Jimmie Allen wants to help shape the representation of Black fathers.
While the country music singer and songwriter, 36, is a busy father of three kids, he doesn't always see an accurate depiction of his family life in the media.
"You will see some misrepresentation of Black fathers," said Allen, who is the proud dad of Aadyn, 8, Naomi, 2, and Zara, 8 months. "I try to stay away from it, but it’s out there. I realize I'm a Black father. I'm a great father, and I know a lot of other great fathers."
Allen's passion for parenting is why the singer is teaming up with Dove Men+Care this Father's Day for the #CelebrateBlackDads campaign, which aims to highlight the care and love Black fathers show every day across social media platforms. The need for such a campaign comes from research that shows less than half of Black fathers believe social media, mainstream media, advertising/marketing and popular culture portray them accurately.
"I'm just trying to help shape the narrative, because there’s so many stereotypes of Black dads: They aren’t around, and that men have to be over-masculine and can't be sensitive," said Allen. "I cry a lot. A whole lot. When I was on Dancing With the Stars, I cried all the time. I think it's cool to highlight Black fathers being present, and that it's OK to be sensitive. To love your kids."
Spending time with his family is paramount to Allen, who is preparing to head out on tour with Carrie Underwood. He'll be bringing his kids and wife Alexis out on the road with him, so tour bus life will include taking breaks to play cornhole and baseball with Aadyn, or to clean up after 2-year-old Naomi.
"She makes a mess of everything," Allen joked. "She loves to collect dirt and bring it on the bus. I put on a pair of boots before my show, and I had dirt in them."
Allen's father, who passed away in 2018, was a tremendous role model for him growing up. While the elder Allen, a Marine, ran a tight ship, Allen says he "wouldn't be here without my dad." These days, he relies on one piece of advice his father gave him: "Always make yourself available."
"Because you never know when life is going present you with the opportunity you always wanted to be successful," said Allen. "When this music thing started, at the last minute I got a call. 'Hey, can you come fill in for this songwriter?' I called out of both of my jobs at night, and that's how I met my now-manager. I wouldn’t have gone if I hadn't had that lesson in my head."
As for his own Father's Day plans, Allen will be on the road performing on Sunday, but he'll meet back up with his family to celebrate the following day.
"I talked to my son and said, 'Hey man, what you want to do on Father's Day?' He looked and me and said, 'Nothing — that’s your day, Dad!'"
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