The dreaded ‘Rona may have dominated headlines through 2020, but this was unquestionably the year that race also hit the headlines because of the killing of George Floyd and increasing activity by the Black Lives Matter movement. With race having been so high in the news agenda, I was very keen to learn more about the black fatherhood experience in the UK. I am indebted to Elliott Rae for agreeing to talk to me for my latest episode of the DadPodUK podcast.
Elliott is a dad to one and an increasingly high-profile diversity and inclusion expert who has had his work acknowledged by the United Nations. He will be familiar to many British dads who use social media for his work on the Music, Football, Fatherhood (MFF) website, podcast and social media channels.
I was very curious to speak to Elliott, not only because he is a fascinating character, but because we have such different backgrounds. I am a white guy who had a very privileged upbringing among the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Elliott, meanwhile, is black and grew up in North London (despite these different backgrounds, our paths have crossed a few times in recent years). I wanted to see just how different our experience of fatherhood is.
I encourage you to listen to the podcast where you will hear Elliott talk about his work and the black fatherhood experience. We go on to discuss the issues black families face, one of the most shocking being the discrimination black women can face in the maternity system.
Elliott also explains that he would always want his family to live in diverse communities, so they were not the only non-white family in the area. What really struck me, however, was when Elliott went on to talk about the worries he has for his child and the challenges she may face for being black.
Click on the badge above to listen to the podcast or alternatively follow this link. It’s a great discussion and you will be missing out if you don’t give it a listen (apologies for the odd moments where the audio quality slips slightly).
I must also mention the book that MFF is presently working on. In brief, the DAD Book is a selection of first-hand stories of fatherhood that challenges traditional notions of masculinity.
The MFF team have clearly hit upon something as they set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000 to publish the book (yes, I have pre-ordered my copy). In just 28 days they managed to raise £12,000. This, despite being told by a publisher there would be no interest in the title. You can find out more about the book and order your copy here.
I shall leave you to enjoy this episode of DadPodUK. You can listen to previous episodes by going to the DadPodUK page on Libsyn, although you will also find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.