At a summit on black fatherhood, “hip-hop heads” talked about the image of manhood glorified in gangsta rap. Martha Bayles writes in Opinion Journal:
First, the panelists expressed dismay at the way commercially successful rappers like 50 Cent, the Game, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Nelly depict young black men. In countless song lyrics and videos, young men are either embittered losers despairing on the street corner (or cell block), or extravagant winners disporting themselves in surreal mansions or tropical paradises, amid harems of sexy, available and highly disposable young women. Some songs and videos are more offensive than others, but all reduce manhood to the pursuit of cash, followed by sex, in a world that requires no responsibility of any kind, least of all that of fatherhood.
James Mtume, host of a popular talk show, said, “It’s too easy to say, ‘I can’t do it with that white man’s foot on my neck.’ What particular white man is keeping you from being a father to your children?”
Update: Bob Herbert writes movingly about missing fathers in the NY Times.