The African-American Household: The Decline of the Drive for a Strong Family Life and Home Values and What it Means for the Future of Young Black Women in Society
Weary, helpless, and despondent, those are the emotions of a young African-American woman leaving an interview without a good reply. She was thanked for her time but was asked to leave due to her insufficient resume and lack of education. As she could only provide limited services for the company she was applying for, her services were not needed. Heavy-hearted, the young lady picked up her things to leave but out of the corner of her eye she noticed another young black woman shaking the hand of the company executive. This woman had poise, and presented herself as polished, together, and professional. Confidence exuded from her and the others around her could tell as well. Both of the young ladies were competing for the same position yet the first was the one who walked out empty handed that day. This scenario happens all too often in our society. Young black girls and boys are being denied jobs because of inadequate work experience or etiquette. Sadly, for those who can’t work or don’t feel the need to work, they are forced to rely on the provisions of others or displeasing methods to earn their means of living. The aforementioned story line cannot only unfold in the workforce for young black people, but also in every other facet of their lives. As an African-American community, if we don’t instill good moral values or provide an upstanding family home life for our youth, they will not be prepared for a promising future. Through African-American history, one can see deterioration in the push for a strong family life and home values taught to young women. The lack of these essentials being taught in the African-American household could leave a lasting effect on our youth, who will in turn become adults and make up our Black population. The successful nature of our black families declined due to less focus on children and their wellbeing, and more focus on the adults. The necessary care that is to be taken of our children was continually skipped leaving an undeclared standard of which our children and youth live and act by. The lack of expectations for Black people have made many accustomed to living below a standard of excellence. The repeated submission to a less than adequate lifestyle or home training for people of color has blinded us as many are currently pinned down by our society and economy. If we as a Black population would push the value of family and church, step up as parents and provide a loving atmosphere, and train our children in the way they should truly grow, we would see more success among our youth instead of more despair and trifling mindsets. Putting positive actions into play for our children would make negative ones null and void.
African-Americans have held fast to the concept of family for a long time, yet recently its value has diminished. Although a dark time, slavery has taught us an institution that will bring us through hard times, that being our families. The ability to raise a family as a slave was a hard task considering that you were someone else's property. Nevertheless, if mothers had the ability to raise their own children at all, they raised them to endure.
"One of the slaves' principal indictments of chattel slavery was its violation of the bond between parent and child...Parents directed the activities of their children, shaped the condition of their daily lives, and guided their development under circumstances dictated by the owner, not the parents...parents prepared their children as best they could for the travail of slavery." (Berlin 93).
Families were separated and mothers and fathers had a lot of difficulty reuniting with their kin. Adopting 'aunties', 'uncles', 'sisters', and 'brothers' was a way of counteracting the separation and was not uncommon; they may not have been your blood relatives but they...
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