July 1, 2003
One Dad’s Mission
Q: I [want] to launch an online publication [that focuses] on black fathers. I am the father of a 1-year-old girl. This experience has shown me that I am in a sea of self-doubt and have questions with no answers. I was raised by my loving mother, a single parent. My father was unable or unwilling to [participate] in my upbringing. I believe that if more men [were] exposed to resources that are positive and understanding, [they would] accept the wonderful challenge of fatherhood. I have asked several of my friends about how I should begin an online venture, and I have received many a dumbfounded look. Any assistance you can provide would be priceless.
–J. Croom, Brooklyn, New York
A: Speaking as a devoted father and the son of a selfless single mother and an absent father, I think this is a wonderful idea. When you say “online publication,” I assume you are planning to start an electronic magazine, or e-zine. An e-zine is a newsletter that is sent via e-mail to a group of subscribers. Three Websites with great information on starting an e-zine are www.zinebook.com, www.workz.com, and www.zinester.com. I also recommend two excellent books as starting points in your quest for answers about black fatherhood for yourself and, in turn, for others. One is Walking Proud: Black Men Living Beyond the Stereotypes by Dr. George Edmond Smith (Kensington Publishing Corp; $14). The other is Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood by Leonard Pitts Jr. (Longstreet Press; $22).