Home > Editorial, The Industry Cosign > Dear Daddy: New Documentary Tells the Story Of Fatherlessness Among Daughters

Dear Daddy: New Documentary Tells the Story Of Fatherlessness Among Daughters


By Denene Millner

Post image for Dear Daddy: New Documentary Tells the Story Of Fatherlessness Among Daughters

It’s no secret that I stan for black fathers. My bias for the good ones runs deep: My dad is an incredible man who loves me with abandon, and my husband, Nick, absolutely adores his daughters. I’m surrounded by beautiful black men who take care of their children in every way—mentally, emotionally, financially, physically—and right here on this blog, I’ve made a point of highlighting fathers like author Derrick Barnes, writer Jamal Frederick and bloggers Eric Payne of Makes Me Wanna Holler and Lamar Tyler of Black And Married With Kids because I truly believe that we need to see them and follow them and study them and thank them for getting it right.

But there are plenty of black fathers, too, who are doing it all wrong—who leave their babies to fend for themselves while they long and ache for relationship with and stability from the man who helped create them. And those children are hurting. This was glaringly evident on Father’s Day, when, despite our best intentions to shout out the black dads getting it right, a bunch of daughters spoke up and out about the fathers who’ve gotten it wrong—by holding out on child support, shirking their responsibilities as parents or disappearing altogether. Those who were raised without fathers—or who are raising babies without their partners’ help—wanted someone to speak up for them. To acknowledge the pain and devastation that comes when children grow up without a stable, loving father in the home.

While I can understand that fatherlessness is wreaking havoc on the African American community and I’m affected by the devastation in a myriad of obvious ways, I can’t speak personally to the issue because it is not my personal experience. But this clip, from documentarian Janks Morton’s upcoming film, Dear Daddy, really shines a light on the personal agony children of fatherlessness carry as they navigate their life journey without the person who should be the most important man in their lives. This clip is chilling in its effect—frightening in its clarity. Heartbreaking.

Dear Daddy is a feature-length documentary about the life long effects of fatherlessness on women. The film follows the dramatic journeys of eight young women from the tough city streets of Washington, D.C., as they struggle to overcome poverty, poor educational systems, no healthcare, and the most difficult life circumstance they have been dealt—the absence of their fathers.

 Each of the girls are asked to write letters to their fathers, read them on camera, and talk about the emotions behind the words. Janks then puts on an investigative hat—locating, securing meetings with and filming sessions with the young women’s fathers, in which they’re asked to watch and respond to Janks’ interview with their daughters. The goal is to have the fathers reconcile with their girls.

Please watch the clip and, below, see how you can help Janks bring this child’s story—and those of so many more daughters like her—to the screen.


Janks Morton and his production team, IYAGO Entertainment Group, are working hard to finish the film and raise enough money to market, and promote the film and screen it in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta and New York. To cover theater rental, print, broadcast and online media, outreach media, travel, and other contingency expenses, the team estimates a cost of $2,000 per city. Janks and IYAGO need your contributions so that these cities and others can host individual premieres and community-based discussions—each designed to kickstart a national campaign to have absentee fathers reconcile with their daughters. Here’s how you can get involved:

Photo credit: Photomassacre for Flickr’s Creative Commons

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