We contribute to research on Black urban low-income fathers and family men, by using genealogical and qualitative methods to explore their varying attachments and contributions to households. We focus on the ways men and their families describe their positive services as providers, protectors, nurturers, and caretakers. We also address Black men's barriers to healthy family relationships and especially barriers to effective parenting. The interviews and genealogical analyses clearly show a strong pro-social desire to contribute as family men and civic leaders in their poor neighborhoods. But our basic finding is that Black men are routinely spread thin across multiple households and bear substantial responsibilities as elder and child caregivers. Since we focus on a very distressed, disadvantaged public housing project, we find that the majority of men face serious limitations that hamper their fathering and family roles. We will describe several policy implications from these analyses. (Author abstract, modified).
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