Top 10 Books for Black Fathers to Guide Their Fatherhood Journey

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In the intricate tapestry of fatherhood, books for black fathers offer insight, wisdom, and connection and help them connect with their kids. Raising children entails both triumphs and challenges, and these literary companions echo those triumphs and challenges.

For fathers navigating identity, culture, and society, books become valuable sources of empowerment, empathy, and shared experiences. There is a reflection of their narrative in the pages of these books for black fathers.

In addition to celebrating black fatherhood, books guide how to navigate the uncharted waters of parenting. This review aims to explore the significance of books for black fathers. 

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Top 10 Books Every Black Father Must Read

The books are arranged alphabetically. 

Becoming Dad– Leonard Pitts Jr.

Becoming Dad– Leonard Pitts Jr.
Becoming Dad– Leonard Pitts Jr. Image Source; Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As generations of black children raise themselves without an adult male in their homes, the fatherless black family is a problem that gets worse every year. 

What options do men who want to change this terrible trend have when there are so few role models and resources available to them in their communities and homes? 

Interviewing dozens of men across the nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts—who himself grew up with an abusive father whose absences came as a relief—found both discouragement and hope as well as profound insights into his roles as a son and a father. 

This is the best, most crucial book on this profoundly important topic because it’s an unflinching investigation of black fatherhood in America from both a personal and journalistic perspective.

There are copies available on Amazon.

Commitment– Carole Patterson

Commitment-Fatherhood-in-Black-America
Commitment—Carole Patterson. Image source: Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Commitment focuses on changing the way you view Black fathers in America.  Featured are interviews and photographs of Black fathers from around the world from Carole Patterson. 

Photographer Anthony Barboza contributes imagery of young fathers, older fathers, great-grandfathers, and fathers on all economic ladders.  If you’re tired of the negative images of Black fathers in the media, read this book.

Commitment is available on Amazon here.

Daddy Calls Me Man– Angela Johnson

Top 10 Books for Black Fathers to Guide Their Fatherhood Journey
The book chronicles the story of the happy home life of a young boy. Image source: Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The happy home life of a young African-American boy is described in this book’s four brief verses. There are several recurring themes, including family love and the shared symbols and stories that unite the generations.

The illustrations are wonderful, full of energy, and radiating emotion.

Buy a copy from Amazon here.

Dear Black Dads– Jamal J. Myrick 

Dear Black Dads– Jamal J. Myrick
Dear Black Dads– Jamal J. Myrick. Image source: Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Books for young fathers are scarce, and Black fathers are even less well-represented. In his book “Dear Black Dads: Wisdom for Your Journey to Fatherhood,” Jamal J. Myrick dispels persistent and outdated stereotypes that Black fathers are unfit and neglectful in parenting.

The book provides current and future generations of Black fathers with comprehensive support for parenting. 

This labor of love is for the Black male looking for encouragement and light for one of the most important roles in their life, with first-hand perspectives and advice from real Black fathers.

Get a copy on Amazon here.

Just the Two of Us—Will Smith

A picture book adapted from the words of Smith’s song
A picture book adapted from the words of Smith’s song. Image source: Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Will Smith, a musician, actor, and father, presents us with an emotional celebration of fatherhood. A father’s love as his son develops from a boy into a man is beautifully and intensely captured in Kadir Nelson’s vibrant paintings and the heartfelt lyrics of Smith. Every father and son will identify with this moving portrait.

As you read the pages of this book, you feel a sense of obligation.

Get a copy on Amazon.

My Daddy Rules the World– Hope Anita Smith

My Daddy Rules the World– Hope Anita Smith
My Daddy Rules the World– Hope Anita Smith. Image source: Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This book highlights the connection between fathers and their children and is dedicated to “every man ‘fathering’ a child.” The book, written in a child’s voice, contrasts fathers who prepare breakfast and converse with those whose jobs keep them apart but keep them in touch. 

The book also features some fathers dancing, some wrestling, some playing catch, and some cutting their hair. They impart reading, playing musical instruments, and biking to their offspring. 

Smith creates inclusive and diverse illustrations. She makes sure to depict multiracial families and families of different races in her illustrations made from torn pieces of paper. The illustrations have a warmth and a folk art quality that emphasize the richness of being a father and a family member.

You can get a copy on Amazon.

My Seven Black Fathers– Will Jawando 

My Seven Black Fathers– Will Jawando
My Seven Black Fathers– Will Jawando. Image source: Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Will Jawando, a future advocate for civil rights and educational policy who grew up outside of Washington, D.C., began his life as a typical Black boy.  He was marginalized, misunderstood, and lacking constant support from his biological father. 

Later, Jawando would find himself in the White House, working on the My Brother’s Keeper campaign and assisting in preventing young men of color from encountering the same opportunity gaps he had.

He wasn’t, though, working by himself. “My Seven Black Fathers” is an uplifting account of the numerous men who helped Jawando succeed and give back by offering advice, encouragement, and support. 

The book offers a transformative method for Black men to influence the next generation and shows how fatherhood can take many forms.

A copy is available on Amazon.

‘Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father– Craig Melvin

Top 10 Books for Black Fathers to Guide Their Fatherhood Journey
Pops. Image source: Amazon. licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Craig Melvin portrays a cool and collected demeanor as co-host of NBC’s “Today.” However, the journalist’s complex relationship with his formerly estranged and alcoholic father is revealed in his first memoir, “Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father.” 

The book also honors many fathers that Craig highlighted in his “Dads Got This” segments on “Today” and the father figures who helped him as he made his way from a working-class upbringing in Columbia, South Carolina, to a prosperous media career. 

Melvin makes sense of fatherhood as he comes to terms with his flawed father in this tale of reckoning, redemption, and unwavering love.

You can get a copy on Amazon here.

Sixty-One– Chris Paul with Michael Wilbon 

Sixty-One– Chris Paul with Michael Wilbon. Image source; Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Sixty-One– Chris Paul with Michael Wilbon. Image source; Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The first book by NBA superstar point guard Chris Paul details his early memories of his late grandfather Nathaniel “Papa” Jones and the lessons he taught him that have remained with him today.

Anyone who knows Paul’s origin story knows that at 61, Paul’s grandfather, a budding businessman and pillar of his Winston-Salem, North Carolina, community, was murdered. 

The momentous day coincided with the day the future MVP of the All-Star game and NBA Rookie of the Year signed his letter of intent to play college basketball for Wake Forest. 

Paul purposefully scored an incredible 61 points during his next high school basketball game as a practical tribute the day after his grandfather was buried. 

His poignant memoir of family, faith, and fatherhood, “Sixty-One,” continues Papa’s legacy.

You can get a copy on Amazon.

Why Fathers Cry At Night: Kwame Alexander 

Why Fathers Cry At Night: Kwame Alexander
Why Fathers Cry At Night: Kwame Alexander. Image source; Amazon licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Kwame Alexander, a Newbery Medalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author, is perhaps best known for his numerous books for children and young adults. But his first book for adults, which critics have hailed as one of the best of the spring of 2023, is a stirring autobiography that blends poetry, recipes, and narrative as Alexander considers his maturation into a man.  

Following the death of his beloved mother, the subsequent dissolution of his marriage, and a protracted estrangement from one of his daughters, Kwame discovered that the only thing that could help him cope with his grief was to express it in poetry. 

Even though he had never cooked before, he also wanted to recreate his mother’s and grandmother’s favorite meals to feel more connected to them. He did this by remembering, jotting down, and cooking the recipes. 

Kwame also discusses his difficult relationship with his father, a minister and academic who adored him dearly but never expressed it.

You can get a copy on Amazon.

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These exceptional books for black fathers provide parents and their children with narratives that resonate with their experiences. The wisdom they uncover enriches their parenting and empowers them to cultivate a world where their children can flourish.

These books for black fathers offer valuable lessons in understanding, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between father and son.

Have a read! 

Spotcovery offers unique and fresh daily content on Black culture, lifestyle, and experiences. We talk about everything black, black people, black-owned and black-owned businesses. We also deliver authentic and relevant content that will inform, inspire and empower you! The future of black media is critical to today’s black experience! Our primary audience includes African American, African, Afro-Caribbean, and people of African heritage. Black culture is for the culture!

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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