Single Moms Are Not Fathers

Contrary to a new cultural campaign by Hallmark and others, Father’s Day is not a holiday for black single moms.

I have an idea for a good Father’s Day present: a Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Inside is the definition for father:

  1. A man who has begotten a child.
  2. A male PARENT.
  3. A father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.

I would give the dictionary to deadbeat dads, but I’d also give it to those being duped into honoring single mom’s on Father’s Day.

The gift idea came while I was in Wal-Mart to buy a card for my dad. My wife, as she shook her head sadly, pointed to the category “Happy Father’s Day, Mom” in the Mahogany section. Mahogany is Hallmark’s brand for African Americans. I looked through the general Father’s Day card section, but couldn’t find the “mom” category.

Hmmm. Why?

Some people insist on making a buck by selling the idea that Father’s Day is also for single moms. Hallmark has been offering the mom cards for a few years, and a Web search also revealed a few entrepreneurs selling T-shirts, mugs and the like. Being a dedicated black father of three grown children who looks forward to this one day that celebrates what I willingly do every day, I find this offensive and even dangerous, particularly for the black community.

Nationally, 1 out of 3 American children live in homes where fathers are absent, according to the Center for Disease Control. The black rate is 2 out of 3. The message to the black community is that single motherhood is acceptable, so celebrate with a Mahogany card.

Bull.

By marketing “some love” to single moms on Father’s Day, the role of dads is devalued, especially in a community that badly needs fathers to step up and be real parents. It’s also capitalizing on a self-inflicted wound. Society should be lifting men who are honoring their role. That’s what the National Fatherhood Initiative is doing. The organization, which promotes fatherhood among all racial groups, is targeting the deadbeat crisis with a Call to Action that aims to mobilize black churches. Urban Ministries, the parent company of UrbanFaith.com, is involved. I recently spoke with Roland Warren, the president of NFI, who agreed that celebrating single moms on Father’s Day doesn’t help. Warren, who like me is a product of divorced parents and was successfully reared by a loving single mom, is a married father of two. (Hear the entire interview on The Wil LaVeist Show on June 22 at Noon EST at www.whov.org.)

I called Hallmark to ask why they’re capitalizing on this crisis, but hadn’t heard back from them. (Update: Three days after this article was published, a representative from Hallmark did contact the author. See Editor’s Note below.)

There are many legit and even painful reasons beyond control for why moms end up rearing children alone: Abusive relationships that wives flee; rapes, where the woman (or girl) heroically presses through the pregnancy; fiancés and husbands who die suddenly. However, there are adult reasons that happen within our control. Since the 1960s, increased divorces and out-of-wedlock births have dramatically spiked the number of households headed by single moms. And, unlike my father who stayed involved with his children, many dads cut and run. It’s also true that many moms force fathers to stay away, reducing them to monthly paychecks.

I also understand that school children, whose dads aren’t around, are often led to make Father’s Day gifts for their single moms to make them feel better. Children don’t need pity. They’re resilient and can handle reality. Having them show appreciation for their next closest positive male role model—an uncle, coach, pastor, or neighbor—is a better option that could help replenish the value of men in the black community among future generations.

I respect dedicated single moms, but understand the definition. A woman can never be a father and a man can never be a mother. Both parenting roles are equally unique and invaluable. Even among same-sex parents, you’ve got two moms or two dads. The idea of Father’s Day was actually inspired by a single dad who reared his six children after his wife died. Mother’s Day is in May. You also have the lesser-known Single Parents’ Day on March 21.

A mother being celebrated on Father’s Day makes as much nonsense as telling a single dad Happy Mother’s Day.

I doubt you’d find a Mahogany card for that.

Why?

It wouldn’t sell.

*******

Editor’s Note: Following publication of this article, columnist Wil LaVeist did receive a response from a Hallmark representative. That email is reprinted below in its entirety.

Mr. LaVeist,

First, let me apologize for our delayed response to the question you left for us last week. We were unable to confirm facts with the Mahogany and Father’s Day card teams prior to the deadline you noted in your message, so we missed the opportunity to provide context. But I thought it might be helpful to share our point of view.

Hallmark’s goal is to offer cards for the wide range of our consumers’ relationships so that everyone who wants to connect with others in positive ways can find a card to meet their need. For years, consumers have expressed a desire for cards addressing this relationship, and we’ve offered them for the past several seasons. The Mahogany Father’s Day collection included 66 cards to help people honor dad and other special men in their lives, and that selection included two cards recognizing mom. Please note that our general Hallmark Father’s Day line also included a “To Mother on Father’s Day” card and several “Like a Father” cards to acknowledge those who play a father-like role in someone’s life.

We’ve shared your post and the discussion in the blogosphere with the Mahogany team. It’s always helpful to have insight from varying perspectives as we plan selections to meet people’s card-sending needs.

Thank you,
Kristi E.
Public Relations | Hallmark Cards, Inc.
 

About the author, Wil LaVeist

Wil LaVeist is an award-winning journalist, professional speaker, and author of Fired Up: 4 Steps to Overcoming a Crisis, Including Unemployment. Contact him at www.WILLAVEIST.com, and listen to The Wil LaVeist Show Wednesdays at Noon to 1 p.m. on 88.1 WHOV in Hampton, Virginia.
  1. Let the church say “amen!”

    • I have to say that it is very sad and disturbing that people agree with this article. Wil LaVeist you should be ashamed of yourself. Being a product of a single mother you should know the struggles of a single black mother. How she has to take on the responsibilities of both mother and father. The difficulties she faces. You downplay how difficult this may be for a single mother. Praising a mother on fathers day is just a way of saying that her efforts are highly appreciated. It’s a single thank you for all that you do.

      • You have MOTHER’S DAY to do that James.

      • As a single mother, I agree with this article wholeheartedly. I have never had my son say “thanks Dad for taking me to school” He calls me mom, ma, mama, so I don’t seek any appreciation on Father’s Day because there are too many underappreciated Dad’s who deserve a day to themselves where they receive the accolades and appreciation for being awesome Father’s. It’s not for me to try and get a little shine because my son’s father was a jackass and decided not to step up to the plate and be responsible. I don’t think that’s commendable in any light. Also, as a single parent. . .I don’t have a dual role of being mother and father, I’m a parent. . .sole provider. . .doing what I have to do to ensure the safety, protection, and provision of and for my son. None of those things are roles that just a mother plays or roles that just a father plays, it’s what parents do regardless of their title. I get enough thanks because when my son does well, I do well. They don’t just praise him, they praise me for raising an intelligent and respectful young man. Celebrating a holiday set aside for men is irrelevant when it comes to appreciating a single mother for her efforts. She is not the daddy!

      • James, I’m a African American single mother of one 4 yr old boy. I totally disagree with you. I am everything to my son. I go outside and play baseball, football, basketball, soccer etc with my son eventhough I am Faaarrrr from being anything but a skirt wearing girlie girl. I have taught my son to be respectful, work hard and never give up on anything. My son has manners including opening doors for all women in his life. But as great of a mom I know I am, I can NEVER teach my son to be a man. Ex. My son was shy and wanted to become friends with a few girls in his class. He came and asked me to teach him how to be a bad boy. Of course I reacted saying no. He went and talked to my brother and explained to him that he wanted to be a bad boy because the bad boys were friends with the girls. My brother explained things to him and taught him that it was ok to be himself and gave him the confidence he needed to be the confident, friendly lil boy he is today. Maybe I would’ve been able to do the same thing but when a young boy is growing up he needs male guidance and love and support. I will never downplay my long hours at work , lack of sleep and sacrificing it all for the joy in my life. But I still allow my son to buy cards and presents for his father because he did father him. I’m a product of a single mother and whose father openly admitted that he just didn’t want to be around because my mother didn’t want the abusive relationship. But that was my father. Good or bad….he was mine until the day he passed on.

  2. THANK YOU! That is all…

  3. First of all I would like to express my anger at such a card being marketed. I am in fact a single african american mother, of 5 boys, and 1 girl, but i do not feel the need to be recognized on a day that was not intended for me. I dare not take on the mentality that society should pacify me for the hand that i was dealt, simply because I am not a father, and have never come up with any techniques that i could have mimicked to come across as one. I applaud you and the Fatherhood Initiative for setting out to put the F back in Father, and also finding ways to assist fathers in getting back to their intended positions in life. As a single mom,and a graduate student in human services, I would love to become involved! The brothers have my support.

  4. “Let’s help devalue men.”
    I don’t see the point of Father’s Day cards for mothers, as you pointed out, that’s what Mother’s Day is for. I was raised by my single mother (with a huge assist from my grandmother, also a single mom) and I would never buy her a Father’s Day card. She’s my mother with a capital M. I love, admire and appreciate her.
    But single mothers, especially black ones, are demonized by our society, I’d say more than deadbeat dads are! People wag their shame fingers at women raising children alone, but I rarely hear them talk about how awful it is that the children’s father just left them. I also don’t buy that women force fathers to stay away. No one can keep a real man from his children if he wants to be there for them and with them. I think this nonsense about Father’s Day cards for mothers is a reaction against that. I know my mother felt guilty my entire life because my father was absent — and she wasn’t keeping him away. He stayed away of his own volition. I think someone saw an opportunity to sell merchandise to women sick of being maligned for raising their children in difficult circumstances. And possibly to people like me, who know that my mother struggled with that fatherless guilt. Sorry my brother, but, as usual, you see yourself as the victim, as black men often do about everything, when, really the only victims here are black children.

    • I have to disagree on your comment regarding men being real men, a woman cannot keep him from his children. This happens more often than not and happened to my husband. The mother of his child got angry that he moved on with his life and made life a living hell. We hired attorneys and got nowhere. He paid child support and we were always beholden to her demands. She didn’t want me to come with him to pick up his daughter-who lived three states away, she never wanted to meet us halfway. More often than not she would tell him on the phone, he could have his daughter for a month. We would load up the car, drive all the way there, check into our hotel, next day he goes to pick her up, we stick around to visit relatives and she finds out I came and insists on collecting their child because of some lame reason or another. So yes it is possible and she like most bitter women brainwash their children into resenting the dad and his family.

      • @ Monica, I have the same issues with my step-son’s mother. Some women can never get past the past and its sad. But it sadly will backfire on them as it did with my sister and mother who she turned against when she found out nothing our mom said was true concerning our dad. The world is round and what a person puts out will come back to them.

      • @ Monica – I too was in a similar situation. I am a father of 3 older children w/who I spend much quality time with. However, I had a child out of wedlock and the mother tried everything for me not to have quality time w/OUR child. I continued the fight for my parental rights for 3 yrs. Things have improved slightly but only by way of court intervention. You and your husband keep fighting for that relationship w/his child.

        • @ Charles: We have continued to fight for the last 18 years, she is now 18 and we thought we made headway last year. However the minute our daughter did not get her way, she reverted back to the hateful diatribe her mother has been feeding her. To the point that she doesn’t recognize her brothers (children by me) as his children. She and her mother always say “You do more for her boys (these are his sons) than you do for your own daughter.” So we continue to try to foster a relationship and clear up her issues with our blended family but she refuses to discuss those issues because she feels we are the problem not her and her mother’s way of thinking. So Joy was right that the children are the victims but they can become the victims of a womans hate that her life didn’t turn out like she felt it should. It is not always the Father’s fault. Now I will say there are deadbeat dads out there but there is some guy – a grandfather, uncle, cousin, next door neighbor, coach, minister, or teacher who is “like a father” and those are the guys that should get a father’s day card.

      • Nooooooo… that’s not right…. you’re going against the grain. Repeat after men:

        Man = Bad
        Woman = Good

        Didn’t you get the memo?

    • Joy: You wrote: “I think someone saw an opportunity to sell merchandise to women sick of being maligned for raising their children in difficult circumstances. And possibly to people like me, who know that my mother struggled with that fatherless guilt. Sorry my brother, but, as usual, you see yourself as the victim, as black men often do about everything, when, really the only victims here are black children.”

      I respect your opinion and can see that you actually read my commentary. But people take from commentary what they want based on their own lenses. How you could recognize, but still be OK with Hallmark or anyone capitalizing on black women’s sense of anger and victimhood is troubling. I clearly wrote that I was raised successfully by a divorced single mom. I absolutely understand the impact on children. It’s also clear that I’m saying Father’s Day is to celebrate men who are simply doing right by their children. Check out the origins of Father’s Day, which I also mentioned in the commentary.:
      http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day

  5. I could not agree more with this essay. Father’s Day is for fathers. A single mom’s job on Father’s Day is to make sure she is not the one standing in the way of her children’s relationship with their dad (or dads). She needs to tell her kids every good thing she can about their father (he’s handsome, funny, a good cook, a great singer, charming — whatever it was that made her sleep with him). And if he is an absentee father who happens to show up for Father’s Day, she needs to demonstrate love and open the door, not to do him any favors, but for the sake of her kids.

    • Father’s Day may not be for single moms, but screw singing a deadbeat dad’s praises on father’s day or any other day for that matter. If a man wants to be a father to his children, then nothing short of death stops that. And if a child’s absentee father shows up today, it would up to his children to do as they please.

      • I agree with you. All these women talking about an ex keeping their husbands away from the kids is pure bs. If the man wanted to see his kids, then he should get a lawyer and sue for visitation. As for this article, I got a fathers day card and as a single mom I treasured it. No I can’t be a dad but I’m carrying the weight as one while their dad decides if he wants to be a parent. I also have my friend who is a single dad a mothers day catd. With all problems in the black community, this should be the least of our worries. Really no one diminishes the role of a black man worse than a black man.

        • Honestly, you are deluded if you truly feel that getting time to see your child from a contentious mother is as easy as that. Suing for visitation is not as easy as you make it out to be, and the fact is that many mothers can’t separate “he doesn’t want me anymore” from “he doesn’t want me and my child” anymore. Thus, many women (maybe not you) use kids as pawns to punish the father. It happens…and it is a VERY HARD ROAD to travel when the woman decides to take that route.

        • @ Anna… it seems that you have no idea at all how this legal system works with regard to the non-custodial parent which is in the VAST majority of cases the man. Your position in this matter is one borne of ignorance. It simply is not as you believe that it is.

    • A father is a person who furthers you along in life..Male or female….So if a card is given to a mom so what….

  6. Thank you for so eloquently saying what I was trying to tind the words for. Single moms travel a hard road, and they deserve so much credit for all they do; but they do not deserve credit for being ‘dad’. They aren’t dads, and shame on Hallmark for their marketing. Kudos to all the ex-husbands, boyfriends, and baby daddies that choose to be a part of their children’s lives. You richly deserve accolades on Father’s Day. For you single moms, father’s day isn’t about you. For better or for worse, it’s about the men that became the fathers of the children we adore. If you have an ex that is part of your children’s lives, enjoy that, celebrate it. If your ex isn’t involved, celebrate mother’s day twice as much, because you earned it!

  7. Why must women be the ones who do things “for the sake of her kids”. There are many women who do not stop their kids’ dads from seeing them. They are choosing not to. So why should those women tell her kids everything “good” about their deadbeat dads who are deciding to step off and not be a dad? The men should just step up and be fathers. They were there for the three minutes or so it took for the woman to get pregnant and then walk away to be with some other woman who does not give a care that he has kids and needs to be a father to them — daughters and sons alike. It is the single moms who have to deal with the repercussions of absent fathers through the lives of their children. The abandoned children usually suffer from self-esteem issues or try to make up for the missing father in their lives by making the wrong decisions in relationships and life in general.

    • And he couldn’t have gotten her pregnant if she didn’t open her legs……..
      A woman should never speak ill of their child’s father no matter what he did to her, nor should she keep the child from him (unless there is a possibility for abuse). These actions make her a deadbeat mother. Just because you are a woman with a child doesn’t make you a mother.
      Maybe some mothers should get to know the man before they start making babies.

  8. IF being a father is all about the kids, then those dads would be there. I know quite a few great dads but a lot more screw-ups.

  9. I THINK THE WHOLE IDEA FOR FATHERS DAY CARDS FOR MOTHERS IS REALLY ABSURD.I THINK ITS NECESSARY FOR CHILDREN TO HAVE BOTH PARENTS,ESPECIALLY POSITIVE MALE ROLE MODELS FOR MALE CHILDREN.I BELIEVE WOMAN CAN DO BUT SO MUCH AND I GIVE SOME WOMEN CREDIT FOR BEING STRONG IN SPITE OF ABSENCE .I GIVE MEN WHO REALLY STEP UP TO THE PLATE CREDIT TOO FOR BEING REAL FATHERS.SOMETIMES LOW SELF ESTEEM CAN BE AN ISSUE,I AM NOT SAYING IT ALWAYS IS ONE..

  10. THAT’S WHY I THINK THERE SHOULD BE MORE MALE GROUPS IN OUR COMMUNITIES FOR THEIR ISSUES AND WOMEN TOO FOR SUPPORT IF ITS NECESSARY.I STILL BELIEVE A FAMILY WHO PRAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER.

  11. Karen…get over it. This aint about how hard the road for a single mother is….its about devaluing the black male….if you are too angry to understand that…then perhaps you can explain why it is women CHOOSE to be with a man and have kids and not have thought maybe this is a worthless something waiting to happen….guys do it…we say to ourselves…”self…is this lady psycho?” What did you ask yourself that you deserve mothers day fathers day single parents day AND valentines day? Please explain that to me…how is it that after this whole article you are bashing the few losers you are aware of but not the compnay that supplies idiots with ammo for their own destuction? Without positive male role models…the females are doomed to failure because you have never SEEN REAL….choose wisely ladies.

  12. Heres an idea single moms…find a male role model… a father isnt always associated with a mother. There are plenty of black men out there that are worth your kids emulating….find one before they find there own.

  13. This is why I hate holidays. There’s always someone around to trash how others celebrate. There’s always someone trashing the fact that others are celebrating period.

    People are going to credit the people who filled those roles for them and neither Webster’s definition or any one else is going to change that. It’s human nature to compensate for loss. It’s the basis for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. That’s why people can sell cards and gifts and have been long before Hallmark caught onto it. To me, filling that big, gaping hole where the parent should be with appreciation for the parent that’s actually there is hardly a crime against nature.

    • wish there was a like button! LIKE

      • You make a good point. However, here are the origins of Father’s Day, which I also mentioned in my commentary: http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day
        Mother’s Day was already a national holiday. A daughter whose mother had passed, was so appreciative of her father who stepped up and raised her and all of her 5 siblings (his 6 children he had with his wife before she passed away), thought that he deserved to be honored. She didn’t say, “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad.” Instead, she suggested there ought to be a Father’s Day for men like him. I agree with the wise young woman. If only we could be as wise as a community and see the value of celebrating men who are doing the right thing, rather than compensating emotionally for the men who are not. True, you can change the holiday to fit your personal desires, but that won’t change the purpose of the holiday. I also mentioned in my commentary that many women are single because their husbands or childrens father’s have died. I respect that. However, notice that yours and most of the other threads here are focused on women who are enduring deadbeat dads. This is what the black community has become fixated on. The Fatherhood Initiative is attempting to combat this by telling men to step up and by giving men the tools to be responsible. I also mentioned in my commentary that there are other male role models who could be honored as fathers, such as coaches, teachers, pastors, barbers. My father (who stayed involved despite the divorce) was not the only man who mentored me. Others stood in the gap — coaches, teachers, etc. So no, a single mother can not fill the role of a father, anymore than a single father can fill the role of a mother.

    • @ Aponda… you said “To me, filling that big, gaping hole where the parent should be with appreciation for the parent that’s actually there is hardly a crime against nature.”

      You’re right.. it’s not a crime against nature… it’s a crime against Fathers.

  14. I’m sorry but I disagree. Just because single moms are recognized on fathers day does not take away from the fathers that are truly there for their children. It only gives credit to those that are forced into playing both parenting roles due to the man’s lack of accountability. A man that is truly a dad, knows he is doing his job and the right thing an no amount of praises to anyone else can strip him of what he knows he’s doing. It’s not enough for a man to make a baby to be recognized as being a father; roaches can make babies. It’s the nurturing and support he provides there after. If he doesn’t do this, he is not a father or even to much of a man in that regard. Give the credit where credits due.

    • SO TRUE!

    • Thank you Jessica…I agree

    • Thank you Jessica. I don’t understand why hate on a single mom especially a black single mom if her is playing both roles.

      • ” I don’t understand why hate on a single mom especially a black single mom if her is playing both roles.”
        This is the mistake we make believing single moms (or single dads) play both roles. A man can not be a mother. A woman can not be a father. If we are serious about parenting, we bring different unique perspectives to the table. My sons and daughter learn and receive things from me as a man that only I can give. Likewise, they learn and receive things from their mother, my wife, that only she can give. This is well documented:

        http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/chaptertwo.cfm

        When one of the parents is missing, an extended family member (pastor, coach, barber, etc.) can step into the gap. You’re also falling into the “victimization” mistake we continue to make in the black community. In my commentary, I CLEARLY wrote that I was reared successfully by a loving single mom. There’s no hate at all for single moms, infact I have nothing but admiration t for those who are dedicated to their children. That’s what Mother’s Day or Single Parents Day is for. Father’s Day is about celebrating MEN who are simply doing what they are supposed to do. By the way, my 80+ year-old single mom agrees with me. Why? She helped mold me.

      • @ Jessica and crew………………I can almost guarentee you GIRLS are young and uneducated there is not an educated black women or a women from the old school that will say”yeah girl you can be the momma and the daddy you go girl!” read the data take a good look around your hood trust me a women cannot be a mom and dad…look at these stupid black boys sagging pants, disrespectful, getting put off airplanes (and his mom was defending his right to be disrepectful and sag his pants!) no respect for authority! No No No you cannot be mom and dad! stay in your lane! Be the best mom possible and put him in the boys club or someplace where he can see positve straight black men!

    • Roaches can make kids!? Wow. THere are also animals who give birth and eat there babies. The bashing needs to cease and uplifting needs to increase. People are all too quick to bash the bad dads but when do you uplift those who fight through all of the bitterness laid out in front of them by the mother’s of there child who they are no longer with. I was fought tooth and nail to get quality time w/ my child. I was accused of having pornography around by child, forced to have supervised visitation and several false criminal allegations made against me at my job (law enforcement). Let’s just let this day be for the MAN of the child. We men certainly dont try and hijack mother’s day. ijs

    • @ Jessica… a man cannot be a mother. A woman cannot be a father. It’s just that simple. Fathers are men. Mothers are women. I simply don’t get what is so hard to understand about that. Even if you want to take the utterly illogical step that it’s about ‘roles’… then you STILL cannot say that women can be Fathers because women live life through only one perspective and that perspective is the female perspective. Why? Because they are WOMEN! So they can only teach their children from the perspective of the female or the woman. They cannot teach the child from the perspective of the Father because they are not men.

      What I find hilarious is that some women are quick to state that women should be given Father’s Day cards but balk at men being considered Mothers. Their defense is that men cannot give birth to children (which is a purely biological function) yet dismiss the biological aspects of being a man and thus a father. smh…

  15. Quit being bitter. How can you who was not born a boy teach a boy to be a man? Something you are not? The reason you are doing extra work is YOU chose to get impregnated by an unworthy dude. Fatherhood is more than buying food, clothing and Air Jordans. No matter how well clothed, well fed and well Jordaned your son is, there will be inevitable day in a son’s life where he will encounter problems and/or situation that will be literally beyond your comprehension because it will be a male issue and you being his mother, a woman and a female YOU WILL FAIL HIM. Again because you were never a boy. Fathers see thing our sons are going through because we went through it. No matter how great of a mom you are, boys need and purposely seek out male discipline, guidance, approval and acceptance. How will you fill that void, mom?

    • Nothing fails but a try- at least we’re trying!

      • No one is stopping you from trying. Just stop coveting and devaluing manhood and stay in your lane. Your sons and daughters need daddy. Pick better or wear condoms. It’s that simple.

        • “Pick better or wear condoms”. Seriously, How about men stand up and do your job take care of your child/children. Stop being a deadbeat because the mom doesn’t want you any longer. If you have children by this woman, before you make a child with another woman, YOU PUT ON A CONDOM. Esecially if your not taking care of the children you already have.

  16. What I don’t understand is why men are so sensitive to women calling themselves mother and father. What is a father supposed to do? Provide? Protect? We do that! I am a mother but my children choose to celebrate and acknowledge me on this day because they don’t see a man making the effort. Do I tell my son- no I don’t have a penis so don’t follow my example? No I provide alternative male figures in his life and I am very candid about how he can be a better man for his future children. I think the focus should be on the dads who don’t step up not tthe mothers who don’t have a choice other than to fill their roles and responsibilities. I am grieved because I grew up with real men around who were not deadbeats! My expectations were so much different. It’s like when he stopped loving me he stopped loving the kids. So you tell all those young men who acknowledge the sacrifice and direction that their mothers give them in lieu of a father what their mother can and cannot teach them – you assume that we are stupid enough to think we can relate to being a man just because we have to pick up the slack! Don’t blame hallmark- necessity is the mother of invention!

    • It is dangerous to celebrate this twisted philosophy of yours. FOCUS on being the best mommy and don’t see Fathers day as your day it isn’t….have your children give cards to the men in your family that are there for them….when your sons marry they will assume and “quite naturally” that a women can do anything so when hard times come and they will trust me they will not stick around they will haul a— with the philosophy of “if my momma did so can my ex wife, girlfriend, baby momma, or whatever

      • “when your sons marry they will assume and “quite naturally” that a women can do anything so when hard times come and they will trust me they will not stick around they will haul a— with the philosophy of “if my momma did so can my ex wife, girlfriend, baby momma, or whatever…” <—exactly what makes this whole I'm a momma and a daddy mindset so dangerous. I couldn't agree more Janet.

  17. We do more the provide and protect. If you knew what we did, you probably would have picked a better man. I don’t care if there are only ten black men in America taking care of their kids, it still doesn’t entitle you to call yourself the daddy.

  18. It is amazing the things that people say and it is even more amazing how people continue to misinterpret things….I can not say I disagree with the card, because there ARE women who are both mother and father to their children, my mother was and she was strong and independent with it, and why is it said that the mother always chose a ignorant and no good man to be the father…NOT ALL WOMEN CHOOSE A THUGGISH, PANTS HANGING DOWN, 40 DRINKING MAN AS THE FATHER OF THEIR CHILD….my father was a deacon in church and things just happened in the marriage (yes I said marriage..in fact they were married years before me, and until I was the age of 5 before they separated!!)

    First, no matter how many positive role models you place around a child there is only ONE PARENT, and if the mother is playing the role of both parents, if she is working, cooking, cleaning, taking care of house and home alone…while teaching you about life, love and happiness…teaching you about our Father in Heaven,,keeping you grounded while molding you into a woman or a man,,,then regardless of how ANY of you see it….SHE is the father and the mother and if you want to honor her with that card it is your right…and men stop making things about respect and disrespect…how can you call a man your father that is not some form of step-father in your life..if it is your brother he is still not your father…if it is you uncle he is still not your father…he may be a figure but Your mother is your grounding force so as a child a child will see it that way…some of you sound really ignorant spewing all this venom and not saying a word…

    I am proud that my mother took the helm and was my father and mother…some of you need to re-evaluate your answers…that is not about taking the day or respect from men it is about giving some extra respect to the women that had to do it by themselves…

    • Hmmm…it was definitely wrong for Hallmark to produce only an African American ‘Happy Fathers Day, Mom’ card. That says a lot about the company, because single mothers come in many colors, and there were no ‘Happy Mothers Day, Dad’ cards that I saw, or other group of people being targeted. Some of the comments on this post are a trip though. Regardless of how a woman becomes a single mother, if their child, or friends and family choose to acknowledge her on that day, what business is it of anybody else? Single parent households are a reality for all, and nobody can ‘take’ accolades or acknowledgement away from anybody else.

    • @Nicole….as long as we believe this twisted form of thinking that is why our black kids are so screwed up! nobody wants to get married they just want to have stupid sex, and have crazy wayward a–kids running arond with these stupid idiotic philosopys to the point that Hallmark is capitalizing on it and we black folks are gullible enought to buy the cards! STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! and that is what the next generation of black boys will be if we embrace this pathological way of thinking. Fathers day is for Fathers and Mothers day is for Mothers!

    • @ Nicole… the root of this issue is that you are not a Father. You are a Mother ‘pretending’ to be a Father but a Mother none the less. You may be a great Mother. The BEST Mother in the entire galaxy… but in the end you are ONLY the Mother. And we LOVE Mothers! But we also love Fathers and that is a title that only a man can have.

  19. See, Nicole. Everything you said about what it takes to raise a boy to become a man is NOT what it takes to raise a boy to become a man. Fathers do more than that. That’s what’s annoying Black fathers when we hear you say “I’m the mama and the daddy”. You are too bitter about a choice that YOU made in who father your kid(s) devalue us and lie to yourselves to feel better. And let’s be real honest, that attitude of yours is THE reason you’re a single mother. There are men who marry single mother every day. My friend just recently married a great woman with a 12 year old daughter. Why not you? Because this “I can be the daddy too” belief radiates from you and men can smell it and it’s MAJOR turn off. It shows you hate men and you make a bad wife because you are unwilling to submit to your man. And your kids will suffer for it.

    • @James….I agreee….unsubmissive, hardhearted, bitter, wrong choice a man to mate with hating women….black women…I am so sick of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • James, I don’t think Nicole was saying “I can be the daddy too” – I think she was saying it takes 2 people to provide the love, discipline, attention, financial support, etc. that male and female children need to grow into healthy adults. When there is only one parent, that parent (male or female) is usually making the effort of two people. So, if there is no other parent, you try to make up for that. It’s virtually impossible – but you try.

      One thing I appreciated about the article is that it pointed out that people end up as single parents for many different reasons. Buying into the belief that Black women are single with/without fatherless children because of their attitudes is just as damaging as society’s continued efforts to destroy the Black family.

      And “picking better men or wear a condom” is a nice idea but unfortunately in our country – 1/2 of all pregnancies are unplanned (inside and outside of marriage). While only 1/3 of other kids have absent dads, 2/3 of our kids have absent dads. That should be our real concern.

      Yes. Hallmark should be smacked for exploiting our weakness in this way (just like the people who make hair weave and grills, institutions who practice predatory lending, etc.). But I think better use of our time and passion would be to focus on helping the babies.

  20. Ive been giving my mother a father’s day card well before Hallmark decided to make them. As a man, why do you even care who is filling whlat role outside of your own home. If you are the man of your house, you got a card. The child is who decided who filled the father role in their life. No one told me to give the card to my mother, and Ill be damned if anyone is gonna come behind me and tell her she didnt deserve it. I think the point is not that we are devaluing your role as a father James, but you men yourselves are. The stat used was 2 out of 3 black homes are fatherless. We cant ignore this pandemic. We have found a way as fatherless black children to cope with this loss. if you would like your role valued, as a man, talk to other men. Talk to your friends, cousins co-workers. Let this know that there is NO reason to not be involved with your children. There is no longer any excuse. That way we will all feel better about putting these fathers day cards in the right hands.

    • *Sorry about the spell check fail. got a little passionate. lol :)

    • And I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow people with your mindset to disregard and disrespect the role of Fathers (men) in the lives of their children. Wish your mother a Happy Mother’s Day. I’ll even help you to do it. But she is NOT a Father and there is nothing that you can do to make her be a Father.

  21. In my opinion, I don’t have a problem with whether cards are available and whether people celebrate single mothers on Father’s Day because I’m wise enough to know that the problems start way before we get to the marketing of such a product. Which came first? The 2 out 3 black children being raised in fatherless homes is not because some card devalued the role of black men in the family. Instead, it’s some men’s choosing to not be in their children’s lives or to actually build a real family that causes that lack of value. It’s up to us black men to replenish our value, and we can’t blame the public or anyone who wants to honor their mother on a day dedicated to fathers if we are the main cause of the issue. If mothers aren’t fathers, well neither is the child’s pastor, uncle, or postman. The reality is that it’s nobody’s business but the person who chooses to show gratitude to a single mother and the recipient of the card. If it’s not for you, then pass it by, just like all the other cards that don’t pertain to your views or your current situation. Let’s not get confused over what the real issue is. While everyone is looking to a card as helping continue the problem, people like me have no idea where there fathers were on fathers day, whether he thought of us children…or if the man is still even alive.

  22. Being from a single parent household where my “father” decided he just didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of us anymore, I tell my mother Happy Father’s Day every year and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    My mother doesn’t want or expect us to buy or do any of the things we do for her on Father’s Day, but as her children now coming into adulthood, we are becoming increasingly aware of what she goes through on a day to day basis all by herself on order to provide a stable home for us. I’ve seen her cry because she feels she can’t provide for my two siblings and I the way she believe we deserve, and I’ve seen her apologize to us because she wants to do better. We do not recognize her on Father’s Day because somebody is “selling us the idea that Father’s Day is for single moms also”. I recognize her on Father’s Day because she has done more for us financially, emotionally, and spiritually in the six or seven years since our father abandoned us with no food, water, and electricity in a house we couldn’t afford than he has done in my entire 23 years of life.

    Hallmark is a business and they’ll sell what people will buy, just like anyone else trying to make money. They are completely at fault for capitalizing on a such a shameful reality in the African American community, however, they are not the cause. To attack them for making money is misplacing the blame and sidesteps the real issue. The fact that 2/3 of African American fathers are running out on their families wasn’t caused by a Hallmark card. It’s by no means acceptable and I can assure you that it’s probably not Hallmark’s aim to downplay this issue either. It’s just grasping at straws to assume otherwise.

    Father’s Day is a day for men who fulfill their role as fathers and take care of their children; nobody is denying that. The movement of acknowledging single mothers on Father’s Day has never been about taking respect away from fathers or men in general, it’s always been a nod to women who have to do it themselves. If fathers feel so threatened by the fact that “their day” is being shared by women who bust their ass everyday to try and play two parental roles when they are ill-equipped for it, then that sounds like a personal problem that they should probably look into.

    • If more father stood up to the plate, and stop being sperm donors we as single mothers would have to be honored on fathers day, Do we want to be the mother and the father in a child’s life… Hell No!!! but we have to, and we do it for the love of our childen. Clearly those that are not liking the card comes from a 2 parent home, well guess what in the day and age the are more homes with a mother only then one with 2 parents. To the men that are standing up, being a father to their children, Helping the mothers, even the mothers that are not what the should be, I commend you and that day is for you. But guess what, That day is for woman like me as well who’s raisning a son and a daughter, and mother who raised 2 daughters. etc

    • You wrote: “If fathers feel so threatened by the fact that “their day” is being shared by women who bust their ass everyday to try and play two parental roles when they are ill-equipped for it, then that sounds like a personal problem that they should probably look into.”

      That’s an interesting analysis. You should probably review the origins of Father’s Day, which I mentioned in my commentary, in case you didn’t read the commentary clearly.
      http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day
      Based on your logic, the SINGLE DAD who inspired Father’s Day, should’ve just been told, “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad.” However, his daughter, thought differently. I simply agree with her. Single moms is nothing new. The “movement” you speak of is how it’s becoming ok, even desired, in the black community to our own demise. Now Hallmark and others are capitalizing on a community tragedy. The belief and mindset that a single parent “plays two roles” is unwise at best. I submit to you that a mother’s role is unique and invaluable and that a father’s role is equally unique and invaluable. You can’t be both. This is where other role models in the child’s life come into play — uncles (aunts for girls), coaches, teachers, etc.
      Educate yourself regarding the research: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/chaptertwo.cfm

  23. I will have to say that I disagree completely with this article. Maybe because I am a person who doesn’t believe that gender roles are innate, thus a man can be a mother and a woman a father to their children. Those are roles of love, regardless of what label you put on it. Obviously a man cannot breastfeed his child, but he can still mother and father it. My mother was MY father and she did a great job. I don’t “devalue” men because of the lack of my father, furthermore, I find it silly to speak on a subject you have no knowledge of. If your father was present, how would you know what we children who are “fatherless” deal with. If a mother (or father) can successfully take care of their child without the other parent then I have no problem with that. Black men are not being “devalued” in our culture, I promise you that, BLACK WOMEN are being devalued, so your argument on that note is completely invalid to me. As much as I’ll like to agree that there should be a father figure in the home, I cannot. Maybe I just had one “hell” of a woman who could play my mother and father role and send me away to a prestigious institution all whilst raising a handicapped child…maybe.

    • Thanks for your feedback. You might want to look at the origins of Father’s Day, which I mentioned in the commentary: http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day
      I’m for father’s standing up and doing what they are supposed to do. I am against the idea of “normalizing” singlemotherhood particularly in the black community. I believe Hallmark and other’s are captalizing on the community’s pain. I clearly wrote this in the commentary. What do you believe? What is it based on? Here’s what some of the research says about gender roles: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/chaptertwo.cfm.

    • Great point about gender roles. I don’t buy into them either. I think they do more harm than good.

  24. How about people stop living in a fantasy world and give the credit where the credit is due, to the moms. I’m sure the majority of the people complaining about this have raised, are related to or know one of these men not living up to their responsibility. When was the last time you said something to them about not being a father to their child? Yet you want to bash these women doing their jobs and more if your so concerned help out by going after the perpetrator not the victims, single mothers and children for celebrating the only life they know. The church needs to say where are all the men ? and why aren’t they here? Amen on that

    • @ Curtis Lee, give me a break brother credit was given where it was due, back on mother’s day! When a man proudly proclaims “I take care of my kids!” he isn’t given any extra praise or a pat on the back, why? Because they’re his children, he’s SUPPOSED to take care of them. So what are we thanking mother’s on fathers day for, being good mothers like they’re SUPPOSED to?! That’s silly, and let’s not forget that these “victims”, as you called them, chose these less than shinning examples of men to have children with, they’re hardly victims.

      Nowhere in this article or in the comments has anyone bashed single mothers or the children. Not every woman with a kid is a mother, but it seems that in our community we pretend a mother can do no wrong. let me ask you this, this past mothers day did you go after the deadbeat moms who drop the kid’s off at “grandma’s house” every weekend to go clubbing or to “find a man” OR did you simply say happy mother’s day to them?

      • @Jeff….find a man! (LoL) really it is true…I don’t understand women who will mate with one man have his kid and then go and look for another ma
        n to raise him….men wrap it up ….ladies if they don’t wrap don’t OPEN!!!

    • @ Curtis Lee… surely you jest. Tis you who live in the fantasy world. The world where women are all of a sudden men. Because that’s what you’re saying . Fathers Day is a day to celebrate MEN. PERIOD. Not a role, not a function but MEN. No one is bashing women.

  25. Excellent article, and I had no idea Hallmark was profiting off this. As I’m not big in to buying cards, I look for more tangible, personal items when giving gifts. Again this was an excellent read.

  26. Brother, I hear you. However, we live in a capitalistic society so I’m not surprised nor offended by Hallmark’s approach. I am a single mother whose son chose to honor my support and encouragement as a stand-in “father” when his father refused to parent him and my daughter. Are daddies a crucial part of a child’s development? Yes! Do we have a problem in our community because so many black men are absent from our children’s lives? Hell, yes! However, how about focusing on some specific solutions, offerings in support of single mothers, the single fathers who are raising their children, as well as any other approaches that may cultivate more black male fatherly participation in our children’s lives?

    What is the solution? Perhaps those who are not in our children’s lives and should be need to be publicly shamed more often. I’m tired of us tiptoeing around the problem and once again, focusing on how black women may or may not be helping to support black men.

    You are great writer and I appreciate the thought put behind this, but what are the solutions? Aternatives? Should Hallmark come up with cards that state: “Congratulations! You’ve been released from prison! ” Great job of hanging in there and doing your bit.”

    How about “Great job! You’ve paid your child support on time! Keep up the good work!”

    Sorry for the cynical tone. Just tired of seeing our men veer away from taking care of business. Glad that you are not one of those who does this.

    Sisterly yours,

    Marva

    • Marva:
      I appreciate your feedback. Very thoughtful and honest! I actually pointed out a few solutions in the commentary. I wrote that children should be encouraged to give Father’s Day cards to the positive male role models in their lives like, teachers, pastors, coaches, uncles etc. I was not only mentored by my father, but other men. The other day, one of my son’s friends, who does not have a relationship with his birth father, told me “Happy Father’s Day.” I was honored and touched and I told him so. He smiled. He is 21 years old! He was essentially telling me, “Mr. LaVeist, I appreciate you and the advice you give me when I’m at your crib. You’re like a dad to me.” This is what my commentary is simply saying — Father’s Day is to honor men who are doing what they should do. Don’t cloud it with the other emotional stuff that his tearing our community, for the purpose of making a quick buck under the guise of empowering black single moms. Single moms deserve more respect and honor than to have their emotions preyed on. “Normalizing” singlemotherhood in the black community is not good for the community. The Fatherhood Initiative has outlined solutions: http://fatherhood.org. Other organizaitons such as 100 Black Men, Big Bro, Big Sisters, etc. offer viable solutions as well. Thanks.

  27. It’s not about who slept with whom or who doesn’t like the other woman or man. It’s about raising your child or children the best way you can. No, I am not a man but I taught them what I knew and yes they did have positive male figures in their lives. Still today, they tell me Happy Father’s Day because when they rose every morning it was ME, when they went through the day or had problems it was ME, when they were hungry, thristy, needed clothes, shoes or basic survival needs taken care of it was ME, and when they laid down every night to go to sleep it was ME, who prayed, and sometimes cried without their knowing believing God was going to make a way and He did. So, I’m sorry you have a problem with women who are recognized by their children as being “Father”, but you’ll live. If you did your job then kudos to you but to the ladies out there who are doing it alone, remember you are not alone and you can do it because from experience, God will bring you through and never leave you. So what if they made cards for that occasion, you’ll still get yours. We’ll never be a man just as a man will never be a woman but then it’s okay when the men who are raising their children are told “Happy Mother’s Day”? Wow! It will be alright after while! Men are not kicked around for raising children alone but because of a company making a card that is common in many homes today then there is a problem. We just have to do what we do best and if it’s your thing to recognize mom as being there as “father” do so and if there are people with problems with that get over it and move on.

    • You wrote: ” So, I’m sorry you have a problem with women who are recognized by their children as being “Father”, but you’ll live.”
      Appreciate your feedback, but you might want to read the commentary more closely. You won’t find that sentiment expressed in there. You might also check out some of the research on the vital impact that moms and dads have on the development of children and why they DON’T play two roles. You might also look up the origins of Father’s Day, what the holiday was intended for and what http://www.fatherhood.org is doing to encrouage men to step up and do what they are supposed to do for their children.

    • @tajuan……………..don’t mate without a husband

      • @ Janet… you have broken the rules… you cannot use Logic and Reason here… those who think that Mothers are Fathers will not respond to it positively. Am I going to have to put you in timeout?

  28. Interesting article. I had no idea there were single mom cards in any Hallmark store or section. Second, please correct the typo ” fine” to what was meant, which I presume was “find.” I am a dinosaur, admittedly. I have been married forty years, so take my viewpoint for that of what the French would call a woman of a certain age. When I was a teenager we ( and I am black) did not have a lot of out of wedlock births in our community. The community provided oversight of what we were doing, encouragement and, if necessary, disapproval for our behavior. The root factor that is mentioned but not highlighted in your article is that 2/3 of black children are raised by single parents. If those parents have become single because they divorced, were widowed, etc., then it is one thing. If they are single because they did not get married that is another problem entirely. I do not care at all what sexual behaviors people engage in, not my business. It is my business, however, when they produce children that they are going to have to raise alone, frequently without sufficient financial resources. If you are wealthy and want to have a baby you will raise by yourself I presume you can fill some of the gaps of the missing father with paid help, although that would be a pale replacement. If you are not wealthy, and not well educated and not financially stable for heavens sake use birth control. And please, no more stories about how tough single mothers have it. If she had that baby when she was single as we old folks would say “She made her bed…..” One of the comments pointed out men are generally spared from this conversation, excused for being absent. True. But women, by the time they are preteens know that women, not men get pregnant and if someone is going to raise the child alone statistics say it will be a woman. So quit getting pregnant unless you plan to, then no one will have to send a stupid card to a woman on Father’s Day!

    • Lord…help us all I agree with you 199%……..Ladies where are your brains……you get pregnant….can’t afford it…..get angry …drop it off at grandmas house….and we are off to da club!

    • POWERFUL!!! So true!! It’s wisdom like this that I love. We need so many more like you. I, too, was a single mother (not married before having a child). After I got pregnant (less than 9 weeks), I realized the mistake I make, but still only took part of the responsibility for the man I chose to love. He was never a provider, he spoke about commitment and marriage, but never asked me to marry him or stop bedding every woman that said “yes”. All in still, I thought that being pregnant by him meant I was somehow “winning” and that by me carrying his child and being his “girlfriend” that I was somehow superior to the many other women he was with. It’s a joke ladies. And once I finally was able to look at myself in the mirror and take the blame from him and place it back on me (where it belonged), then I was able to move on. Since then, I vowed never to be with a man who did not respect me and CERTAINLY no more children before marriage. I kept that promise and God has blessed me with a second son with my husband who is simply amazing. Until I was able to take responsibility for my actions, I was not able to see my true worth and allowed myself (and eventually my child) to settle for less. Again, thanks so much for your wise words!!

    • @ Dr. M. C. Newsom… I bow to your knowledge , wisdom and intellect. Thank you for a wonderful post.

  29. You cannot replace the value of a positive man in the life of a child. Just like you cannot replace the value of having a positive woman. Father’s Day is about the recognizing men have positively impacted our lives. They don’t have to be your dad or gran dad to be a father figure. I recieved fathers day from not only my family but kids who I interact with on a daily basis as well. Some are from single parent homes where there is not a dad at home. And as much as he loves you and looks up to you ladies I’m sorry there ara some things he is only going to tell his father or the father figure type. There are some things that we do that back you up as a woman to help give that child balance. My mom was awesome and my dad wasn’t the greatest man in the world. He rarely showed up, but there were others around me that picked his slack to help make me a better man. With the amount of single moms and young black men in trouble we as men need to do what we can to help these kids because right now most of them don’t have that male figure in their life that they can learn from. Single moms I understand your point but no matter how much you protect, provide, nuture , and care you can only be mom. Which is all you wanted to be in the first place.

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you and amen and amen. Here is what I wrote on Facebook yesterday.

    On this Father’s Day let’s celebrate Fathers. Mothers are not fathers. Let’s give all the hardworking single mothers double honor on Mother’s Day or even better let’s find ways to lighten their load every day (babysitting, an encouraging word, some cold hard cash, mentoring). Let’s let good men and fathers have their day.

    A few years ago, I wished a single mother a Happy Father’s Day and when I thought about it, I vowed to never do it again. Let’s celebrate men who are fathers. Mother’s Day is for mothers. We don’t say Happy Mother’s Day to single fathers who are raising their children. Another comment I wrote on FB in reply to someone: “It seems like on Father’s Day some have been so disappointed by those who have fallen down on the job that we can’t just give honor to those who are being good fathers without reprimanding others or pointing out that some mothers are raising children without the support that they should have from the men who helped make the children.”

    Celebrate fatherhood. It takes nothing away from motherhood.

    • Monica: You summed it up. There’s nothing more for me to say, but Amen.

  31. Whether they sell the card or NOT the issue to me, I can care less, I know that ‘I’ am doing the job of father and mother in ‘MY’ home, and my children know that they father is not there of their own accord. They are not going to send them a card unless they are willing to make sperm donor cards, Mychildren choose to tell me that I am a wonderful mom, and a gud dad, cuz i do the games, the raising, the talks, the coaching, the mentoring, what the MAN should do, I do, i can raise them to be respectful, show them that men should NOT come in and out of my home, they dont have 20-230 UNCLES, and be diligent in all their affairs, what I CANNOT DO, IS TEACH HIM HOW TO BE A MAN. And that is the part that sucks, cuz they will have to learn that in the streets or through trial and error. Can we not be so SHOCKED AND APPALLED that society wants to be politically correct in ALL aspects just embrace the card or dont buy it, period.. I dont recall a problem with Mr. MoM, do I??? Thought Not..There are better things to get fired up about besides Happy Fathers Day mom cards n toys in Happy Meals. Im Just Saying.. In MY home we are gonna celebrate mothers, fathers, grandparents and so forth days and be proud if my children so choose…. My daughter has her father in her life and thats where she spends her fathers day, my boys have no one BUT ME, and Ima be all I can be to them for them, and more..

    • @sharice…………..you are in my prayers………it would probably help if you got on some really good dating sites so that your boys can see you interact with a positive man who can appreciate you….yes you can preach to our boys about being a gentleman but they need to see it put into practice with you getting gussied up for a date and that man knocking on the door with flowers….do you feel me…God Bless

    • Sharice: You wrote: “…what I CANNOT DO, IS TEACH HIM HOW TO BE A MAN”
      This is very insightful and makes my point. You sound like a dedicated mom and I celebrate you. However, what you described in terms of what you do with your children (coaching, mentoring, games, etc.) are some of the same things that my wife has done with our children. In other words, you described being a mom. Here are some links that can help you understand the impact that father’s have. Mother’s and Father’s both play vital roles. They can’t replace each other. This is what my commentary says. On Father’s Day, take time to celebrate the dedicated dads and male role models who are doing the right things by children.
      – Origins of Father’s Day: http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day
      – Impact of Father’s on Child Development: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/chaptertwo.cfm.

    • You have a lot of issues that you have to work out! You stand on stupidity very good! You deserve a ton of awards for that! YOU SAID..YOU CAN’T TEACH YOUR SONS TO BE A MAN..THEY are going to have to learn that in the streets or by TRIAL and ERROR? So is that after they rob or kill someone? So YOU ARE WAITING on your WHITE JESUS AKA THE WHITE POLICE OR THE WHITE JUDGE!! So as they enter PRISON with the possibility of becoming someones SEXUAL PROPERTY..that is going to make a MAN out of them? The other aalternative is that YOU WILL BE ATTENDING THEIR FUNERALS..Get your EASTER/FUNERAL suit READY BABY….with your mentality..YOU WILL PROBABLY BE USING IT..Please submit a picture and the names of your SONS..SO MY 3 DAUGHTERS CAN STAY FAR AWAY FROM THEM !!!

  32. As an owner of a Hallmark Store, I would like to let you know that while yes there are Mahogany Mom Fathers Day Cards, There are also regular Mom Fathers Day Cards. For Mothers Day there were also cards for Dad. They do sell for both Holidays, as they fill a need. It is not big numbers of cards, but only a few.

    • Thanks for that feedback. Before writing the commentary, I called Hallmark’s corporate media office, but no response.

  33. Thank you for this article. It needed to be said.

  34. Bottom line, pride is a sin. We shouldn’t be celebrating these holidays in the first place. Holidays like this, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas (Nimrod Day) are all about making money off of you and I anyway.

  35. Wonderful Article …you can’t replace the need for a man in the life of a child. The Black community needs strong Black men who understand they are a priest, prophet and King before God….

  36. Thank you for this article.
    I am a single mother of two males and two females. My strength came from the Ancestors and spiritual guides, and my strong connection to the Creator. But I never identified as the mother and the father. Why? I heard that growing up. “I am your mother and your father.” What that came to mean for me, that my mother became the focus of all my issues.. since my father was absent. This retarded my mental health and emotional growth in many areas. When I got older I began to realize that my feelings of abandonment were deeply seeded in the fact that my father left me. My mother never left me, (thought there were times that her abusiveness made me wish she would.) But my mother could never fill the gap my father left, no matter how many times she said that. In fact, her mothering skills were faulty, so how in the world could she be a “good” father?? My mother was/is an emotionally driven, high strung manipulator. This I say with no malice because that personality disorder is a product of her life as a small child, a child who lost both parents, one through death, the other through abandonment. So I refused to say that to my children, I am your mother doing the best that I can to be the best that I can to you and for you. When my sons came of age, I looked for a male figure, rites of passage program or some other programs where men could share their experience, wisdom and just fool around with them as men do. My daughters’ father was also absent.. and they too are experiencing their own issues around that. As adults, they are responsible for their relationships with their fathers. I stressed that to them and to their fathers. One can only be what one is….. we do realize that every man has a little woman in him and every woman has a little man in her, but seriously, to take on both roles is counterproductive. I am a mother raising children, I am a father raising children. Acknowledge me for my efforts, (and not on some holiday somebody else made up, but that’s another rant) and I will appreciate that. I like the idea of “find another male figure in the family and/or community that you respect to say Happy Father’s day to.” That works!!! The irony of it all is that both of my sons contacted me and said, Happy Father’s Day. It blew me away, because I thought I had made it clear to them. Just a side bar to let folks see how strong the consensus can override the reality.

    • Wow Nana! That was so powerful! I so connected with your words. In my experience, I learned that most women who run around saying “I am the father too, and I deserve recognition as a father” are just as you say, “faulty as mothers”. The good mothers are good bc they are doing their job and realize that it’s the most thankless job on earth. I pray you continue to prosper as you are and that your children meet and exceed off of the expectations you have for them. You are truly an inspiration to me.

  37. I have a few comments about your article. First, If you are a single parent, with no male role models-Sons father disappeared and is running from child support-has not seen the child since he was 1–he is now almost 6–My father passed away 2 years ago from cancer—no siblings–no church male role models cause most are gay–and fathers day comes around—and my son asks, mom, aren’t you daddy too since I do not have one? When you say they need to know reality, that is reality. I agree women cannot be a daddy, but if they are doing daddy’s work, white, black or purple, they should be recognized for doing both a mommy and daddy’s job because some men choose to be childish, irresponsible, and selfish. Or perhaps I should tell my son the truth, like you stated in your posting, and let him wait until his feeling build up until 16 years of age, when he wants and needs his dad, then hire a private detective to find his father to tell him “happy fathers day” and why couldn’t he find him to give him all of the cards and pictures he saved for years? ? ?

    • You really feel that distorting the role of a father to your own son who already lacks positive male influence can, in any way, be positive? Instead of accepting that, you should let him know how much you love him and that of all the things you are to him, a father is NOT one. He will need this more than others because he already does not see a man in action.

  38. Seems to me that is is just another distractor. Who gives a darn who is told what or called what. There seems to be a big campaign against women on this issue. Why don’t you wrte articles condemning deadbeat fathers and do it often. Why don’t men check their friends when they ignore their kids financially AND emotionally? When I’m told happy fathers day, I laugh then just say thank you. I know theyre not called men man or father they are simply acknowledging that I am doing a good job having taken over where the “father” fell short. Men need to stand up to other men and make them feel like the sad sacks that they are and women should stop entertaining men that have kids and do nothing for them. You haven’t won anything when you get with a man that dismisses his own flesh and blood for you and/or your kids.

    • Why do you expect the man’s friends and family (and even strangers) to take the time and “check” a man that you did not? Women, it is OUR job to know who we are sleeping with. It is OUR job to know what type of person we will be subjecting our children to (even if they are never around). If it OUR job to communicate with, and watch the actions of a man BEFORE lying down with him. More times than not, the guys wasn’t sh*t from the gate. There are exceptions, of course, and valid reasons that some women are thrown into single motherhood (rape, death, other bad circumstances). But, when you do nothing to prevent being a single mother, please don’t expect sympathy.

  39. No one EVER speaks to the single fathers and their hardship(s). In fact no man has ever stood on a soap box on mothers day and awaited this metaphorical dual recognition. It infuriates me to no end that people (women and some unknowing men as well) just blanket men into this “struggling pool” and they find like minded people to get behind them with this nonsense! There are so many good men that are still in the home, and just because there’s a staggering amont of men not present they take the downhill snowball regularly. I grew up with a mom & a dad in my home and while i’m very grateful & fortunate, I was a young teen when my mom was absent for a while that i won’t publicly disclose during my teen years along with my 4 sisters. There was ALWAYS excuses why I shouldn’t blame my mom for anything. I found that absolutely insane, and I didn’t accept it. Over time I forgave my mom, and she eventually mended relationships with me and her daughters. Nonetheless, I personally know of several instances where single dad’s are the case. That has never been made public by general conversation, or the media. I’m not suggesting that this is anyway better, but SOMEONE, ANYONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THAT’S NOT THE EXACT SAME THING!!!! Enough already, women that are single moms kudos to you, speaking as a dad & husband it’s hard enough with 2 parents.With that said feel free to stop tearing men as a whole down, as I’m sure (though you surely don’t want to admit it) barring an unexpected loss, that has a whole lot to do with why you’re a single mom! Get over yourselves immediately! A flaw is a flaw, be it man or woman, and single parents MAN OR WOMAN have a hell of a job and if men did what women do to men as a whole because of what some men do; there’d be no families.

    • Tabernacle!!! I just wanted to say that I put the link to the story on my Facebook. Wow at the responses. I’m a single dad, I’ve had my son since he was two. I am not his mother. Single moms aint dads. Period point blank. 2+2=4, not 5 or 6. If I was to make a story on Mothers Day about the deadbeat moms who leave their children in a hot car to die, while going in Wal-Mart to steal clothes, or leave there children home alone, to go to a nightclub and the house burned down, or women who kill, drown, maim and torture their children because they remind them of their “no good a** daddy” women every would burst a blood vessel.

  40. Absolutely, very well said……..It’s sad to see that society sees a problem and tries to make a profit from it. wish that society would educate the male parents and encourage them to be fathers to their children, who by no means asked to be here. Our black community has a very high tolerance level for foolishness. I am a single mother raising 3 male children and I know the difference that a father makes in the lives of their children (good and bad). We fail to realize that there are some children who have or had fathers in their lives and were mentally and/or physically abused by that father, now they have been unleashed onto society to destroy more lives. Having a positive, God-fearing father is wonderful, but not all fathers are meant to parent and vice-versa.

  41. Being a single mother does NOT make you a father. It just means you have double duty because you went half on a baby with a deadbeat. 99.9% of deadbeat fathers were deadbeat boyfriends, lovers and jumpoffs and they showed their true selves long before the babies came along. I can’t understand why women won’t accept that you can’t love or sex him into being a real man. Another thing, if he never took care of and provided for you or even cared enough about you to see you before dark or give you a title, what makes you think he’ll do your child any different? Open your eyes ladies, no man can be a deadbeat to a child of yours unless you are willing to lend the opportunity.

    • Former Bitter Baby Mama – “going half on a baby with a deadbeat” is not how EVERY single parent becomes a single parent. And even if it is, blaming women and making them solely responsible for the mistake that two people make is foolish. How do we move past that attitude of blame and negativity and fix the problem. Black children need both parents.

  42. I celebrate my single mom on Father’s Day every year. My father passed away when I was seven and I recognize that she has done the work of two parents, so we celebrate on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I don’t understand what is so different between being a mother and a father. To me they are both parents and their job descriptions, apart from nursing, are the same: love and support your child.

    • There was something very mean spirited about the author’s lack of willingness to honor women who love, support and raise children without fathers. It says quite a bit about the writer that he sees recognition for such women on father’s day as devaluing fathers and turns a tender sentiment toward single moms into just another way to polarize the debate about parenthood. I agree that fathers and mothers provide different inputs to children as well as have the same obligation to love and nurture their children. I agree that much needs to be done to assist men to be present for their children. I don’t think women are primarily responsible for absentee fathers. And single moms deserve all the support and love they can get. Most of them work so very hard not only to raise their kids, but to support them financially; they work to the bone for their kids and survival.
      Get a heart. Let’s celebrate good parents – mothers, fathers, intact families and those where either the mother or father is absent. Stinginess in allowing children to honor the parent they have on either Mother’s of Father’s day is political, not pastoral. Get over it.

    • There is a VERY big difference between a man and a woman. I’m sorry you lost your father at such a young age but Mother’s Day was last month. Your mom did not take on both roles. She did what a GOOD parent is supposed to do which is take care of their child(ren) she chose to bring in this world. This is the number one problem with our community. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 child or 19 like the Dugger Family you also had a choice not to have any. A women becoming a single mother due to divorce or death is NOT the same as a women who had multiple children out of wedlock by multiple men. You don’t get a high five or pat on the back from me for or an AMEN corner because you want to blast your deadbeat baby daddies. You can honor or celebrate your mother whenever you choose to but at the end of the day she will never be your daddy. It takes an egg and sperm to make a baby NOT two men or two women. In the end it really doesn’t matter if you have one mom, mom and dad, two moms, or two dads you cannot change the way a child is conceived. If you have a child(ren) who are lacking a father there are plenty of programs with positive male mentors as well as the positive men in your own family. I tip my hat off to ANY single parent regardless if it’s a male or female. BUT at the end of the day SOME of us are in the situations we are in due to our OWN poor judgement. Until we as blacks break a lot of these negative cycles in OUR community and stop accepting them the norm things will never change.

  43. I absolutely DISAGREE with this article. If Black mothers are being made to play BOTH roles then she deserves some accolades on Father’s Day. If you are upset about it then more men should step up to the plate and be fathers to their children.
    We had a similar conversation on facebook on Sunday, which I wrote about – http://www.hotblackandbitter.com/2011/06/fathers-day-plea.html
    Some people need to take their blinders off… SMH

    • Some of you need to take your blinders off as well. Mother’s Day was last month and there was no out pour of support and accolades from men who are doing the same thing as some women. SMH at all the females who act like they deserve a prize for taking care of their kids. Like a few others have already mentioned some women knew these absent or deadbeat dads were sorry before they laid down with them. The writer of this article pointed out WHY Father’s Day is even a holiday. So why not show the men the same respect as the women on the day created for their appreciation? Women will get pissed if men put them on blast on Mother’s Day and other people blast how NOT so great some women are as mothers. What about the grand parents who are raising their grand kids because the mom and dad are both MIA, cracked out, or in jail! I guess people don’t want to address that issues which is another burden in our community as well. Some of you women really need to get over yourself.

    • The fact that your URL is Hot Black and Bitter says it all. smh…

  44. I hate to see the bashing of men on Father’s Day, we would never do that on Mother’s Day, or should not. We are to bring honor to the good men and not bring attention to the men who come up short we have the rest of the year to do that.

    Father’s Day is for Fathers-Men
    I have no clue who my biological father is. It is haunting and I’ll be searching until I find out or don’t find out. I understand that my Heavenly Father is all I need and people tend to repeat that often, yet most people have some knowledge of their parents…good or bad, and I’m no different.

    One blessing I can state proudly, there have been some great men to come in and out of my life. I learned from their strengths and weaknesses. I learned from their work ethic and compassion and morals. Those men – grandfathers, uncles, cousins, mentors, coaches even though I shared no blood with many of them, they have shown father traits or deeds to someone in some way, and they were there for me.

    In the past I have noticed how some will post Happy Father’s Day to all the women who acted like fathers. To me that is so disrespectful to all the good men, and everybody knows a good man even though they may bash most men for the bad relationship they have had. Yes some men are failures in the fatherhood department.

    A woman may have been a strong-good providing woman but she’s just that, she is a woman/mother, as in a man who is compassionate and nurturing, is still a man. Let this Father’s Day honor the good men. There is a Mother’s Day and there is a Father’s Day. If you don’t have a good father or no father, and or if the daddy of your children is not good at being a father, find a man who is worth honoring. That man could be a grandfather, uncle, cousin, mentor, coach, teacher, ex-boyfriend, neighbor, etc. You can find a man to honor on Father’s Day.

    Happy Father’s Day to A million(s) Black Men
    from your son

  45. Sorry but I have to disagree with this article. It’s taking things rather overly offensively and personal. I am a father myself. Married 13 years and with three loving kids. Do I find it offensive to find a card to single mothers? No. In fact, I applaud it because even before that trend came to be I praised my mother on father’s day for doing what my father would not do by CHOICE. A woman, or a man if switched, deserved that recognition for they ARE wearing both hats no matter what we believe.

    My mother raised me and it wasn’t easy. I saw her struggles, I saw her triumphs and I watched her progress and grow as a parent, a woman and a person. So I will continue to acklowedge her on father’s day as well as mother’s day because she was both for me. If someone finds that offensive then they have skin way too thin. Instead of calling Hallmark to protest that energy and time should be vested in educated our brothers and sisters on the value of community and family. Hallmark isn’t in the wrong here. We are as a people.

  46. Very good article. I don’t know why black women think that they have done something so brave and grand by raising kids on their own. It’s time to teach black women to make better decisions and choices upon the people they choose to deal with and have kids with.

  47. Pingback: forFATHERS™ project » Archive

  48. Aww look at the POOR Black Female ..who lustfully opened her legs before she OPENED her small MIND! Now after she has 2 or 3 babies with 2 or 3 different baby daddies ,She wants to be hailed as the negro HERO, even if she is a LOSER !

    She can’t CHOOSE a REAL MAN to have a CHILD with, but she declares that she IS A MAN on FATHERS DAY! POOR LITTLE confused CHILD! So BITTER at Blk MEN that you can’t stop yourself from attacking any Black man you see!

    WHAT DO YOU DESERVE? I see you cussing out your Black babies! We see you dropping your babies off with your mother and then dropping it like its HOT in the club..while on your way to the MOTEL with the dude you just met yesterday! We see you looking for your next victim to help BOLSTER your claims as MS.Super MOM! Able to pick a worthless negro in a single bound..Look up in the sky ..its a CLOWN , Its a JOKE ..no its MS. SUPER FOOL.!

    You are married to your own IGNORANCE! You want us to pay homage to YOU on FATHERS DAY??? Hahaha!!!
    We see your TRIFLING photos on FaceBook! Drink in one hand and your behind stuck out in the other! We Love the 100 shots of you in every porn position and then BAM..the 8 pictures of your 4 babies that you LOVE? So yes we SALUTE you MS. Father for proving that your STUPIDITY matches your low comprehension level! Happy TRIFLING day!

  49. Interesting artical. However, I feel you missed the point behind the card. Yes some mothers do take on the role of dad and yes some children view their moms as being both parents. So the card was not created just to generate $ it was created as a form a expression. Regardless of how she be came a single parent! And I wish people would stop always trying to run to the black church when ever they want to “get their point across”. Try a different approach for a change! And also some children don’t have a positive role model in their life to give a card to. So therefore mom gets it! Glad to hear you are doing right by your children. But question: did u get a “like father” fathers day card? If not what are you NOT doing? Just a thought.

  50. I purchased this card for my mother on Father’s Day and have done so many years past. I have even purchased a cake for her one Father’s Day. Why? Because she held it down when my father was too busy with his own life to give a damn about his kids. She deserves too be celebrated on any holiday representing a parent Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Single Parent’s Day, and if they came out with any other holiday African American Mother’s Only Day. She is the backbone of our family. We have uncles we look up to and will go the extra mile for us. But when the late night tears are there and there is no father to turn to, why not honor her for all she has done. Holding things together is hard enough on your own but with kids it’s even harder. I would have so appreciated an article telling brother’s to step there game up so there wouldn’t be a market for Hallmark to sell too.

    • I do understand your personal issues, but you are not alone in this social crisis. This is a community issue and you seem to be emotionally taken back. Try to understand that there are many young men who need to understand that the role of the father is not one that can be filled by a woman. No matter how couragous she is, just as many men who do the same are not mothers. When you let your emotions get the best of you I can tell you were raised by a woman. You should as a man be able to easily see the point here. No matter how good a mother is she is NOT your father and could never be. We as a community need to send this message out lound and clear. All of the men in our society are fathers and the women are mothers. And we have children to care for as a large community. Forgive your father and heal yourself; then join the fight for community and family.

  51. a thought-provoking good read. hmmmmm!

    • The only thought I had was that if I’d left off doing the father’s job for my daughter, she’d just be another bottom-feeding worthless person, instead of a productive adult. Can’t drop the task because the father walked away. And since I did the job, I deserve the credit. It’s circular (read: silly) logic to say that honoring the double job I did takes anything away from fathers who did their job. Single dads deserve mother’s day cards, too!

      • AMEN. You said it. If you do double the job, you should get double the credit. It does not take away from men who actually are “fathers”. I was the mother & father for all four of my children for 17 years. I made the sacrifice, why should he get the credit? My kids wished ME a “Happy Father’s Day” today. They know and appreciate all of the sacrifices that I made for them because their father decided that alchohol was more important. I did all of the work of the “Father” and I was the only “Father” they knew and respected. By the way, I am not African American, the epidemic of dead beat parents does not discriminate. And incidentally…..all of the children were conceived within wedlock..

      • Just stupid and selfish!

  52. Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

    I am genuinely surprised at the wide range of responses, both for and against.

    Obviously, since I was one of the first commenters, I agreed with Wil’s perspective. However, it seems as though there are others who are framing the issue in a different way, which is why they see it differently.

    So here’s the question I would ask…

    is fathering something that you ARE, or something that you DO?

    Seems to me the answer is… yes. :)

    The people who disagree with Wil seem to think that fathering is more about what you DO… that if you DO Dad-like things (however you define them, perhaps like the stuff on this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOKuSQIJlog ) then that makes you a dad, whether or not you are the biological father or even a male. When people talk about having to play both roles or wear both hats or whatever, this is what they mean. A single mother doesn’t get to only do “mom stuff,” she must do “dad stuff” also. For this reason, she should be commended — on Mother’s Day, and plenty of other days, no doubt. I don’t think anyone disputes this.

    Whereas I think what Wil is saying is that fathering, more than just being about what you DO, is also about what you ARE. And that, biologically speaking, there is a part of fathering that is tied to the physical reality of being a grown man… having all of the features and equipment that come in the package, so to speak. This is the part of fathering that is what you ARE, and that cannot be changed just by doing extra STUFF. It’s about imparting and showing and demonstrating part of who you are as a man, and somehow in the process, passing all of that stuff on to another young boy/man. And the truth is, all men need this, not just young boys. As a 34-year-old man, I need my father just as much now as I needed him when I was 12, I just need different things from him.

    I think what Wil objects to is the idea that working harder to provide and to teach and to support… all things that single moms do every day… that these things somehow qualify women to be fathers. Loving and teaching and supporting and coaching little league and showing your son how to change the oil in the car and all the stereotypically “fatherish” things we can think of are all wonderful and good things, but doing those things cannot make anyone a father any more than going to the OB/GYN can make you become pregnant.

    But what we CAN do is continue to find ways to support and thank and honor those single women for continuing to hold it down. We can, and we should do that, we should take time to honor them for their extreme dedication and commitment.

    Just not on Father’s Day, because that one is for, you know, actual men.

    • Jelani: Excellent assessment. When my children where growing up, I changed diapers, fed them from the bottle and sucked snott out of their noses with my mouth. I wasn’t acting like a mom, I was being a parent. A female parent is a mother. A male parent is a father. The definitions are clear. Now, we have a crisis in the community where 2 of 3 children are being raised without their dads in the home or involved. Much of this is because of divorce and deadbeat dads (but not all, for example, there are fathers who have died). Culturally, the value of women in child-rearing is without question. However, too many men think it’s ok to cut and run because they don’t understand their value to their children. They don’t understand they’re still hurting their kids by not being there. Our prisons are filled with men and boys who tear up when they speak of fathers they never knew. Our daughters are making poor decisions for “love” because there wasn’t a positive dad or male to guide them. Instead of turning this tragedy around, we are in danger of accepting it as the norm. It’s about cultural mindset. You transform your situation by “renewing your mind” by changing how you think, speak and do things. This issue of Hallmark cards and Father’s Day is simply an opportunity to address the problem. Notice that many of those who disagree with me or have said, I “should be ashamed” have fallen for the typical “you’re blaming single moms” trap. Because of their emotions tied to their personal situations it’s difficult for them to see that my position is much more nuanced than that. If we want more men to step up, and we do, then do we really believe (no matter how well intentioned the gesture) that telling single moms that they are “dads too” will help this cause? Do we really believe this makes the child feel better about not having dad around because he/she has a great mom, who was honored the previous month on Mother’s Day? The unintended consequence of this recognition is to again give emphasis to the deadbeat dad on a day that is set aside to celebrate excellent fathers. So I say, we can help turn this crisis around by celebrating those fathers and male surrogates who are doing what they are supposed to do for children. Chastise deadbeats who aren’t, but also give them the tools to “renew their minds.” This is what the Fatherhood Initiative and other like-minded organizations are doing to be part of the solution. As an opinion writer, one of the ways I know that I’ve written a thought-provoking is when people disagree or show passion. The above responses and those I’ve received directly from wise single mothers who “get it” are most encouraging regarding the community’s future.

    • I agreed with both sides until I read your comment which makes so much sense and you are absolutely right, mother’s are not fathers. Thank you for breaking it all down and thank you for recognizing the extreme dedication and commitments that single mothers make.

  53. When I read this on facebook I had to comment. I was reared by a single mom and all my life I have been encouraged to dedicate Fathers Day to her. As I’ve gotten older I realize the negative effect this has on the black community. It DOES preach a message of single motherhood as being okay and both parties, male and female, have their work to do to fix that. I would have loved to have had my father around to help rear me but he wasn’t. However, I was fortunate enough to have uncles and older cousins who were there for me in ways my mother couldn’t be. They advised me then and they continue to advise me now.
    And now everywhere I look I see single young ladies rearing children on their own and their anthem is “I don’t need a man” and that simply isn’t true. They needed a man to make the baby and they will need one to help provide for that child whether it be emotionally, spiritually, or financially.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t place all the blame on the women because we got into this quagmire together. Men need to not be so willing to lie with a woman and make a baby and then just walk away. Of course no one can make anyone do something they don’t want to do. But the same men who produce babies and then leave were brought up in single family homes themselves and whether they will admit it or not, it affected them.
    Black people are fed a steady diet of single family life, girls running the world, and ballin’. We have to be the ones to stop this cycle because nobody else is going to do it. We have to believe we are better than our current condition and grow through it. We don’t have to believe it because it has been so for so long. We can be the change we keep talking about. I want to be able to see a father with his children and not marvel at it like I’m seeing a precious jewel for the first time. Not that it isn’t wonderful to see but it should be the norm and not the exception.
    Mothers, I salute each and every one of you but please stop diminishing the need for fathers in our lives. And fathers, whether you are in the home or not, regardless of what the media or anyone else says YOU ARE NEEDED in our homes. Even if they are not your children, spend time with a child you know and make a difference in their lives. I truly do believe we will turn this around.

    • The only way to stop the cycle is for black males to step up to the task–AND DO IT. No amount of denial of credit will cause even ONE deadbeat dad to do the things he’s supposed to do, nor will it cause one good dad to stop. Children need parents. And falling back on some excuse that any mom’s attitude actually affects how the children get treated is simply insane.

      • This whole thing is an issue of guilt. Guilt because single moms still feel like they are partly responsible for this missing piece in their children’s lives. But at the end of the day it is what it is. I also think black women are JUST as responsible for this problem. Whites and other races get on BIRTH control to prevent out of wedlock babies. Why can’t we do the same? why can’t we wait for marriage? or better yet, at least TRY…. trust me men want kids TOO, so if we presented it as a package to them, we might increase the marriage rate in our communities as well.. I am just saying. This is coming from a black woman, whose of marriage age (32) and who will wait and try for as long as I can to get married FIRST, then if i make the choice to do this alone at say 36-38 then I will know I did my best to break the cycle.

  54. Just reading over alot of the comments and to be for real it’s not easy being a single parent female or male.I like what was said about gender not being an issue in raising children.I have pros and cons about that.I do agree with if the father is absence or hardly around the sons will seek look for postive role models else where if he is not mislead.and having a responsible,loving,caring,supportive,and strong male role model is a plus and so needed.Look at whats happening to our youth today their dying, committing suicide,or in jail.There is a big problem alright and more people need to wake up and pay attention and it is no fantasy.

  55. Wow, I’ve only read a few of the comments before posting this but I’ve tried everything to get my son to be a part of my sons life. I’ve tried for 4 years about to be 5 years with no sucess. I’ve tried sending pictures of my son, telling him the importance that a fathers role plays in a sons life. I was googling how a mother can fill the fathers role when I came across this and I was not a lot but a little offended because I thought you were blaming moms saying that we choose this life, to push away fathers because we don’t need them. Then I saw Jelani’s point comment and saw that that’s not what was being said at all. I see that it was meant that marketing could encourage the thought that what is going on around us is okay when it’s really not. This article is right the father could just feel better about it if he thinks well this is the norm everyone is doing that. This article gave me a new perspective about this.

  56. Wil,
    I agree with you 100% and I am a single mother raising a 4 year old boy! One of the many things about this season of my life that genuinly BOTHERS me is when I hear people say things like, “I can do this ALL by myself! I don’t need a man!” OR as you mentioned, a “happy fathers day!” being directed to a mother. #GrindsMyGears!

    PSA women ARE NOT MEN and will NEVER have the ability to take the place of one! Our children NEED their fathers and depsite the popular thought, a woman CANNOT raise a boy to be a man! I have the ability to teach my son how to be respectful, but there are just certain things that I will not be able to teach him and that is where an uncle, or positive male figure comes in.

    I have not seen for myself the Hallmark line that you mentioned, but either way, IT’S A BUNCH OF BALONEY!

    Signed,
    A single mom on a mission to empowering and inspiring young sinlge mothers to live life with hope growth and happness!

    Play YOUR part!
    http://www.samestorydiffrentface.com

  57. I understand the spirit of the article. I completely agree that dads who get involved in raising their kids must be celebrated. That’s the whole point of celebrating the day. The dad is the nurturing caring supporting guiding dad, the one who is genuinely interested and invested in his child’s future. That’s all fair.
    However, what you are doing is to classify people based on their genitals. Gender is a sociological concept. Men and women are biologically very similar, except for 78 genes on the Y chromosome. Those genes have little to do with gender. They have got to do with reproduction. Besides reproduction, the genes and genitals are alike. In fact, the male baby is female for a major part of pregnancy in the womb. It becomes male only due to one of the 78 genes. The SRY gene. In the absence of that gene or if the mother’s body does not recognize the actions of the gene, the baby remains female.
    When we have a child, the first thing we ask is, “is it a boy or a girl?” However, “boy” and “girl” are genders. They are not sexes. Male and female are sexes. Boy and girl are sociological definitions about how we expect them to behave based on their genitals. Specifically, the presence of a penis.
    So what’s the difference we notice between men and women? That’s social conditioning. When we are little, we are told, “boys don’t cry”, which means that “girls can cry, but you cannot because you are a boy”. And girls are told, “girls do not sit with their legs apart, which implies that “boys can, but you cannot”. In effect, the social conditioning begins the day we are born, with pink and blue. If you did not know this before, pink and blue had opposite meanings before 1940. Pink was for boys and blue was for girls.
    What I’m trying to say is that being born with a penis does not automatically imply that you are a man. Being a man or not is a sociological concept. There are certain traits of being a man, which you choose to follow or not.
    The set of traits which you believe a man should have are not necessarily the same as mine. However, society in general across the world considers honor, righteousness, and determination manly traits, while society in general across the world considers empathy, caring and gentleness as female traits. As you can tell, women can have determination and you can be a gentleman.
    Likewise, a woman can have the traits which make a good man a good man, without growing a penis. Essentially, that’s what your article boils down to. The penis. I have one, but that does not necessarily make me a man unless I choose to have the traits which per society makes me a man.
    So riling against single moms who take on that responsibility of filling in for a dad, or riling against gay parents who fill that responsibility exceptionally well per current research merely reflects your inner angst against something that’s bothering you. Don’t take it out on others. By doing so, you really lost the point you were originally trying to make, which is that the dads who stick around need to be celebrated.

    • MDinSFO: You wrote “So riling against single moms who take on that responsibility of filling in for a dad, or riling against gay parents who fill that responsibility exceptionally well per current research merely reflects your inner angst against something that’s bothering you.” You clearly have an agenda, which is fine. Check out the origins of Father’s Day, which I also mentioned in the commentary.:
      http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day

  58. What a ridiculous comment to make. As a single Mother of a 23 year old who graduated 2nd in her H.S. class and an Honor Student from College you better believe that a Mother should also be wished a Father’s Day. Playing those two roles is not an easy task for a single Mother or a Single Father working full time (sometimes 2 and 3 jobs) at once to make up for the missing partner (for whatever reason it is) , Major Kudos are in order. Check yourself. And Happy Father’s and Mother’s Day to you.

    • Maria: I appreciate your opinion and the emotion you bring to it, but here’s a perspective from a single mom that you might consider: http://www.urbanfaith.com/2011/09/the-single-parent-trap.html/

      • Lots of circular logic in that article; let’s sort it out.
        1. Whatever way a child gets all they need to grow on, they got mothered and fathered. If you get hung up on titles and fail, that’s ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’
        2. Too much guilt poisons all relationships. It’s better to celebrate, validate, and support than to criticize.
        3. Honesty is healthy. Giving credit to a deadbeat ruins a child’s ability to develop good judgment. If you owe mom EVERYTHING, so be it. She can be trusted not to turn it into a guilt trip.

        Peace. And love to your mom.

    • Maria, you are absolutely correct! My daughter graduated 2nd in her class, then from college with honors, then med school, now this year from her residency in emergency medicine. I am worn out physically AND financially, but clearly played BOTH mother and father to her. It’s a difficult tap dance. Major, major kudos, props, congrats and pride to you for your success in this same effort; I can’t imagine WHAT that fewl was thinking!

  59. The article was amazing! I have just one issue and it is also a common theme in some of the comments. This montra about it not being alright to be a single mother is highly insulting. It’s a shame that people (men AND women) feel no real need to make a family work, but let’s not say its not ok. Birth control fails, and would we rather have women aborting children to avoid the single parent problem? I know that wasn’t the main point of the article but as a single mother it offended me. I am not happy or proud of being a single mother, but I’ve done all I could do to prevent this.

    The main thing I agree with and feel everyone should get from this article is let’s not take away from the fathers who are there. Instead of bashing your child’s or even your own father, just don’t observe the day. Columbus day is a holiday I don’t celebrate but I don’t spend it bashing those that do or explaining why I don’t celebrate it. Lift up and acknowledge the fathers in your life that are doing what they should be doing as a parent. Spending Sunday bitter putting your business on the internet only perpetuates the angry “baby mama” stereotype. It sets a bad example for your kids!

  60. Do we say to single fathers “Happy Mother’s Day!”? No we dont. A mother that does it by themselves are GREAT MOMS, but will never be fathers and vice versa. Some of the women who want to claim ownership of fatherhood need to work on their mothering skills anyway. There are plenty of terrible single mothers. Many of you know personally know some

    • Yes, we definitely say “Happy Mother’s Day” to single dads; nothing wrong with it. As for ‘terrible single mothers’ I don’t see any. I do see single mothers with not enough support, love and patience given to them, though. Be gentle, and kind, and love mothers so that they can take care of their children. Or not. If not, then it’s just another ‘deadbeat villager’ bringing everyone down.

  61. Very well written article and I’ll go even further we need to stop making excuses in the African American community. Yes there are single moms because men have walked out on their responsibilities. Also so sadly there are women who have gone on and given birth after being raped and abused Such women in both categories need all the support that can be given them from their families and extended families. However a single Mom is still a single Mom and a single Dad is still a single Dad. A woman no matter how hard she may try cannot really challenge a man to be a man because she is a woman. It takes a man to really challenge a man because he knows what it’s like to be a man. Just today I told my grown son that first of all if you are unmarried you should not be having sex which seems to be a novel idea these days. Secondly I told him that a man any man shouldn’t be having sex with any woman that he could not or would not marry should she get pregnant. As people of Faith we need to still call fornication, fornication. Our daughters need to be taught that they need to keep their legs closed until they are married. We need to confront our young men if they are single they should not be sexually active. I remember when my son became a teenager I was asked if I were going to have the talk with him and buy him son condoms. I said I’d talk to him which I did but I would not buy him condoms because he shouldn’t be having sex. There is a standard that as Christians we are not holding ourselves nor our children to. There are still way too many unwed pregnancies in the African American community. If we would raise and keep our standards then we’d have a whole lot less single family households and there would be no need for discussions such as this.

  62. I think single moms would like to take comfort in telling themselves that they are giving their children all they’ll ever need in every area of their lives, but they cannot replace what a “father” brings to the table. It’s not their fault. They work hard, no doubt…they sacrifice to give their all emotionally, mentally, and physically. Their children may grow up to be fine functional adults in society, but there is forever an empty spot in those children’s experience. No one is blaming or hating on the moms, but don’t fool yourselves…it’s not the same.