The Fatherless African-American Family

In aboriginal families across Canada, and in African American families in the U.S., too many children know only one parent. On tomorrow's show, we'll bring you our Town Hall, Fathers without fathers: Aboriginal men in Canada. It's not an issue we talk about much but in the U.S., it's much studied and there are efforts to encourage dads to come home. Today we're looking south to the African-American experience and the stark contrast in homes with and without fathers.



Part Two of The Current

The Fatherless African-American Family

Last night in Whitehorse, The Current held a special Town Hall, called Father's without Fathers, Aboriginal Men in Canada. We aired a sample, hearing from Joe Migwans, of the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre in Whitehorse. You can hear from him tomorrow, when we devote the entire program to the Town Hall.

In Canada, 70 per cent of all single family aboriginal homes are headed by women. We've known that for some time. But few people have asked - where exactly are the men? Why aren't the fathers at home? In the United States, research also shows a troubling trend of fatherless families - especially among African Americans.

In the U.S., 64 percent of black children live in homes without a father. That's nearly 2 out of 3 kids. However, the will to do something about it goes as high as the Oval office. We aired a clip with then Senator Barack Obama addressing the congregation at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, on June 15, 2008 - father's day. Today, President Obama is behind a national initiative to bring fathers back home.

Our next guest would agree that the absence of fathers in the African-American community is of national importance. Phillip Jackson is the executive director of the Chicago-based Black Star Project, an organization working to improve the quality of life in Black and Latino communities. He was in Chicago.

We'll bring this discussion of fathers north, and focus on aboriginal fathers tomorrow on The Current when we air our Town hall recorded in Whitehorse last night, Fathers Without Fathers - Aboriginal Men in Canada.

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