The 2016 Census revealed an alarming statistic. More than one-third of African American children in this country, under the age of 18, are living in single-mother households. The percentage of children living with only their mother almost tripled to 23% from 1960 to 2016.
A North Texas couple knows those numbers and wanted to do something good to show children, even if they are growing up without a biological father, they certainly can have a father figure.
Derrich and Requill Phillips are the creators of the children’s book series, Father Figures.
“I wanted to create a book that the parents and kids could discover their village through the mentors and father figures,” Derrich said. “On TV, you just see so much negativity. Men behaving badly. But I wanted to highlight the men who are dedicated to being positive male role models.”
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They said they have seen the need first-hand.
“Just last week, my wife and I were at an elementary school in Dallas, volunteering for their career day and a lot of the kids said they had no idea what a father figure was. They were clueless,” Derrich said.
His wife loved the idea and decided, she could also do something. She wrote a version for girls.
“I just want young girls to know that even if your father is not in your home, there are other male role models within your family, community or village that can step up and fill that role,” Requille said.
It’s all an effort to help the next generation understand if they can read it, they can achieve it.
“Having kids know that they don't just have to look up to rappers or athletes as role models, but hey there are so many role models in their own community that can inspire them to reach their full potential," Derrich said.