Latino Cultural Experience

Topics: Family, African American, African diaspora Pages: 10 (3615 words) Published: July 8, 2012
Cultural Family Background:
African American Descent and Latino Descent
Sharon McNeill
Liberty University

In this cultural family background paper I would like to share some of the differences and similarities in the African American descent and the Latino American descent. I will share some the main cultural heritages and the typical characteristics encculturated in these cultures as well as some of the culture family challenges and health concerns. I will also display some of these generational patterns in a genogram of my own family which is of the African American descent and my identified culture family of the Latino American descent. In this genogram display a visual of the cultures similarities, differences between the family origin and cultural background. I will also discuss the historical or present experiences of racism or discrimination that these families have encountered. Lastly, I will share and take in consideration of the religious and spiritual aspects of the family history. I will conclude with identifying key things I have learned about the African American culture, my personal family and or anything I learned or experienced with the Latino family or Latino American culture while completing this paper.

Keywords: acculturation, colorism,

African American Family
Over time, the Africans have struggled to maintain their culture and traditional communal structure as they transitioned from tribal and colonial to national governments (Kamya et al, 2005, p. 102). In the United States there are about eight hundred thousand African American immigrant families, the largest number of African come from Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Ghana while many come from war regions such as, Rwanda, Liberia, and Somalia (Kamya et al, 2005, p. 103). Individuals of African descent have a distinct culture that is influenced by geographical origins, ideology, social class, and many other variables (Hays & Erfords, 2010). African has come to the United States for economic and educational reasons. African first arrived in the United States in 1619 as indentured servants or slaves. They were forced to give up their African names and culture and were given European names. Men were seen as “studs” to make more slaves and women were seen as breeders. These children were known as the property of the slave owner (Helm, K. & James, L. (2010). The European efforts to destroy the African spirit caused many Africans hold on, they still hold on in a strong spirit of collectivism and communalism, as well as a will to live no matter what the odds. Africans love to talk about the meaning of their names because it allows them the opportunity capture their ancestry. Historically Black Americans began labeling themselves as a group in the 1960’s known as the “Black is Beautiful” (Helm, K. & James, L. (2010). Individuals were categorized based on their race, the darker one’s skin and the farther an individual’s were from the European standard the lower the status of the individual society. This is known as colorism whereas the lighter skin tones are often perceived to have an easier time (Helm, K. & James, L. (2010).

“Some of things that has affected the immigrants in the United States were the effects of HIV/AIDS epidemic, alcohol abuse, sex trafficking, hunger, poverty, war, human rights violations, and other personal trauma compound the mental health issues affecting African immigrants. There has been an oppression that has affected African American immigrants’ family structures, child-rearing practices, gender roles, and social class” (Kamya et al, 2005, p. 102). This oppression that the African have experienced causes them to be suspicious of anyone who seems to have power over them. The African families have general values associated with their culture like person centered or communalism , collectivism and group consciousness, spiritual,...
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