A Black Family: Before and After Emancipation of the Slaves

Topics: Marriage, Family, African American Pages: 2 (347 words) Published: January 24, 2013
The African-American Family before and after Emancipation

Before the emancipation of the slaves, the African-American family was hard pressed to stay together. Slave marriages were not recognized by any of the southern states in a court of law. However many of the slaves masters recognized and encouraged marriage. But is was this was only for economical purposes, not because they cared about the happiness of their slaves. When the slaves were married they would then have children, who would then in turn become slaves the their parents' master. But even though the slave masters wanted marriages, and consequently more slaves, if the opportunity presented itself, then they would sell the slaves, and split families. Separation of family members was a constant fear for the slaves. This is why the slaves started calling themselves “aunt” and “uncle”, so that no matter where they were they would always have a family feeling around them.

Emancipation allowed families to become stronger and sturdier for the African-Americans. The African-Americans who had married themselves, sought for legal marriage. Many African-Americans searched high and low for their family that they had been separated from. This happened all the way up to the 1960's. Another key change in the African-American family after emancipation was that the roles of the husband and the wife started to differ. The African-American males insisted that their wives stay home, while they would go and work. After emancipation the African-American family chose when and where to work, instead of being told by the old white masters.

1. Wikipedia:
Thomas Sowell, Affirmative Action around the World, 2004. Basic Books. pp. 115-156 Wilder-Hamilton, Elonda R. (2002). "Uncovering the Truth: Understanding the Impact of American Culture on the Black Male Black Female Relationship". The Black Agenda. Archived from the original on 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2007-06-03. Martin, Elmer P....
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