Black dads drop the bling bling tag

11 October 2006

Black men are trashing stereotypes and being recognised as model fathers – but there’s still a long way to go, according to a leading charity working with African Caribbean dads.

Neil Solo, event co-ordinator for national charity Barnardos told The Voice newspaper that society has for too long branded black males negatively. He says the time has come to break the mould and put greater effort into uplifting the many positive role models in our community.

“What we want to do is celebrate black manhood. From black men that drive the bus and those that go to the office to those that are providing emotionally and materially for their children. There are a great many men that do fulfil that role but there is this unending focus on the destructive element within the black man.”

He argues that the focus must be altered because black men are definitely becoming better fathers. Solo says he has noticed a positive trend through the many seminars and workshops attended by hundreds of black men in places like Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle and London.

He says that black men should not allow themselves to be conditioned through negative stereotyping. “I would urge black men not to accept the stereotypes and I urge all positive black men to make themselves visible so that the younger children have an alternative role model to look to rather than the bling bling culture.”

To find out more about Barnardos’ work with black and minority ethnic families, visit Barnardos.