The movie industry is no stranger to baby mama drama--from the creatively titled Baby Mama starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to Teen Mom on MTV, there are countless tales of white folks struggling through unconventional parenthood.
On My Own is a desperately needed breath of fresh air among otherwise painfully white-washed portrayals. The documentary tracks the lives of single African-American mothers, some of whom are raising as many as eight children on their own, with no help from the fathers of their children.
This may seem bleak, but the film is meant to inspire conversation on the topic, shifting the emphasis from the burden and responsibility of mothers, to the responsibility of fathers to support their children, beyond monetary contribution. The film sheds light on the the structure of Black families, and how ideas of parenthood have been affected by histories and current realities of racism in America. It aims to encourage a dialogue around the reality that DADS ARE IMPORTANT; "Girls get their value from their fathers," On My Own states.
The media is full of depictions of deadbeat dads and irresponsible baby mamas leading lives full of dramatic paternity tests and lawsuits. On My Own steps away from that circus of shaming, and carves out space for an honest depiction of Black single mothers, placing the spotlight instead onto issues of Black masculinity and fatherhood - which is absolutely a feminist issue.