In 2008, Matt Prestbury looked around at the media landscape around him and saw very few positive images of black men within it. Furthermore, he looked at how society, on a grand scale, viewed black men, especially black men who were responsible for creating lives. With a sense of both frustration and determination, he decided to start a Facebook group—Black Fathers—designed to be a platform where black men could post pictures and videos, along with typed posts, to showcase what it is that they do and go through as fathers.
This was his way of getting the world that largely ignored this segment of society to not only see the members therein, but to also see them as they presented themselves versus how others chose to represent them. The group presented black men with an opportunity to tell their own stories of fatherhood as well as to seek advice and encouragement from others. As the years went on the group grew, in large part due to Matt’s continual efforts to shine a light on the group in media outlets and any other way he could to let the world know what was going on within this group.
Also as the years went on, the call to start a nonprofit organization based around the group’s premise persisted. In 2018, while in the Facebook Community Leadership Program and The Practitioner’s Leadership Institute, Matt, and his wife, Kelly, decided to create The Black Fathers Foundation, which would serve to create a physical entity that would carry on much of the work that took place within the online group, Black Fathers. In May of 2019, The Black Fathers Foundation was born.