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The Resilience Of The Black Family

690 words - 3 pages

The Resilience of the “Black Family” Despite Societal Hardships
It is widely know that there has been a “breakdown” in the family structure of African Americans. Many news programs and books have been made about the low marriage rates in the African American community, and high rate of single-motherhood in the black community. Despite the depressing statistics African Americans have found a way to create extended family and fictive kin such that have allowed not only for a different family structure that the traditional family structure that is commonplace in the dominate ethnic group in the U.S. So, despite the insidious effects of slavery and Jim Crow, black families have survived, ...view middle of the document...

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 20.2% of black households had a grandparent present in the home compared to 7.6% of white households, and 11% of African American grandparents are taking care of at least one grandchild, as compared to 3% of white grandparents (Belgrave & Allison, 2006). Furthermore, it is commonplace for African Americans to have fictive kin (“play aunts/uncles,” and “play cousins”), these relationships further help to compensate for the break down in the nuclear family structure (Belgrave & Allison, 2006).
The strength of the black family is remarkable considering the fact that there are so many societal pressures and strains that are continually eroding its fabric. Certainly slavery had a huge impact, but yet another problem is the governmental attempts at mitigating the problems of poverty in the black community, with social welfare programs. Oftentimes these programs created an environment that made it difficult for black fathers to stick around and care for their families. They would insure that only women who were unmarried and did not have a man providing for them could get assistance. This did not take into account the high...

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