Obama Takes Plan for Dads to the Barbershop

We talked to the head of the president's fatherhood initiative about the unconventional outreach.

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TR: President Obama is black. You're black. We tend to associate barbershops as gathering places for black men in particular, and many of the cities you're targeting have high black populations. Is this initiative really about African-American men?

KB: No, the initiative is for all fathers. Now, we're primarily targeting low-income fathers, so undoubtedly you're going to see more African-American and Latino men in that group. And you're going to see a disproportionate number of black men who are struggling with unemployment rates, incarceration rates, etc. We selected our cities because they're major cities with major social issues, as well as an abundance of resources. So the face of Fatherhood Buzz may look African American, but it's about all fathers.

TR: What does "responsible fatherhood" mean?

KB: Understanding your worth and significance in the life of your child and parenting in a way that reflects that.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root's staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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