Six-time Grammy-nominated musician and Fast & Furious star Tyrese Gibson has announced that he and his second wife, Samantha Lee, are divorcing after only three years together. In his public statements, the Transformers star laments about being raised with “no examples what being a husband or father is” and worries over the young black men who come from broken and fatherless homes.
In a heartfelt post on Instagram, Gibson spoke to the problems he and millions of other young men face. “I’ve wrestled with this question… How can we naturally know how to BE something we were never raised by?” Gibson wrote in a post containing a video montage of his soon-to-be-ex. Gibson also calls Samantha the “love of my life.”
“Most of us were raised in broken homes with NO examples of what being a husband, wife, or FATHER is,” Gibson continued. “I repeat… How can we naturally know how to BE something we were never raised by? My heart is so full because you’ve blessed me with 5 years of magic. Samantha Gibson, I owe you everything. I am a better man of God, friend, and father because of you.”
Gibson closed his Instagram tribute to Samantha on a hopeful note, saying, “I pray we leave the door open because the God that we serve is a mountains mover and can make a way out of no way.”
The couple is reportedly working out a custody arrangement for their two-year-old daughter, Soraya Rayas. Gibson also has joint custody of his 13-year-old daughter, Shayla, after his two-year marriage to Norma Mitchell ended divorce in 2009.
Gibson was raised by his mother in Watts, Los Angeles, and he credits a high school music teacher as one of the only male role models he had growing up.
According to some data, black children grow up without fathers in their lives at skyrocketing rates. In 2019, for instance, 64 percent of black children grew up in a fatherless to single parent home. That is compared to 42 percent for Hispanic households and only 24 percent for white households. The only other racial category close to black fatherlessness is Native Americans, with 52 percent of children growing up without a father in their home.
The latest Census data also shows a wide disparity in fatherlessness. According to the numbers gathered by the U.S. Census, only 38.7 percent of black children grow up with both parents in the picture for most of their childhood. Meanwhile, the Census says 74.3 percent of white children live with their fathers and mothers for most if not all of their childhood. More than one-third of black children in the U.S. under the age of 18 live with unmarried mothers, compared to 6.5 percent of white children doing so.
The website Dad’s League notes that federal data shows that “children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.”
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