This book analyzes how the absence of African American fathers affects their children, their relationships, and society as a whole, while countering the notion that father absence and family fragmentation within the African American community is inevitable. It begins by offering possible explanations for the decline in marriage among African American families, including the limited economic prospects of many men who live in the inner city that impacts their ability to provide for a family. The book then considers marriage from an economic perspective, emphasizing that it is a wealth-producing institution. Finally, the book discusses policies to reduce absentee fatherhood, including public health interventions such as personal development workshops and work-related skill-building services. The last chapter notes that from 1995-2000, the proportion for African American children living in two-parent, married couple homes rose from 34.8 to 38.9 percent, a significant increase indicated the possible reversal for the long-term shift toward black family fragmentation. Chapters include references.