evidence of biblical “signs of the times” are emerging more and more everyday.

  • G. Martin

    Dear Mr. Martin,

    I was impressed with the honesty of your article, and your courage to say what you did in such a highly public way. In spite of the wonderful black men and women who I’ve personally known over the past several years, I have still observed for decades what are obvious problems with black culture that only now are starting to be addressed in an open an honest way by a few brave black leaders. I cheer for the future of the black community when I read articles like yours, because it is another step in the right direction. However, I think there was one aspect of this issue that you overlooked. This is in my opinion one of the main reasons the black community struggles like it does, and I have never heard anyone talk about it in an open and honest way. These Bible verses will help to set the stage for what I’m going to say:

    Proverbs 21:9 [It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
    Proverbs 21:19 [It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
    Proverbs 27:15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.
    Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but [he that is] slow to anger appeaseth strife.
    Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
    Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

    What I have seen is that black culture (in general) seems to promote the following character traits in most black women whom I have observed:

    1. Being tough and strong. This appears to be a very, very big deal to most black women.
    2. Exploding into angry tirades (contentiousness) instead of dealing with problems in a calm and respectful manner is culturally acceptable.
    3. Being humble or submissive in any way to anyone else including husband or pastor is a weakness.

    Whenever I see another angry black woman “going off” on someone in person or in the media, my first thought is whether or not they have a clue about the significance of these Bible verses. I often wonder if maybe the reason so many black men don’t want to stay in long-term relationships with their black women is because they don’t want to deal with a contentious spouse or girlfriend. Black culture appears to be heavily influencing many black women to be so contentious that few if any men could put up with living with the ones who are that way. I have seen exceptions to this trend, but they are rare. Until the black community recognizes this problem and starts dealing effectively with it, I think the tendency for black men to avoid long-term commitments to black women will continue with no end in sight regardless of how much progress is made in other areas.

  • Steve Adams

    Mr. Roland, I am a pediatric phone triage nurse that works in a hospital that services a great number of urban youth. When I am speaking with young, single, African-American mom’s who are at the end of their rope, I am compelled to ask if they have ANY support from ANY family member or the Baby’s father. An appalling number say “No”-they don’t have a soul to help them out. It’s too easy to blame welfare, pro athletes and racism for the problem.

    When I was going to nursing school, I did a research paper on teenaged fathers in the inner city. I had a chance to interview several young men at an Urban League Street Acadamy in Minneapolis. In speaking with these young men, quite a few of them really wanted to be involved with their babies, but when they tried to do tasks like feeding, holding or changing the diapers of their babies, either the mom’s or the grandmothers kept telling them “You ain’t doin’ that right…oh, HERE, let ME take care of it”. You can only take so much negative reinforcement when you just say the hell with it. People have to get over these ideas of wanting to punish the guy for impregnating the young woman and do some positive reinforcement to keep young men to be the father’s they need to be.

    When you think about it, even in the worst days of Jim Crow, you did not have anywhere near the level of self destructive behavior of African American males and the level of out of wedlock babies. The solution is going to have to come from within the black community. If a young African American male sees white, stocky, middle-aged me trying to give them advice, they are just going to tune me out.

    I think as a society we are throwing young boys of all colors on the trash heap as it is in our public shoool system…but it is a whole lot more acute in urban communities, and it’s a more imminent crisis for our society than what is happening to a bunch of polar bears and penguins in the arctic and Antarctic.

  • Faheem

    Hey Roland, everyone here on your blog is asking for for a solution, besides admonishing men and scolding them…

    When are you going to do a weekly show on manhood, boyhood, and fatherhood?!?!?

    Are black men once again awating on white men to start the ball rolling of men’s issues?…

    Is sports and entertainment the only thing black men can lead in?!?!?
    Women are always having their socalled “seminars” to address their numerous issues, however trivial.

    Roland, you can’t deny all the divine signs….that now is the time….and you have the mind!!!

  • http://underconstruction kickitwitakid

    Roland I have been granted the privilege of speaking to you on many occasions on your WVON 1690am
    radio program. I have also responded to your request and calls to action from the day of your Real Men
    self empowerment & opportunity active participation and real man registration conference,held at THE HOUSE OF HOPE. Your show allowed me a opportunity which I had long awaited ,but my attempt to be fair and open minded provided ruffs williams the cps political little puppet board president to tell a lie to me with his own lips and then like a little boy run like the true coward he is.

    I will not disrespect your response forum by referring to him using names that I have in the past year.
    The absence of capitalization when spelling his first and last name should give you some idea of how little
    respect I have for this hand puppet his MASTER the mayor has trained him as well as he did mike Scott.

    It you ask me he is slumming compared to his HARPO day’s. Irregardless of who is pulling his strings today with his finical back ground and earned income potential he finds him self the pone of lier’s thrives and murder endorsing cowards.

    The seat that he disrespectfully worms with his ass is the most important one in this city and I hope he is getting a sizable contribution from his MASTER for continuing the tradition of destroying the future life’s of a half million children a year. He is to date the smartest coward that Master Daily has been able to buy on the cheap to date.

    The price of committing cultural TREASON must have stabilized. Micheal Scott just stand behind the Mayor during his lie conference’s Mike must just just use his face as a visual reminder to us all just how good life can be if you willing to kill the children of whom you have only cultural ties too .

    Mike had to count only the ones of high yellow color. Every one new mike favored the brighter complexioned ones he can see that they tend to find a measurable amount of acceptance by whites.
    Mike hopes that they will take after him and become Good house NEGROS JUST LIKE MIKE.

    I had the opportunity to meet you briefly at the station on the very same day Rufus told me that lie about giving me his number and then hung up and ran I look forward to a face to face meeting with him in a room full of people I can assure him that ruining will not be so easy as it has been for him in the pass and face to face lying has consequence that need not be addressed at this time.

    Playing with the live of BLACK children has never set well with me I take it personally and have every intention to help bring about a measurable amount of change for the better in the very near future.

    The top members of CPS have both slammed the door in my face when I have offered to provide them with the funds that they publicly requested I responded to their cry for assistance each time as the youth they so recklessly represent are in their eyes are not worth the time it takes to make a toll free phone call
    as it is the assumption of a small minded little hand puppet’s they are .

    In the mine of treasons trash like they are no place on this earth is their a BLACK MAN who could care enough about his own races kids enough to provide the resources that are needed to assure them that they to where included in the dream of MARTIN L KING Rufus could have developed the method to do the same thing if he gave a dame about the kids of color that he has sold out for personal gain. But like him not even a BLACK wealthy man that has owned and operated enterprises all of his life would get on nationally syndicated radio and make a empty commitment or a pledging over $10,000,000,00 to needy inner city youth of whom he has for the past thirty years done nothing less than the same thing personally.

    It is the ranting of a poor delusional mad man who only now due to declining health reasons is unable to deliver to the fools in charge of the city’s half million students a gift that it has taken him a life time to accumulate. Their contempt for the youth that they conclude that if such a offer was valid it’s maker
    due to his skin color needs to crawl on his belly like a berger to them and place at their feet in person like a messenger boy.

    The fools are so worthless they can’t even find one of their over paid flunkies to make a call to determine if the offer of assistance is valid or not. And if so what are the terms and conditions attached to the offer. We the people are the ones who should be ashamed of are selves as not a signal person who was within the sound of my voice has even as much as asked them why they have not yet responded to my offer.

    Roland just remember that I personally drove 108 miles to your radio station office from my sick bed located two states away to hand deliver my phone number to you in order to make sure that their excuse for not calling was not due to the unavailability of my number.

    I even provided them with a toll free number so they can not declare their lack of finical resources was a valid reason for not contacting me. The only reason that is left to explore is their lack of care for the BLACK youth’s and their futures that they so disrespectfully have managed over the years past.

    I as a Man of many ways and means can say unequivocally that in the deepest darkest place in my soul I hope I live to see them get every thing that a child abuser deserves in the immediate future.

    All of that being said I have to assume that you did not get the support that you had hope for with the development of your Real Men database my offer to assist you with that project still stands as does my offer to provide finical support for any one who will provide our youth with the one thing that they need most,their personal time commitment.with out the assumption that they should get a pay check for doing so.

    I refuse to accept that the life of a black child has only the value that this system of social service
    promoted poverty has convinced every Black man in this country that a pay day is attached to every needy child of color in this country. If this is the truth then I shell also pray that the white providers of this death by dollars system turns off the switch that provides this death sentence to our youth of color as I have never ask for or anticipated receiving a dime in exchange for my unconditional love of black kids.

    You need not look any further than the spectator stands of a NASCAR RACE TRACK to see thousands of white children with men who took them to the event. I challenge you to find a single one of those men who will tell you that they got paid to take a child their I just dare you to do It if you find one tell him the day was on me.

    If I did not pity black self serving people so much I could find time to hate them with every breath I take.
    I am to just except that we as a people have lost all ability to see that we are killing our own youth in biblical proportions and compassion and the need for companionship,is not a black thing no one will make a personal promise to a black child not abandon the child that they commit to.

    My offer of making the investment and the promise I make of monetary contribution is not a offer Worth taking in exchange for your support. The assurance of financial support,secondary companionship,development of earn as they learn opportunities providing additional recreational opportunities and the funds needed to participate in this activity on a as earned bases.

    The establishment of a educational student trust fund for each student that is in compliance with the minimum compliance allowed.assist the child in question with identifying a Carrier choice sponsor and support the youth by providing them with access to the all of the necessary tool they need to get them selves in the mental frame of mind to be able to see that every thing that they are willing to work to have and even work as much or more to keep that they can have it and much more once they have identified it and can embrace the pride of ownership that comes from having had earned their dream and not get to only visit it during the time that they sleep in a bed that some one has provided them with.

    Roland if I find out that we as a people are truly that worthless then I for one will personally apologies to IMUS and every one who has been saying this all the long about black people and I will personally find that white man that recently said that BLACK PEOPLE ARE inferior to white people because any people that will kill their children in order to save them selves from being inconvenienced is truly a people of no earthly value and are surly doomed and destine for extinction and I for one would rather see it be sooner than later and if some one has a issue with that you can give them my number also but mI would rather you give them my address if they got the stones to visit it.


    Thanks for the EXHEL.

    A E REID

  • Ty-BO

    Faheem has a good POint. roland i think u need to reach out to the black Cacaus, Naacp, AL sharpton, Jesse jackson, not to mention BILL cosby, B/c they have a lot of followers but My only thing wiht those other people is that they wanna bring society to the for -front. YES its hard to mak ein america we all KNOW that. But we cant ignore the fact that if u lay down with a women be a man and take car eof your kids. YOu dont have to be with the MOTHER just make sure u in yo CHILDs Life. ROland GET THE BALL ROLLING i will be sending emails to all thos epeople I have Name to step up this LIL MOMentum we have . WE need a seminar are ROUND TABLE to attack these issues on ONE TOPIC FATHERHOOD and th emost IMPORTANT TOPIC IS WOMEN “U LAY DOWN WITH THESE NO GOOD for nohting MEN” SO lets give u some balme also. WE ALL know MOST POPLE dont care about the african race WE all know tht.. SO WE GOTTA CARE OURSELVES. IF WE DONT NOBODY else IS>> CONTACT B E T ROLand since they dont want anyhting postive on there TV station. IDONT EVEN WANNA GET started on MR. JOHNSON(THE OWNER).. THats what most of our kids watch anyway when school is out Rap music, a show called BEEF1,2,3., Th eonly postive show they have is “”MEET THE FAITH it only last 30 minutes WOW. but a BEEF SERires can go on for 3 hours.

  • spider

    Today’s Washington Post had this article reminding us all that Obama’s father was absent, too -

  • Faheem

    To spider:

    Perhaps this means that Obama would be sympathetic to the cause of men’s issues, and fatherhood issues.

    With all the school shootings, and mall shootings, and church shootings, it amazes me how no candidates are willing to address the needs of boys/youth in our society.


  • Faheem


    This global warming issue just won’t go away.

    Thus, this is yet another problem that men will have to solve. In fact, our sons will have to solve this in the coming decades.

    Ironically, Feminists could easily stop global warming by boycotting all the “bad things” that men manufacture.


    Carbon cuts a must to halt warming-US scientists!!!!!!

    Thu Dec 13, 2007

    By Amanda Beck

    SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 13 (Reuters) – There is already enough carbon in Earth’s atmosphere to ensure that sea levels will rise several feet (meters) in coming decades and summertime ice will vanish from the North Pole, scientists warned on Thursday.

    To mitigate global warming’s worst effects, including severe drought and flooding, people must not only cut current carbon emissions but also remove some carbon that has collected in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, they said.

    “We’re a lot closer to climate tipping points than we thought we were,” said James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “If we are to have any chance in avoiding the points of no return, we’re going to have to make some changes.”

    The small amount of warming the Earth has experienced since the 1970s has already shrunk every glacier on the planet, scientists said this week at the 2007 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, where attention has focused on the unexpected acceleration of climate change.

    “If you see that even a small amount of warming has had a notable effect on the ice, it’s a good question what effect future warming will have,” said Pennsylvania State University Professor Richard Alley.

    Record melting occurred at the North Pole this summer, when for the first time in recorded history, ships sailed across the Arctic Ocean on water once covered by the polar ice cap.

    In the summer of 1980, the North Pole was covered by an ice sheet about the size of the continental United States, but this year the ice would not have covered the states west of the Mississippi River.


    “The only hope for a recovery is considerable and persistent atmospheric cooling, but with the warming trend so high, everything is working in concert toward a bluer or totally blue Arctic Ocean,” said Josefino Comiso, a senior researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Scientists say global warming is caused by carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.

    The gases are produced by burning fossil fuels and are long-lasting: About 20 percent of the carbon produced by burning coal remains in the atmosphere for at least 1,000 years, Hansen said.

    The concentration of carbon in the atmosphere is now about 380 parts per million and increasing by 2 parts per million each year. To stabilize Earth’s climate, the concentration needs to fall to at least 350 parts per million, Hansen said.

    This goal might be achieved by using alternative fuels and new technology.

    Researchers are working on a project that scrubs carbon dioxide from the stacks of coal-burning power plants. The gas is then permanently stored in rock formations and oil wells thousands of feet below Earth’s surface, said Julianna Fessenden of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    But that technology is at least a decade away, and while carbon emissions escalate, some scientists are investigating emergency solutions such as dispersing fine particles to reflect sunlight in the stratosphere.

    “There is a sort of desperation and an opportunism that’s emerging, because it’s obvious that it’s going to be difficult to reduce carbon emissions in the near term,” said Richard Turco, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. (Editing by Xavier Briand and Todd Eastham)

    © Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

  • Faheem



    A huge drop in sea ice sparks plea: ‘The Arctic is screaming’

    By Seth Borenstein

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON – The dramatic decline of Arctic ice in recent summers greatly accelerated this year, a sign that some alarmed scientists worry could mean global warming is picking up speed.

    Greenland’s ice sheet shrank far below what scientists had previously seen, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer’s end was half what was recorded four years earlier, according to new NASA satellite data.

    “The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.

    Just last year, two top scientists had surprised their colleagues by projecting the possible disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice by 2040.

    After reviewing his own new data this week, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

    As is often the case with global warming, however, more data also raise more questions for researchers. Chief among them: Was 2007′s record melt a blip in a steadier trend or is the impact of global warming being felt faster even than most computer models’ worst-case scenarios?

    “The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming,” Zwally said. “Now, as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died.”

    The new data, based on satellite images, came amid a U.N.-led conference on the Indonesian island of Bali that is aimed at laying the groundwork for international consensus on tackling climate change. But there is wide disagreement among nations about how to proceed.

    What happens in the Arctic has implications worldwide. Because so much water is frozen in the form of ice, the melting eventually will cause a rise in sea levels.

    A decline of sea ice also will affect weather patterns, with less rain and snow in some regions and more in others.

    The extent of the 2007 retreat in summer ice surprised many scientists.

    “I don’t pay much attention to one year,” said Waleed Abdalati, NASA’s chief of cyrospheric sciences, “but this year the change is so big, particularly in the Arctic sea ice, that you’ve got to stop and say, ‘What is going on here?’ You can’t look away from what’s happening.”

    Greenland, which is mostly covered by ice, is of particular concern to scientists. If it completely melted – likely over a period of centuries, not decades – it could add more than 22 feet to the world’s sea level.

    Over nearly three decades of satellite observations, the extent of Greenland’s ice melt has increased and then decreased every couple of years. This summer did not fit the pattern.

    “I’m quite concerned,” said Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado, which gathered the latest data. “Now I look at 2008. Will it be even warmer than the past year?”

    Melting of ice on Greenland and in the Arctic Ocean also alarms scientists because it becomes part of a spiral.

    White sea ice reflects about 80 percent of the sun’s heat off Earth, NASA’s Zwally said. Without sea ice, about 90 percent of the heat goes into the ocean, which then warms everything else. Warmer oceans then lead to more melting.

    NASA scientist James Hansen is expected to tell a meeting of researchers in San Francisco tomorrow that the Greenland data suggest that the warming of Earth has reached a tipping point in some ways.

    “We have not passed a point of no return,” Hansen wrote in an e-mail. “We can still roll things back in time – but it is going to require a quick turn in direction.”

  • nic

    “Ironically, Feminists could easily stop global warming by boycotting all the “bad things” that men manufacture.”

    Faheem, you obviously don’t know what a feminist is. For starters, they are human beings, and like everyone else, unfortunately dependent on fossil fuels for everything from electricity and heat to transportation. boycott what? how? get a grip brother, seriously!!! besides, Mr. Martin’s post had nothing to do with global warming…you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Faheem…surely there are addiction treatment centers where you live. You’ll need to call and ask for in-patient treatment at one of those facilities…then you’ll have to follow through – that’s the hardest part – and then make a commitment to stay clean when you get out. i wish you the best of luck.


    To Nic:

    Feminists have had a forty year political agenda to prove how dumb we men are; yet they also enjoy all the things that we men produce.

    I only mentioned the two articles because I found them shocking, considering that 2007 is indeed “the warmest” year; and also that scientists now declare that no ice will be in the north pole in five short years.

    Additionally, all men must understand that Feminism is the origin of the breakdown is the American family; and thus, the authority of fatherhood.

    Hollywood has helped by showing movies and tv shows in which a woman can outpunch, outkick, and outjump a man!!!

    And the worse part is there are a lot of weak men who themselves would like to “switch roles” with women, and thus, become the sissies!!





    Who remembers the following tv shows that affirmed the importance of fatherhood:

    Father Knows Best

    My Three Sons

    Leave It To Beaver


    The Rifle Man

    Hercules gladiator movies

    John Wayne movies (racist)

    Tarzan movies

    The Andy Griffith show

    Did I forget any????

  • nic

    Faheem, I see you still haven’t made that call. Your life is in your hands, brother. No one can get clean for you. If you continue smoking crack, it will only lead to one of two places – prison or an early grave.

    you don’t know what feminism is. You equate it with sexism, and that’s not what it is. Feminism is NOT your enemy, Faheem! Sexists who call themselves feminists don’t know what it is either. Furthermore, feminists have remained on the fringe of America’s “political agenda” for the last forty years, just like everyone else who is not white, male and rich.

    Sorry homie, I guess I just like women…a LOT.

    what’s with the men vs. boys & sissy talk…what are you trying to prove? who are you talking to, anyway? what is this never send a boy to do a man’s job stuff? you sound painfully stupid. The original post, again, was about Black men taking responsibility for their children.

  • Spider

    I live about 6 miles from the ocean.

    I am counting on global warming to give me beach front property.

    I’ve never even been to the north pole, so why would I care if there is snow there?

  • JustAMom

    Faheem you need to start your own blog….

    Spider, you are an idiot….

  • Spider

    JustAMom, you are an idiot, also.

  • spider

    Saw this on today:

    Police: Man Beat Boy For Putting Pink Fingernail Polish On Nails. A man was arrested on child abuse charges after he beat a 7-year-old boy with a belt because the child put pink fingernail polish on his own nails, according to Orange County sheriff’s deputies.

    Can you please the difference between this and your comment:

    “The principal could only pop me three times. Dad? He had no limit.”

    It seems to me you are advocating beating a child, while the police feel it is illegal.

    Thanks in advance!

  • C. walrus

    Oh, the verse in James in the Bible that says, “Be slow to speak and swift to hear”. Much to be said about Mommas & Dads. The doing & watching over children is the parents jobs, but when the government says the parents can’t do their jobs in the discipline areas or the parents think children can take care of themselves, it’s time to send the message to Houston, that, WE GOT A PROBLEM. Anyway, It’s apparent on both concerns, control has been lost for a long time. A major push by all men(which is the true standard of leadership by God) of every race must come together NOW. I don’t care where you are as a man, we in this nation have a complete breakdown of the family when we see across the spectrum everything imaginable going wrong from guns, to teenage pregnancy, drugs, etc. When we collectively agree to have a 2 or 3 million man march on Washington, Whites & Blacks, and camp out for a while so our congressmen, senators, legislators get the point, our laws can began to be reshaped so our parents can take back the belt or the rod of correction for the children. Young moms and dads are clueless today because their mom and dads let em run free and now our only option is to stop our government from legislating things that in the end are empty, insane and pass the buck. Someone say when, and I’m on my way to a rallying point to take back our nations children black, white, red , yellow , it don’t matter. God help us in the Name of His Son, ‘The soon and coming, Lord Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Minister Ronald Smith


    Minister Ronald Smith, CEO
    Children Need Both Parents, Inc.
    Phone: 616-301-1515
    Fax: 302-348-6687


    Grand Rapids, Mi
    December 18, 2007

    Several State Elected Officials and a Detroit Judge will join several authors, clergy and family preservation activist in Grand Rapids Michigan for the 1st National Fatherhood Summit and Prayer Vigil on January 4th, 2008.

    The Summit will take place at the Abundant Life Ministries – 1725 Division St. SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    The Summit will begin with a prayer breakfast at 8:30am. The speakers will begin at 10:00am, which include State Representatives: Rick Jones, Tom Pearce, Jack Hoogendyk, Robert Dean, John Stahl, State Senator Mark Jansen, Judge Willie Lipscomb 36th District Court- Detroit Mi. along with Robert Pedersen who was Best Life Magazine’s Runner-Up National Hero Dad!!!! and several Authors including Alicia Crowe, Esq author of “Real Dads Stand Up.”

    Minister Ronald Smith of Children Need Both Parents states, “Fatherhood is becoming an endangered species. We have lost the importance of fatherhood and what that means to America. The demise of fatherhood has affected the entire family structure and has weakened our society.” The Fatherhood Summit will bring together husbands, wives, mothers, fathers and grandparents in an effort to begin the New Year recognizing the need for repair of fatherhood nationwide. The summit will culminate with prayer from 3:00pm-4:30pm. This is the first event leading to the second annual Family Preservation Festival to take place at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on August 15-17, 2008

    For more information visit:

  • Alice Rafidi

    I really liked your CNN article on leaving “Christ in Christmas” and what the holiday is really about. Thank you for having the boldness and courage of exclaiming all that you did. I also agree that we need less presents under the tree. I’m glad you stepped forward and wrote something.

  • Cyril

    “White men must PAY to reclaim our children”

    After my stay-at-home white wife had a fit and disappeared with our 9-months-old baby son, I had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a custody fight, and finally had to BRIBE my wife a couple ten thousands more into agreeing to shared custody. Don’t even get me started on child support. That’s what happens when you’re a doctorate-holding white collar professional earning a decent living (whose grandparents landed, by transatlantic boat, in America 55 years ago with no money, no education, and no free lunches).

    Some of you black folks have it the easy way!

  • Terrance

    Okay I think we are arguing with one another instead of coming up with a resolution. It’s not just blacks that don’t take care of our children or child as young men it’s every other race also. What Roland was saying was a dad step up and be a FATHER not a baby daddy. This race talk and jail talk has nothing to do with a man taking care of his child. A man in jail can easily tell a good family member or friend please help me take care of my child for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter what gender you are you pick your route in life what you want to take. You see children are taught at a very early age and see adults doing wrong when they make a certain age it’s totally up to that person to say I’m going to go this route or I’m going to go this way.

    But it’s not always the man fault and I’m sure you guys would agree with me. Some women out there are just as knieving and sneaky as men. That’s another reason why most men don’t take care of their children but like you said Roland don’t pick any one foolish to have sex with. Some parents mother especially dont want to work and let child support take care of them if the child leaves then the money stops coming in. And then what do the young man or young girl have left if they can’t leave home to go to school are even get a job. It’s simple have a baby so some kind of income can come into the house. And then you have young kids still supporting grown people that need to get off there ASS and work some kind of way.

    It all starts at home growing up most of you all agreed on growing up in a good home. But like I said in my first paragraph you choose your own way of life it doesn’t matter a bad home a good home or even a great home. So going out and talking may help a little but leading by example will help alot and I’m going to tell you why. You ever heard of that neighbor that tries real hard to have there home better looking than yours. Its called jealousy! Well the same thing goes with children I want my child to learn because I want my child to be smart too. Because it all starts at home and if we focused on those issues alot of children would be safer smarter and more curious and aware of the surrondings.

    Now what we need is strong men and women of every race even gays and lesbians to help children and young adults that need guidance in every city not just a major city and to promote this month after month like a brand new song by your favorite artist and I guarantee we will have less crime more inventions less babies more medicine less broken homes and more steady homes.

    Think about it. We have to argue with the GOVERMENT when something is not right not with each other. We have to step up and do statistics find out what is going on in America not just what we see because the America Hand is quicker than the peoples eye. Think about it.


  • Daniel

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Black men must reclaim our children, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  • Neil Campbell

    I really like this topic and have wrote many blogs about this subject. I have grown to realize that when we forsake our children we forsake ourselves. We can only expect to get out of our children what we put in. For example I am a second time married 31 year old black man who is the father of a three year old daughter. When I had my daughter, her mother and I was not married, I lived in Atlanta and she lived in Jamaica. It bothered me day and night that I was West and they were East; I was fresh out of a nasty relationship and thought I was going to be enjoying the single life for a while, but when I though of the values my parents instilled in me I had to stand up and be a man. I also could not bear the thought of another man raising my child and not having a close relationship with my daughter. To make long story short we are now together in the US enjoying our lives together because we all love and value each other. I have been very inspired by fatherhood that I started to video a few moments with my daughter and sharing it with other fathers who want to interact with their child while at the same time educating them. Please take a look at this link.

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