Black fatherhood is a beautiful thing. While certain narratives would have us believe that good black fathers don’t exist, the fact of the matter is that they are out there, even if pop culture chooses to ignore it. We’ve seen great black dads on the small screen, from James Evans on “Good Times” to Uncle Phil on “Will Smith.”
But there have been some great black father’s on the big screen, too. Whether it’s Christopher Gardner’s message of determination in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” or the wisdom of Furious Styles in “Boyz n the Hood,” here are nine moves that perfectly highlight the many sides of black fatherhood.
In “Friday,” John Witherspoon plays Willie Jones, the father of perpetual slacker Craig (Ice Cube). It’s a character played mostly for laughs, but in one powerful moment when he discovers his son with a gun, he gives some profound advice on what it means to be a man:
“You kids today are nothing but punks… so quick to pick up a gun. Scared to take an ass-whooping. This [holding up fists] is what makes you a man. When I was growing up, this was all the protection you needed. You win some, you lose some. But you live to fight another day.
Monty James – “Daddy’s Little Girls”
In “Daddy’s Little Girls” Idris Elba plays a single father trying desperately to keep custody of his three daughters. It may not be a movie classic, but it’s a heartfelt and important representation of black fatherhood.
As Elba’s character Monty puts it in one scene: “The world will have you thinking that brothers in the hood don’t take care of their kids, but I do.”