POPS: Fatherhood, the Untold Story is 11-part documentary web series about black fatherhood. The series launched on PBS/Indie Lens Storycast. It is produced and directed by Peabody award-winning filmmaker Garland McLaurin POPS sheds light on black fatherhood through the stories of four African-American dads:
La Guardia Cross, a new father who must balance his career as a YouTuber—chronicling his journey as a new dad—with his wife’s postpartum depression
Shaka Senghor, a formerly incarcerated, best-selling author striving to make a difference for others like him while being present for his toddler son
Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman, a gay couple grappling with the challenges of guiding their adopted son into his teenage years
Together, their experiences reflect the reality of black fathers in America. POPS provides a unique look at men who differ in personalities and upbringings, but share the same struggles to be good fathers. The series was inspired by director McLaurin's own experiences with being a new dad.
"In early 2015, I found out I was going to be a father. Three months into the pregnancy, my partner miscarried. I immediately realized I was totally unprepared. Scared about my abilities to be a good parent, I began to contemplate what fatherhood looked like for Black men. I thought about friends and the general narrative surrounding black fathers," said McLaurin.
He continued, "The goal of POPS is to contribute to the national conversation around fatherhood from the viewpoint of Black fathers. In light of recent societal events and conversations concerning African American men, I want my project to inform and inspire a broader online media audience using entertaining and engaging storytelling. I will become a father this year, and at the same time I am faced with the possibility of losing my own father. The many questions around fatherhood that led me to tell this story still exists, but with POPS I am able to look at the experiences of these fathers and navigate my own parental journey."
Watch the trailer for the series as well as an exclusive clip on Shaka Senghor, below.