Commitment: Fatherhood in Black America
Arvarh E. Strickland, Minion K. C. Morrison, Marlene Perchinske
University of Missouri Press, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 113 pages
Offering an eloquent combination of fifty beautiful black-and-white photographs and poignant quotations from the fathers and children portrayed, Commitment provides a powerful rendition of fatherhood in black America.
The father is often perceived as someone absent from the African American family, though the reasons for this perception vary. This book shows another side to that image, a positive one depicting black men who are supportive and nurturing parents. To reveal and celebrate this less often recognized parent, Carole Patterson has spent several years crossing the continent to interview and photograph responsible black fathers. Photographer Anthonoy Barboza has also contributed imagery. These portraits—young fathers, older fathers, a great-grandfather, fathers on different levels of the economic ladder—provide valuable insight into American culture. And because of their humanitarian scope, they deliver an important message to everyone, especially young people, about parenthood and the obligations and responsibilities attached to it.
In his introduction, Arvarh E. Strickland surveys the history of the African American family, beginning with the separation inherent in slavery. Then, Minion KC Morrison offers a more personal view of image making and the creation of identity. Understanding both the racial history and how a father's image plays a role in our lives enhances the viewer's experience of the photos in this collection, which are also part of an exhibition. Commitment is a moving testimonial to fathers and their families everywhere.