Black filmmakers, creators and actors have, for years, worked to portray the gamut of black fatherhood on screen and dispel societal prejudices of the no good, or absentee black father. Here's a list of just some of the best representations of black fatherhood and father figures on the big screen.
Furious Styles("Boyz n the Hood") Laurence Fishburne held nothing back, and dropped some serious knowledge as Furious Styles, the father of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Tre in "Boyz n the Hood." Whether it was preaching about gentrification and the plight of the crack epidemic or talking Tre down from seeking revenge with a gun, Furious did whatever necessary to ensure his son became a man growing up in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Mr. Jones("Friday") The late, great John Witherspoon was known mostly for his exaggerated hilarity -- plenty of which unfolds in "Friday" -- but as Mr. Jones, the father of Ice Cube's Craig, he borrows a page out of the book of Furious Styles in a rare heartfelt and crucial lesson on what it means to be a man.
Rod Tidwell("Jerry Maguire") While Tom Cruise's titular character is busy figuring out what it means to be a winner in life, Rod Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., is the consummate family man. While trying to prove he's worth a new contract, he time and again shows Jerry what it looks like to be a caring, affectionate husband and father. Rod Tidwell puts it all on the line for his family.
John Quincy("John Q") John Q. pretty much aces the question: How far are you willing to go for your children? Played by Denzel Washington, John Quincy, in an attempt to save his son, who needs a life-saving heart transplant, takes a hospital emergency room hostage after finding out his insurance won't cover the costs.
Chris Gardner("The Pursuit of Happyness") Based on a true story and starring real-life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness" follows Chris Gardner as he sacrifices everything in hopes of providing a better life for his son.
Dr. Larabee ("Akeelah and the Bee") Laurence Fishburne plays the father figure, Dr. Joshua Larabee, to Keke Palmer's Akeelah Anderson when he decides to coach the inner-city student all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Along the way he teaches her much more than how to simply spell words, but the power they have.
Monty("Daddy's Little Girls") Idris Elba plays struggling mechanic Monty in Tyler Perry's "Daddy's Little Girls," which defies stereotypes for divorced fathers, and black fathers. Monty, with the help of Gabrielle Union's Julia, is fighting for custody of his three girls.
Juan("Moonlight") The relationship between young Chiron and Mahershala Ali's Juan in Barry Jenkins' Oscar-winning film "Moonlight" is one of pure love and support. Juan becomes a father figure to Little and an important figure in his journey to understand and grapple with his identity. As a drug dealer he's not without his flaws, but he paints a perfect picture of a complicated man.
Maverick Carter("The Hate U Give") Russell Hornsby's Mav Carter is a father making sure he arms his children with the tools and knowledge they need not only to survive, but take a stand again police brutality and the gangs ravaging their community. Mav not only makes sure Amandla Stenberg's Star know's her rights, what to do when dealing with the cops and the Black Panther's 10 step program, he's caring, supportive and by her side through everything.'
("Hair Love") This Oscar-winning animated short film written and directed by Matthew Cherry is the epitome of black love. The film tells the story of a black father for the first time struggling to help his daughter style her hair just the way mama does it.