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Blog Home > CFUF Featured in the June 2013 Issue of Ebony Magazine
CFUF Featured in the June 2013 Issue of Ebony Magazine
The Center for Urban Families is featured in the June 2013 issue of EBONY Magazine.  The article, "Saving Our SOns: The War Within," highlights CFUF's efforts to keep fathers connected to their children. Read an excerpt from the article below:

The last several decades of Black life in America almost felt like a massice experiment to answer that question.

What happens to boys when their fathers are missing?

Every member of the family unit is affected in different ways by father absence, but the overwhelming burden of trying to feed all needs and heal every wound fals on the mothers. If you could view the Black family as an airplane, trying to soar while being buffeted about by currents and storms beyond its control, then a mother running her family along is trying to fly with just one wing--using every resource she can find to compensate for that constant pitching to one side.

And the results of a child being raised without his father's involvement can be just as devastating as a plane with one wing: Research revels that Black boys (and girls) raised in a household without their father's presence are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, tenn pregnancy and being ensnared in the criminal justice system.

While a segment of the academic and the nonprofit world has focused on the challenges facing Black men and on encouraging fathers to reconnect with their families, child development expert Jelani Mandara at Northwestern University has shifted part of his attention to giving these single mothers the parenting tools they need to try to compensate for their missing partners. Mandara, one of the nation's foremost experts on raising Black boys, has spent decades studying how parenting styles impede or enhance their development.

"Many African-American mothers, when you really press them on it, view their sons as mildly retarded girls," he says. Boys are rarely as advanced as girls from early on. They can cath up eventually, given the right home environment and right parenting, but it's very rare that a 5-year-old boy is going to be cognitively at the level of a 5-year-girl. We just don't come out like that; it takes a little more time with us. But moms don't think in those terms. What they see is that he can't do what his sisters could at 5. He can't hold the pencil at 2 like they did, or he can't start writing his letters quickly. That's when the low expectations start to kick in."

Read the rest of the story here » Saving Our Sons - The War Within - EBONY.pdf (12.19 mb)
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