Bet on Black:
African-American Women Celebrate
Fatherhood in the Age of Barak Obama
By Kenrya Rankin Naasel
Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography, African-American, Anthology
Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barak Obama begins with an excerpt of Barack Obama’s Fathers’ Day speech and adds in a little quote before each story in the collection. The inspirational stories that follow come straight from the hearts and lives of black women who tell about the strong fathers in their lives. Some are grandfathers, some husbands, and they represent the strong black men who embodied fatherhood and commitment in spite of struggle and hardship.
President Barack Obama is often thrust into a purely political section of media and our minds. Our critical culture examines his success and failure and forgets his humanity and the enormous symbolism for many people looking to him not just for political leadership, but as an example of manhood and success. His example and wisdom as a father show a side of him often overlooked.
Bet on Black highlights these aspects of our president through the stories of other strong black men. It takes the high ground and gives rightful recognition to men who stayed true to their children through hardship, and in a society where they get none, where they earn scorn instead of praise, and where they live in company with many who didn’t choose to care about fatherhood.
I applaud, first, the gathering together of so many women to give credit where it is due and greatly needed. Also, I loved to hear the struggle and faithful fight these men fought to father their daughters and granddaughters. It isn’t easy and thanks don’t always come. Mostly, I loved the positive reinforcement and vital role these fathers played in the lives of successful, strong black women. A woman can be strong on her own, but the support of a father makes it a partnership and a joy instead of a battle.
Any man who truly loves his daughter can find encouragement and vindication on these pages. Any daughter can learn about the blessings she has perhaps overlooked, and about the man she must demand as he father of her own children.
I received this book from the author for the purposes of an unbiased review.