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I’m featured on The New York Times Online writing about President Obama’s new initiative for Black men. Check it out! #MyBrothersKeeper #BetOnBlackDads

I’m featured on The New York Times Online writing about President Obama’s new initiative for Black men. Check it out! #MyBrothersKeeper #BetOnBlackDads

Babygirl, making a snow angel. #snowday

Babygirl, making a snow angel. #snowday

In the green room after a fun chat with @Rolandsmartin on his show, @newsone. Had a ball! #betonblackdads

In the green room after a fun chat with @Rolandsmartin on his show, @newsone. Had a ball! #betonblackdads

Join me for a rousing discussion on @rolandsmartin’s @tvonetv show, @newsone, live at 9am ET.

Join me for a rousing discussion on @rolandsmartin’s @tvonetv show, @newsone, live at 9am ET.

Behind the scenes at HuffPost Live studio. #betonblackdads

Behind the scenes at HuffPost Live studio. #betonblackdads

Leaving the studio after doing Roland Martin’s show. #betonblackdads

Leaving the studio after doing Roland Martin’s show. #betonblackdads

Live on the radio in 10 minutes! Listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tiesneverbroken/2013/11/19/black-women-celebrate-fatherhood-with-kenrya-rankin-naasel

Live on the radio in 10 minutes! Listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tiesneverbroken/2013/11/19/black-women-celebrate-fatherhood-with-kenrya-rankin-naasel


Please check out my Kickstarter video and take a moment to support. Even $1 pledge will help the cause. Many thanks! #BetOnlackDads

Bet On Black Dads

“So I resolved many years ago that it was my obligation to break the cycle—that if I could be anything in life, I would be a good father to my girls; that if I could give them anything, I would give them that rock—that foundation—on which to build their lives. And that would be the greatest gift I could offer.” —President Barack Obama, Fathers Day 2008 speech at Apostolic Church of God

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Regular readers know that I’ve been unusually absent from this space. Now I can reveal why: I’ve been hard at work on my third book, titled Bet on Black: African-American Women Celebrate Fatherhood in the Age of Barack Obama.

The idea for the book stems in part from the quote above. When I first read those words from then-presidential candidate Obama, I recognized my own story in his message. I know firsthand the value of the gift he sought to give Sasha and Malia; I was raised by a single father who valued taking care of his children above all, who taught me to expect as much from the world as I expect from myself, and who never had to tell me that I could do anything, because he showed me that I could do everything.

The media would have you think that my daddy is an anomaly. There are a million songs, movies and books (and Tumblrs!) about mamas, but it’s the rare artist who waxes poetic about Dad’s ability to help conjure up the mortgage payment each month or take out the garbage on the coldest day of the year. The picture is even bleaker when it comes to Black dads. As a group, they’re characterized as deadbeat, sex-crazed sperm donors who don’t care how many babymamas they leave in their wake. But I know that there’s more to the story. Bet on Black aims to tell it.

Today marks the beginning of our Kickstarter presale. If you’re interested in this book’s mission, it’s a great time to buy. You’ll help my independent publisher fund the first print run, and get cool perks in the process, like signed copies, handwritten notes to your dad, limited edition t-shirts and VIP treatment at our NYC launch event next month.

Please order your copy here: http://bit.ly/14VDx7w. Thanks for your support!

Combating the Worst with the Best

This post and accompanying digital care package from the awesome Dr. Yaba Blay is the best thing ever. You probably heard the heartbreaking story of Tiana Parker, a seven-year-old girl in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was sent home for wearing dreads, saying her hair was unacceptable according to their dress code. 

In a touching display of love for Tiana, who is being taught by the world that her natural texture makes her less than the beautiful young lady she is, Blay created this book of 111 photos of and messages from women who proudly wear locs. Please click through to view and share it widely with the children in your life who need to know that they are beautiful, too.

And while you’re at it, sign this petition calling for the school, Deborah Brown Community School, to apologize to Tiana and her family.


I’m Kenrya Rankin Naasel, a lifestyle expert who—after much prodding from her friends—decided to share her hippie-dippie Black chick mama life.