No Rolling Stones Over Here: PBS Series “POPS” Highlights The Beauty Of Black Fatherhood


It’s funny how many of my friends over the years have told me that my Dad was a father-figure for them since so many of them grew up in households without a father present. When women share with me their frustrations and disappointments with black men, while I sympathize with them I can’t exactly relate because fortunately I’ve always been surrounded by black men who were great fathers, sons and spouses. PBS has recently taken the opportunity to showcase black men in a role that too many women unfortunately only see regularly on sitcoms like Blackish or The Cosby Show.

POPS: Fatherhood, the Untold Story is an 11-part documentary series that according to EBONY follows three different African-American dads from different socioeconomic backgrounds who are “deeply engaged in the beautiful struggle of fatherhood,” according to a press release sent to EBONY announcing the documentary. Activist, Shaka Senghor, social media sensation, LaGuardia Cross and same-sex couple Chris and Shelton Stroman-Inniss are the three men the documentary followsover the course of a year.

The show’s creators say they hope the documentary will help to shatter the myth of the “deadbeat dad” that is often used to describe black fatherhood:

“The media narrative of the deadbeat black father is generally accepted as a fact of life for African-American children,” the show’s team said in a statement. “But buried beneath these assumptions are the facts of black fatherhood that dispel some of those stereotypes. Pops’ goal is to affirm black fathers and black families – and empower them to share their own experiences of black fatherhood.”

Produced and directed by Garland McLaurin, the Peabody award-winning filmmaker went on to say that for many African-American men, fatherhood is a beautiful experience:

“My hope is that these portraits of African-American dads will shed light on the beautiful and daunting experience of fatherhood and dispel myths about Black men and parenting.”

HuffPost reports the creators are also organizing online events and conversations and encouraging viewers to share their stories of black fathers using the hashtags #PopsLife and #BlackDadJoy. If you ever had a “Pop Pop” who put you on to the history of Motown, makes the best fried fish or even struggled to do your hair in the morning with water, a hairbrush and Blue Magic, this may be a good time to show him some love.

POPS: Fatherhood, the Untold Story is set to premiere on PBS/Indie Lens Storycast on Oct. 26. Following its debut, new episodes of POPS will premiere every Thursday into the month of January, with episodes ranging from 5-8 minutes each.

You can check out the trailer for POPS below: