Dads Are Making It Cool for Black Boys to Read Books in the Barbershop

Fathers Incorporated is committed to making high school graduation a reality for Black boys in Metro Atlanta communities. Their initiative is both innovative and full of swag—perfectly designed to reach Black boys.

Currently their Real Dads Read initiative has 27 libraries in barbershops around the city of Atlanta.

Due to the success of this initiative in bridging the gap between community and school, the organization is looking to expand.

Fathers Incorporated, is one of the organizations apart of the Ambitious Ideas Challenge.

They have joined with other partners to expand their program. The original project began in 25 barbershops in Atlanta. Now the Real Dads Read Literacy Clubs will be able to go into schools, Headstart/early learning centers, day care facilities and libraries.

Dads are making it cool for Black boys to read books in the barbershops. Soon we’ll see them on buses, at practice, walking down sidewalks in day-to-day routines. Black boys reading, how powerful!


Fatherhood and the presence of Black men in the home is a topic many would call “taboo” but it’s needed. Fathers Incorporated is going beyond the conversation. These men are putting action to it in order to increase the positive outcomes for Black boys.

Raising awareness about high school dropout rates is the reason why we need more Black males engaging our boys academically and socially.

Real community engagement only happens when grassroots organizations come together with individuals in the community to build ongoing, permanent relationships based on a collective vision. That’s exactly what Fathers Incorporated’s Real Dads Read Initiative is doing.

If we truly desire to change the outcomes of Black boys in schools we have to change our engagement with them.

Removing the stereotypes is a start. Black boys reading in barbershops is Fathers Incorporated’s way of changing the stereotypes of Black boys and learning.

But taking reading to the barbershop is just one way and is only the start of this work. I personally look forward to partnering with Fathers Incorporated with this initiative and am encouraging others to do the same.

Fathers Incorporated , a 501(c)3 not-for-profit (S) corporation, is dedicated to strengthening the community and family infrastructure. They do this by encouraging and enabling the positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.

AmbitiousX and the Walton Family Foundation announced the second round of grantees for the Ambitious Ideas Challenge, an initiative which provides grants to local nonprofit organizations to drive community transformation. Three organizations received a combined $125,000 in the first round and seven second round organizations will receive a combined $130,000 for their efforts to redesign education, advance economic opportunity and engage thousands of residents across metro Atlanta. 


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