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Among the most cited statistics plaguing the African American community is this one: 72 percent of Black children are born in households with absent fathers. This is often tied to the breakdown of the minority family infrastructure. The testimony of Christian entrepreneur, Jay Harris, underscores the issue.

“I met a bunch of other guys who didn’t have fathers also and we kinda all were empty and looking to prove ourselves or to be a part of something,” he told CBN’s 700 Club of his life as a teen.

Together, he and his band of misguided friends tried to fill the void by forming a pseudo brotherhood leading to gang activity.

In a February speech at Chicago’s Hyde Park Academy, President Barack Obama said, “For a lot of young boys and young men in particular, they don’t see an example of fathers or grandfathers, uncles, who are in a position to support families and be held up in respect.”

He noted that when it comes to gun violence, “this is not just a gun issue; it’s also an issue of the kinds of communities that we’re building.”

The president’s commentary rings true in light of Harris’s rocky past.

Without positive role models, He went to great lengths to build a tight knit bond with his crew. “I was willing to go the extra mile to be accepted,” he recalls. “Before I knew it, I was selling drugs. I was selling guns. I was robbing. I was stealing” —something that led his mother to pull him out of his old neighborhood in the hopes of reforming him.

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Absentee Father Chronicles: Jay Harris Shares How Void Led to Violence, Crime & Eventually God (VIDEO)  was originally published on