Real Dads Stand Up!

Baby fathers exhale, finally. Alicia M. Crowe’s book Real Dads Stand Up! (Blue Peacock Press) serves as a reference guide to get through all the child support payments, the supervised visitations, and custody battles that characterize the “baby mama drama.” As a deputy attorney with a law degree from Howard University, Crowe has seen her share of court proceedings. Crowe knows that in order for daddies to benefit from the system, there are rules to this legal sh*t. So, she wrote herself a manual.Real Dads Stand Up! acts as a legal guide, an etiquette book, and motivational speech all in one. In it, Crowe includes very practical resources like income tax statistics, info on property seizures, employment options, and so on to help men become good parents even when they are in the midst of legal wear and tear. The way this “if you don’t have a lawyer, one will be appointed for you” system is going these days, a man in legal strife is better off with a copy of Real Dads than an in the flesh lawyer. The book owes much of its force to its positive outlook. Alicia M. Crowe is on the bullhorn encouraging fathers to dust off their blazers, shine their shoes, and reverse their sullied reputations. In the chapter about custody battles, she writes, “It ain’t over! As some of you may have already learned, Family Court orders are not etched in stone. Circumstances change. Parent move. Schedules change.” If all else fails, just the optimism in her writing is useful enough.The only noticeable setbacks in Real Dads is its sometimes too informal tone. Crowe faces the challenge of balancing a lawyer’s formality with a slang that she knows will make her core audience more comfortable. This approach, which includes referring to “baby mama drama” as if it were an official term, may lose some folks. All in all, Crowe’s heart was definitely in the right place when she thought up Real Dads Stand Up! For all the women who are on that “black man ain’t jack” kick, there is one Alicia Crowe who constructively thinks, “Hey, brother, here’s a book to get yourself together.” Real Dads is a “no excuses” text. The several appendixes, the space for notes, the agencies numbers, and the sample court forms at the back of the gives men almost no claim that anything is holding them back from being a presence in their child’s life.