When Fadia Ward found herself a single black mom with four kids, alone with no father to provide for them she was upset. She was upset at the reality of hardship that often comes with being a single parent, and she was upset about her children not getting the financial, emotional, and fatherly support she knows they deserve. When she really sat down and contemplated that anger, she decided to turn it into something both therapeutic and quite unique. Out of Fadia's personal experiences came the creation of a different kind of website for parents. Knowing what it feels like to be a voiceless single mother in a world of broken black homes and poorly supported single parents, she decided to give single moms a space to share their stories, hold their children's father's accountable for their actions, and find strength in the real and present issues that connect single mothers across color lines and socio-economic boundaries.
Her site Daddydontwantme.com is as real and as straightforward as the name suggests. Airing out all the dirty laundry of accused dead beat dads this site primarily features stories from frustrated moms wanting to tell their stories, often times in a brutality honest way. And as Fadia knows from interacting with web readers to being featured on ABC, her site is both loved and hated in the online community. Whether you personally feel her site gives dads a bad wrap or not, the truth remains that many of these men have never been held accountable for their neglect of their children and their roles as fathers, so she is taking all the blows and stepping up to say that's not right. They are not good enough.
Love it or hate it, but please don't be quick to judge it because Daddydontwantme.com finally creates a voice for single moms (many of which are moms of color), who feel as though they have been hurt, abandoned, betrayed and left with fatherless children. And as Fadia points out to all featured submitters, it is their responsibility to only tell the truth. Her role is not to provide a place for people to create stories that harmfully attack a person's good character. She merely wants to put faces and stories together, showing the children who are left behind, the mothers fighting for their children's rights, and the fathers who have yet to be held accountable for their actions.
But the site does not end there. Hoping to shed light on what parenting should be about, Fadia also features a section on 'Real Dads' giving men an opportunity to either share their side of the story or to shed light on how they are playing active parts in their children's lives. The site also features original video clips like Fadia's documentary, on which several Junior High School students talk about what it feels like to be without their fathers, many of whom either left, got locked up in jail, or sadly passed away. Videos also include Fadia's News footage and documentaries made by single moms.
Whether you are a single mother looking to share her story, or any person curious to read these stories and learn more about the struggles surrounding single parenting please visit Daddydontwantme.com and connect with Fadia on the Black Moms Club.
Now to flip the script a bit.... Speaking on the site as both a black woman and a black mother of a black son, at the very least I thinks its important for us to have sites like this because we need not pretend such things don't exist, nor insist that they are simply dirty secrets we shouldn't air out. The fact remains that Black Family Unit needs to be rebuilt and in order to do so we must begin by being honest about what's going on in our communities, holding our black men more accountable for their actions, and ultimately letting our men be men.
I personally am not a single mom, I am blessed to have an amazing black man at my side and I have to fight to keep it that way. I have to fight against my own issues - a strong black woman who sometimes doesn't know how to let her man take the lead because she's spent so long doing it for herself. I have to fight against the voices in my head, showing me examples of my mothers and sisters who are single mothers - foolishly believing that if they did it it's ok to do it but it's not ok. It's not ok for us to not have functional family units. It's not ok to live with out the intimacy that comes with being in a real relationship or to think we alone can turn our boys into men. I have to fight against the demons of death that stole my father, the drug dealers who stole the life of my brother, the police who harass and beat my son's father for being a black man walking in a black neighborhood. I have to fight the demons inside both of us that have programmed us to sometimes fight each other, because we are slowly but surely learning what it is to love.
He is one of many strong Black Men who exist and thank God for them, but let's not pretend that years of slavery, oppression, and injustice have not given birth to the men who grace the pages of Daddydontwantme.com as dead beat dads. These are the men we need to find faith in, see them in their chosen and often unchosen state of invisibility. Our invisible black men being put into the system as soon as they hit 16 and walk the streets. Our men leaving poorly funded schools with failed educational systems told they are ACD and everything but intelligent, profound, and worth of a good education. Our men, these faces we see on tv sent to jail for robberies committed when perhaps two weeks prior they were denied that job or still couldn't seem to rub those two pennies hard enough for us all to survive. Our men turning street dreams into hoop dreams, touch downs, and BET vidoes into fortune 500 Companies from which everyone gets a cut and yet they are STILL cut out of the system, constantly told they are the ultimate cause of it's demise. And we, the black community at large, who foolishly rise to every occasion mass media gives to shoot them down, clown their triumphs, deny their flaws as our own. Because they are our own.
They are my men. They are our black men and however much the system beats them down we need them to rise to the occasion for I fear we have entered some of our darkest hours. We need black men, black fathers to love their women, protect their children, and provide for their families. We need you to be present and proactive with respect to fixing our issues and reclaiming our civil rights in a system not designed for us to succeed in. We don't need to be dependent on government checks and we don't need to be in a place where we have to demand child support. We need to depend on you, because we all need to depend on each other. There is nothing wrong with black pride, there is nothing wrong with black unity. It is not a matter of isolation reverse segregation as other's might want you to believe. It is a right and an honor to take pride in our birth right, our skin, our people, ourselves.
Each One Teach One
Creator of the Black Moms Club and Multiple Shades of You Online
Positive Websites for People of Color