Fathers day is right around the corner! This year, we want to celebrate 5 amazing Black celebrity dads who love being family men. There are plenty of men who adore their families and aren’t afraid to let the world know this; however, the men that we’ve chosen for this list never fail to put their family’s needs above their own. They take pride in honouring their family and allow their families to love to fuel all aspects of their life from, work to art, and everything in between. These men redefine fatherly love and masculinity by embracing their roles and responsibilities in fatherhood with sensitivity, humour, and transparency.
1. John Legend
Dubbed “America’s favourite family man,” John Legend has always been vocal about his family and the joys of parenting. If you scroll down the “All Of Me” singer’s Instagram feed, you will see an abundance of pictures of his wife, family, and kids. As a proud parent of Luna, 4, and Miles, 2, Legend is open about his parenting experiences. In recent days, he has been transparent about the ups and downs of parenting during quarantine. In an interview with Delish, Legend said this:
“We have spent long stretches of time together. We had long stretches where we didn’t talk before so I don’t think we’ve learned a lot about each other, but we have learned a lot about parenting… It’s a more intense parenting experience than we’ve ever had… It’s made us stronger and brought us together.”John Legend in an interview with Delish, 2020
Legend has also been transparent about his wife’s journey with in vitro fertilization.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan, the singer noted that most parents want everything to be “perfect” when conceiving a child; however, it is not always the case. Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, conceived their first child, Luna, through IVF.
In the same interview with Cosmopolitan, Legend discussed toxic masculinity, and how the phenomenon impacted him while growing up. In this interview, Legend encouraged more men to embrace honesty and communication through their relationships. It is these values that we can see in Legend’s parenting style and the way that he interacts with his kids. He encourages his kids to be kind, smart, and empathetic. He advocates for the implementation of changing tables in men’s washrooms because – obviously – men change diapers too! Legend is vocal about the double standards between mothers and fathers. He wants to smash the stigma that being a devoted and loving father and husband is less masculine than the stereotypical ideas of men and fathers.
Through one day (or song) at a time, John Legend is changing the way that the world thinks about love, family, and fatherhood, and we’re here for it!
2. Barack Obama
Depending on how you look at it, President of the United States of America can be deemed as a father (or mother) to all. They are responsible for looking out over the well-being of the nation. Some are good at the job, while others… need to work on their approach. At the end of the day, if you ask most Americans, they will say that Barack Obama was one of the better Presidents to ever grace the walls of the White House. Subsequently, he was one of the better leaders to guide America to an idealistic future, similar to the stong nature of an attentive father.
Barack Obama has two children of his own, Sasha, 19, and Malia, 21. Throughout the years of his family being front and center, Obama has been honest about parenting. As most humorous fathers do, he has given us a few unique analogies to try and understand parenthood, such as “raising children is similar to nurturing plants.”
The former Commander-In-Chief explained his analogy in a 2019 interview with Business Insider.
“They’re a bamboo or they’re an oak or they’re a chestnut… They all need water, sunlight, some TLC, but how they grow and what pace, when the branches sprout, when they flower at any given time, it’s just different. And so, our daughters were different, and as they got older, they became identifiable.”…”What that meant was, in parenting, the idea that you do the exact same thing with each child the same way actually doesn’t make sense… There has to be equity and fairness in terms of wanting them to get to the same outcomes, but we had to take sort of different strategies with our girls on certain things.”Barack Obama in an interview with Business Insider, 2019
Like a strong leader, Obama does not aim to micromanage his daughter’s choices. Rather, his philosophy is to give his daughters the room to make their own decisions and mistakes, so that they learn the lessons necessary to be good people. The top tier advice he gives his children? Responsibility is a privilege, change takes time, and there are many ways to contribute to your community.
3. Jamie Foxx
While living a relatively private life, Jaime Foxx has always been public and vocal about his relationships with his daughters Corinne, 26, and Annalise, 11. Throughout the years, Foxx has expressed his desire to be a present and dedicated father, as well as an exemplary role model for his daughters. One of the ways that he best exemplifies his eagerness to be a supportive father is the FOX game show “Beat Shazam” that he hosts with his daughter, Corinne.
As busy as the Oscar and Grammy-winning entertainer is, he always makes time to teach his children and foster continued growth within them. In recent days, Foxx has been vocal about the protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd. He was even pictured marching alongside his younger daughter, Annalise. Communication is a big part of Foxx’s parenting style; however, during a speech that he gave at Minneapolis City Hall, he admitted that it is a little difficult to explain what is going on in the world today to his younger family members.
Nevertheless, Foxx has remained persistent about creating a positive future for his children, as well as the children who are aware of him through his platform. In an interview with POPSUGAR, the “Annie” star alluded to the fact that staring in uplifting, family-friendly films is important to him as a father. When asked why he wanted to add Annie to his filmography, he said this:
Well, my 4-year-old was on set of Django just watching people get blown away, so I just felt like we needed a change. It was also great for her to be able to come to set and watch Quvenzhané Wallis — someone who’s her age — be so masterful.Jaime Foxx in an interview with POPSUGAR, 2014
4. Will Smith
It is a relatively universal belief that Will Smith is a talented entertainer; however, many have criticized his parenting choices as being unorthodox. No matter what you think of his parenting skills, you have to acknowledge the fact that he is a family man, and he is crazy about his kids.
Smith has been in the game since the 1990s. Since then, he has dominated almost every aspect of entertainment, later bringing his family in to try their hand at entertainment. Some of his more critically acclaimed work, such as The Pursuit of Happyness, included his son, Jaden Smith. Later, Will and his wife, Jada, would produce the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid. The film would soon make 359 million USD in the box office, proving that some of his best work is made when he works alongside his family.
As mentioned, Smith has been criticized for his non-traditional approaches to parenting.
Nevertheless, the Grammy-winning artist claims that raising independent kids who have “control over their lives.” In an interview with Haute Living, Smith had to say this about his and Jada’s parenting style.
“We respect our children the way we would respect any other person. Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms. Actually, we tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it.’ So the same way you would say to an adult if you let them use [the] car, you say, ‘Yo man, clean my car! Don’t drive around all filthy like that!’ And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to want an adult to clean your car, so we feel it’s perfectly reasonable to ask our kids to clean the rooms that we are letting them use”Will Smith in an interview with Haute Living, 2013
Ultimately, Smith’s goal is for his children to explore their creativity and independence. Through this exploration, he wants his kids to establish responsibility and positive values at an early age so that they grow to be independent and mature. Despite his perceived unconventional methods, he simply wants to raise good kids, which in and of itself is admirable.
5. Lance Gross
Most commonly known for his work with Tyler Perry and his role on FOX’s “Star,” Lance Gross is a proud father of one-year-old Lorin and five-year-old Berkeley. Gross keeps his family out of the public eye; however, he is a proud family man and often shares his philosophies on parenting and fatherhood. He often shares photos of his family on Instagram, highlighting the strong bond that he has with his children and wife, Rebecca.
In an interview with Hello Sunshine, Gross and Rebecca dived deep into their partnership. In the interview, Gross expressed the importance of checking in with one another, merging two lives into one, and sharing responsibilities with one another. During the interview, Gross connected these things to having a strong foundation in marriage, which can ultimately lead to producing a healthy future for your family.
Is there anybody we missed?
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