Black Fathers Embrace the Role of Stay-at-Home Parent


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By Bria Overs, Word in Black

Black father
Stay-at-home Black fathers are on the rise (Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels)


Parenthood looks different from years past. Importantly, who stays home and who does not has also changed. 

Nearly a quarter of children under 15 with married parents have a stay-at-home mother, while 1% have a stay-at-home father, according to November 2023 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Regardless of marital status, dads now represent 18% of all stay-at-home parents, a Pew Research Center analysis found, up from 11% in 1989. 

Some are retired or in school, others are unable to find work. A majority of men today said they took on this role in their families because they are ill or disabled. They also increasingly said they wanted to take care of their homes and families.


An increase in stay-at-home dads, especially among Black men, does not surprise Braswell. A decade ago, research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found Black fathers were most likely, at 70%, to “have bathed, dressed, diapered, or helped their children use the toilet every day,” compared with white and Hispanic fathers.

He says flexible schedules, thanks to entrepreneurial endeavors, the availability of part-time work, the gig economy, and remote work, allow dads to show up and be more engaged. But this is only one aspect.

The rising cost of childcare is likely pushing more parents, across genders, to stay home. In 2021, 17% of Black children under 5 lived with a family member who had to quit, change, or refuse a job because of issues with child care, according to a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

William M. Rodgers III, vice president and director of the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, says wages and non-labor income are two main factors behind the decision to work. Like Black women, Black men also face a wage gap, earning 80% of the median earnings of white men

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This shift has helped some parents survive 2020.

More breaking news here.

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