NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A report released by the nonprofit Violence Policy Center ranked Tennessee 8th in having one of the highest rates of black homicide victims in the nation. The vast majority of the victims were black males. One of the root causes of this violence is that nearly 70 percent of African American children are living without their biological fathers.
The U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services held the National Fatherhood Summit at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on Wednesday.
One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Warren Farrell, addressed "the boy crisis" where he finds boys living without their biological fathers is a root cause of the violence.
"When you take young men in crisis and see which one is not being prepared effectively it is the dad deprived boys. Dad deprived boys are much more likely to drop out of high school, boys who drop out of high school more than 20% of them do not have job in their 20s," Farrell said.
Farrell said communities need more male teachers present in the schools and urge schools to provide more technical and trade education like welding for children.
Nashville native Steven Anderson has 15 children. The 49-year-old hasn't always been in their lives. After serving time, he said he is committed to not letting them make his past mistakes.
"Leave the fast money alone, it's not worth it," he said.
Anderson, a military veteran, said he has disciplined his children to stay focused and do well in school. He knows not every household is able to keep their children out of trouble.
"I don't blame the household, I blame the system. If we try to advocate the father's role in the household I think it will deter if not slow down some of this gun violence we have going on in America," he said.
Anderson, who runs the non-profit Bulletproofed Inc, said children in the Nashville community need love and guidance.
"Be the best thing that they can be, be good and what's good for you. Don't fall into society's snares and end up in the justice system. It's hard to come back from that," he said.
You can read the Violence Policy Center report here.