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Recent data published by the Center for Disease Control revealed that African-American fathers spend more time in their children’s day-to-day lives than dads from other racial groups, defying those persistent stereotypes. The Pew Research Center also found similar evidence that we don’t differ from our white counterparts in any significant way and that there isn’t the expected disparity found in so many other reports.

While we are more likely to live in separate households from our children, Pew estimates that 67 percent of Black dads who don’t live with their kids see them at least once a month, compared to 59 percent of white dads and just 32 percent of Hispanic dads.

Many brothers fear going through a custody battle because of a criminal past, inconsistent finances or prior addictions. These fears do more harm than good. No matter what, you’re still a parent. And the challenges you’ve faced can become teachable moments for your children about the power of resilience and the possibility of overcoming mistakes.

We have a responsibility to change uncorroborated tales about who we are, and what we are. We have to show the nation and the world that we love our children, want to be with our children, and will go to great lengths to secure our “state guaranteed right” to participate in the lives of our children, despite whatever resistance we might face at the hands of a mother and a family court system that make up these United States. Trust me…you’ll be surprised by the results.

P.S.…I went in to court without a lawyer… and I won.

Zack Burgess is an award winning journalist, who is the Director/Owner of OFF WOODWARD MEDIA, LLC, where he works as a Writer, Editor and Communications Specialist. His work can be seen at zackburgess.com. Twitter: @zackburgess1

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My Fight To Be A Father  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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