TheGrio.com, an African-American-targeted “video-centric news site” launched by NBC News and Three Part Media, was invited to the White House Friday for President Obama’s town-hall meeting on fatherhood.
In speaking to a panel of fathers and an audience of young adults and children, Obama addressed the impact of the absence of fathers on the African-American community, saying, “23% of young people are growing up without a father. In the African-American community, it’s close to 50%, maybe a little over depending on the stats you look at. So there is a real crisis going on in the African-American community on this issue.”
The president continued:
If we want our children to succeed in life, we need fathers to step up. We need fathers to understand that their work doesn’t end with conception. What truly makes a man a father is the ability to raise a child and investing in that child. We need fathers to be involved in their kids’ lives not just when it’s easy, not just during the afternoons in the park or the zoo, when it’s all fun and games, but when it’s hard, when young people are struggling.
If there’s one last thing I want to communicate to those fathers who maybe haven’t been involved in their child’s life, it’s to emphasize that this is not an obligation, it’s a privilege to be a father.