Important Values and Concept from the African American Culture
Family relationships have become increasingly different among African American families due to the growing diversities of people of color, including their economic, educational, and geographic origins. Extended family is very important in the black community, as ties of kinship continue to unite black families and serve as a major support systems. Grandmothers often raise grandchildren while parents work; aunts become the family babysitter and help with the household chores; and, brothers and uncles and nephews forge close bonds that often aim at economic or educational goals. Kinship remains vital to the unity of the black family. Because of the importance of the African American extended family, role flexibility can be an important issue. It is not uncommon for the mother to play not only the role of the mother, but to play the role of the father and function as the head of the family. In addition, older children sometimes must mature quickly and function as parents and the caretakers for the younger children in the family. The concept of role flexibility among African American families can be extended to include the parental role assumed by grandfather, grandmother, aunts, cousins and even children. The children are expected to contribute in many ways to the needs of the family and meet the challenge of varies responsibilities in the household. They also are expected to mature quickly and engage in the various roles that are required for the family to function properly.
The importance of religion and spirituality is typically a strength in the lives of African Americans. Spirituality may be an important part of their survival system and a coping mechanism for the stresses of life. Spirituality and religion can also be a source of comfort and support in times of emotional distress in their lives and the lives of their family members. Boyd-Franklin suggest that spirituality...
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