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Podcasts Discusses Issues Associated With Fatherhood and Fatherlessness

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Discusses Issues Associated With and Fatherlessness

A fatherlessness podcast doesn’t sound like the cheerfulest listening. But there’s an unusual amount of humor in Daddy Issues, the new podcast by the actress and host Angharad George-Carey. The series features the stories of people who are sick, estranged or died from their families. The emphasis here is less on loss than on how to manage and resolve these absences. The discussions are honest and compassionate, often tragic but often wry and life-affirming.

The young actor, Jordan Waller, who was born through a sperm donor, grew up with three moms and met his biological father recently — “I can assure someone out there who doesn’t have a father[ that] nothing is lacking,” he says. “You’ve already got it.” There’s the former minister of government and former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mark Malloch-Brown, whose father suddenly died of a heart attack when he was 13 years old and away at school. A teacher had advised him not to go to the funeral.

The latest episode speaks to Emily Warburton-Adams, a television presenter and mental health activist whose father died of cancer four months ago and who talks about the pain of his rapid decline, the divorce of her parents when she was young, and her eating disorder struggles. The questioning of George-Carey is kind yet direct, giving rise to an open and enlightening conversation about the nature of the grief

Ear Hustle is a long-runningpodcast co-produced and hosted by San Quentin State Prison prisoners, and last year’s show, Thick Glass, presents rare fatherhood meditations. We hear from the people struggling to maintain relationships with their children, including John, who remembers a rare day when he and his wife could sit in the same room instead of talking through a glass wall. “Just the feeling of embracing[ my daughter], and then the boys joined me, and all three of them had my arms around me,” he remembers. “It might be the most emotional moment I’ve ever had.” And there’s Derrick, who hasn’t seen his son since he was a kid. When Derrick Jr, now 20, was also imprisoned in San Quentin, the pair reconnected. Their reconciliation story is unlikely to move.

The British podcast Dope Black Dads, which has been going on for nearly a year, examines what it takes to raise a child in an environment where black fathers are seen as failing their offspring, and discusses everything from money, sex, dating, knife crime, and racism. Now the series has collaborated with its collective sister, Dope Black Mums, which means listeners are now getting perspectives from both sides of the parenting fence.

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