The Dad Gang: Meet the Organization That’s Changing the Way The World Views Black Fathers

The Dad Gang: Meet the Organization That’s Changing the Way The World Views Black Fathers

June 14, 2021 0

Although Black fathers have long suffered the attacks of negative stereotypes that deem them to be “uninvolved” or “absent,” the truth is they actually are more involved compared to dads of other races. In a world where active Black fathers are treated as novelties, The Dad Gang is committed to rewriting the narrative. Founder Sean Williams was inspired to create the organization after experiencing an unusual but not rare encounter in the grocery store of his suburban, majority-white town. While grocery shopping with his youngest daughter, a White woman approached Williams to praise him for “sticking around” to care for his kids. 

The comment—lined with racist undertones perpetuating the myth that Black fathers are absent—wasn’t considered a compliment by the father of three. Fed up and frustrated by the negative stereotypes he and his fellow Black dads face, Williams established The Dad Gang in November 2016 to shatter the myths waged against Black fathers. “It started out as an Instagram page, with the goal of focusing exclusively on positive stories, images, and videos of active Black dads,” Williams said in a recent interview. The Dad Gang’s Instagram account is now 123,0000 followers strong. The online community has sprawled into a national unit of Black dads committed to redefining and celebrating Black fatherhood. Williams’ aim to highlight the reality of Black fatherhood is necessary when Black men are up against negative stereotypes every day. Even though society equates unmarried dads to the amount of “fatherless” children, the reality is Black fathers are active. The National Health Statistics reports that Black dads are 70 percent more likely to have bathed, dressed, fed, or helped their children with basic needs every day than Hispanic and White fathers. 

To demonstrate the true strength and commitment of Black fathers, Williams and his right-hand man, Edward Smith, organized a “Strollin’ with the Homies” walk. More than a hundred dads came out with their kids to participate in the event. Overwhelmed by the turnout, Williams realized it was time for The Dad Gang to move offline and into the real world. Now The Dad Gang hosts regular in-person events to bring Black dads and their kids together to connect, celebrate, and unite. Williams has hopes of bringing the movement across the world. Society needs more positive representations of Black fatherhood to combat harmful myths. A new Netflix film starring Kevin Hart called “Fatherhood” is hoping to bring the reality of Black fatherhood to the big screen, shedding light on the positive impact of Black fathers. Many are hopeful that Hart’s role in the Netflix film will be the optimistic image of Black dads that the world needs.

There’s still much to be done to shatter the negative stereotypes of Black fatherhood completely, but The Dad Gang is undoubtedly leading the charge and wants the world to know that active Black dads are out here doing what they do best: being there for their kid. The Dad Gang’s Instagram bio says it best: “Don’t believe the hype, we’re active AF!” 

BMI Staff
BMI Staff