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- The state or quality of being fatherless (not having a (living) father).
- 2007 October 16, Bob Herbert, “Tough, Sad and Smart”, in New York Times:
- Speaking about the epidemic of fatherlessness in black families, Mr. Cosby imagined a young fatherless child thinking: “Somewhere in my life a person called my father has not shown up, and I feel very sad about this because I don’t know if I’m ugly — I don’t know what the reason is.”
- 2007 December 18, David Brooks, “The Obama-Clinton Issue”, in New York Times:
- Obama did not respond to his fatherlessness or his racial predicament with anger and rage, but as questions for investigation, conversation and synthesis.
- 2008 June 16, Julie Bosman, “Obama Calls for More Responsibility From Black Fathers”, in New York Times:
- His themes have also been sounded by the comedian Bill Cosby, who has stirred debate among black Americans by bluntly speaking about an epidemic of fatherlessness in African-American families while suggesting that some blacks use racism as a crutch to explain the lack of economic progress.