Black Fathers Anonymous
Black Fathers Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship of men and fathers who meet regularly to discuss the concerns of both present and absent fathers. We are a support organization designed to help each other become better fathers. There are no dues to pay, no support payments to make, and no promises to keep. We are not affiliated with any other organization. We are not connected to any political, religious, or law enforcement organization. We do not work for or with the justice system. Anyone may join us regardless of age, race, creed, religion or lack of religion. We are not interested in what you have done in the past whether you have been involved in your children’s lives or not but only in what you want to do today to become a better father. We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings become better fathers.
Before coming to BFA many of us were not involved in the lives of our children, some had never even met them. We did great harm to many people. Through our selfishness and inability to take responsibility for our children many of us created more problems and more children. Many of us sought help through drugs, alcohol, religion, and medicine, but those methods were not sufficient for us.
Some of us are here because we also grew up without fathers and did not have a man to teach us how to be men. We did not have a father to protect us, to support us, or to guide us. Not having a father has caused many of us to be angry and to make some poor choices in our own lives choosing ourselves to be absent in the lives of our own children. After coming here many of us realized that we had a twisted image of what a father and a man was.
Some of us are here because we are prevented from seeing our children for various reasons some we created and some were placed on us by our wives, girlfriends or the courts. Some of us are here because we realized we were not being very good fathers and role models for our children.
Regardless of what brought us here we realized we needed help and we found that help through each other.
Many people believe that absentee fathers are unfeeling and uncaring to the plight of their children. They mistakenly take absence for indifference. It has been my experience that in many cases it is the opposite. Many of the men that I have worked with have expressed a profound sadness at their distance from their families especially their children. They deal daily with feelings of shame, inadequacy, and loss of self esteem. For a lot of them it fuels a downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse along with other self destructive behaviors. Because of the negative responses to these feelings we believe that these fathers should have a support mechanism to acknowledge, explore, and express their pent up emotions. Another aspect of this process should include tools to resolve those issues that are within their control to do so.
For many years 12 step programs have allowed their participants to confront and exercise inner demons that have plagued them and prevented them from living normal and productive lives. We believe that this concept can help absentee fathers deal not only with their frustration but also with the negative choices they have been making. We will hold meetings at locations to be announced using the 12 step format to provide support groups to help these fathers to cope with their circumstances
It is our hope that these meetings will create an atmosphere of empathy, trust and compassion that will provide these fathers with the opportunity to create their own solutions collectively. It should also provide a framework for individual reflection and a basis for action to overcome many of the problems that have plagued many of them for years.
Below is an approved adaptation of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for this new support group entitled Black Fathers Anonymous.