Myth: Most black kids are fatherless

A section of All In focuses on this myth.  Most black fathers live with their children and take good care of them. There are about 2.5 million black fathers living with their children, and about 1.7 million living apart from them.  And even then, living arrangements do not connote fatherlessness.  Many of those 1.7 million still see their children.

However, you get a different picture when you count children instead of counting dads.  That’s because those 1.7 million dads have more children on average.  Studies have found that only one in three black children lives with two married parents, compared to three quarters of white kids. Half of black kids live in single-mother homes.

Fatherlessness is a bigger problem statistically in the black community than among other racial groups.  That speaks to all sorts of systemic issues including the incarceration crisis.  For All In, I spent time interviewing dads in jail.  There’s also an entire chapter in which a formerly absentee dad explains where he went wrong and how he worked hard to repair relationships with his kids.

But the upshot remains: No, most black kids are not fatherless.