Last night OWN aired a special about fatherless sons and the impact that the lack of father figures is having on young men in on our community. Oprah sat down with Iyanla Vanzant; Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone; and Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School to discuss the best way to deal with the plague of fatherless sons in our community.
There are an estimated 21 million children in the United States who are currently fatherless. Many of the social ills that we see right now are directly connected to the lack of fathers who are in the home with their children. Everything from gang violence, teen promiscuity, teen alcohol and drug abuse, the high school drop out rate and more are all related to children who are growing up without a father figure. This greatly anticipated edition of Oprah’s Lifeclass tackled those issues and more and took on the task of finding out what we can do to get fathers involved in the lives of their children. The show also gave real life examples of men who are taking care of their responsibilities and being positive role models for their sons.
The epidemic of fatherless sons is one that affects all of us. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the special on OWN, I suggest you take a moment and view the clips from the show that I have posted below.
What One Boy Waited Almost 10 Years to Say to His Absent Father
Aveion Cason is a former NFL running back who spent nine seasons playing in the pros and a lifetime growing up fatherless. Yet when Aveion had a son of his own, he was absent in his child’s life, continuing the cycle of fatherlessness. With Iyanla’s support, Aveion’s 13-year-old son, Aveion Jr., opens up to his dad for the first time. Watch their emotional conversation unfold.
Redefining the Role of a Father
Traditionally, fathers are thought of as disciplinarians and providers, but according to our Oprah’s Lifeclass panel of experts—Iyanla Vanzant; Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone; and Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School—men need to rethink their roles. Watch as they redefine what it means to be a father. Plus, find out what qualities many dads are lacking.
8 Ways Fathers Can Reconnect with Their Sons
Geoffrey Canada says that whether you’re an absent father or a dad who feels disconnected from his son, there are concrete actions you can take to reestablish the father-son bond. Watch as he walks through eight things you can do today. Plus, find out why it’s important to share something unique with your son.
8 pledges a father can make to his son
Oprah: “If You Heal Our Men, You Heal the Land”
Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School, says many of the little boys he’s worked with over the years are filled with rage. Some of these young men go on to join gangs—but not for the reasons you may think. Watch as Dr. Perry reveals the number one reason boys turn to crime. Plus, find out why so many men learn to mask their pain at a young age.
OWN will air a special on Fatherless Daughters on July 14th at 9pm EST