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ERIC Number: ED128525
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Evolution of the Black Family.
Billingsley, Andrew
Urban League News, May 1976
Family life among black people in the United States has its roots in Africa. Many distinctive features of African family life were carried out in modified forms in the early African settlements in this country. The importance of the extended family, communalism, the important role of the grandmother, the collective responsibility of the care of the children and the adaptability of family structure are prominent features of Afro-American life today. Although many of the most prominent features of slavery were antithetical to the condition of viable forms of family life among the African people, black families always maintained patterns of family life even during slavery. These patterns often diverged, but not always, from the dominant patterns prevalent among the Europeans. Underscoring that the concept of family is culturally determined and culturally bound, the factors that define and condition family life are considered in relation to the black family. After the Civil War, the elements of family life, which had survived and been modified into distinct patterns in relationship to slavery, came into full fruition. The family, along with the church and the school became the three institutions most responsible for black progress. Two sources of achievement of black families after the end of slavery are the acquisition of land and the opportunity to save money through the Freedmans' Savings Bank. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A