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22 Powerful Photos Of Black Fatherhood In America

"I want to bring into focus what pervasive father absence stereotypes have distorted — real fathers who are involved in their children’s lives."

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Zun Lee's powerful photo series, "Father Figure," offers a striking and intimate view of black fatherhood in America.

Zun writes, "My project offers an intimate view into the lives of black men I’ve worked with since 2011 and who are parenting in various circumstances - as married fathers, single fathers, social fathers, young and older, middle class and poorer."

Zun Lee

Jerell's right arm has a tattoo depicting himself as his son's guardian angel.

"I got the tattoo when I won custody of Fidel," says Jerell. "The tattoo is a reminder of my duty to protect him."

Zun continues, "It shows these men not as deadbeats but as empowered agents in their own lives, as capable parents, and above all as loving, wholesome human beings."

Zun writes,"I want to bring into focus what pervasive father absence stereotypes have distorted - real fathers who are involved in their children’s lives."

"Contrary to the prevalent media caricature of black men as aggressive, violent, and irresponsible, the fathers I met were loving, affectionate, and dependable."

"By showing the quiet moments that are often deemed as un-newsworthy, I hope this work can help question preconceived notions and present a broader context of black fatherhood."

Zun Lee is a photographer based in Toronto. To view more of his work and additional photographs from the series, "Father Figure," check out his website at http://www.zunlee.com/.

*And be sure to share your photo essays and ideas with our Photo Essay Editor at Gabriel.Sanchez@BuzzFeed.com

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