Cultural Autobiography

2050 Words Mar 12th, 2006 9 Pages
Cultural Autobiography When I first saw in the syllabus the type of paper we would be writing for this course I thought about what culture means to me. What was the culture of my family? Where did we come from? How did we end up in Virginia? How did we end up believing some of the things we believe? To me culture was basically how I was raised—my behaviors, beliefs, values, and ideas cultivated during my youth and its evolvement as I grew into an adult. This truly was to be a very interesting and involved quest for information. Though I attempted to use websites such as and, I found most of the information from a couple of the adults in my family. Adults? I, too, am an adult, but in my family, age comes …show more content…
If our family were compared to the mob, my grandfather would be the Godfather. He is very respected. Family members, young and old, do what they are asked to do by him usually without question. Though he gives the impression that he should not be treated that way, he is still given the greatest respect because of his age, wisdom, and life experience. When he passes, the next eldest or most responsible of his children, or one of his own siblings, will abdicate that right. After the grandfather, the next most prestigious would be the elders, or his siblings. The men in our family are looked upon highly as the breadwinners and protectors. They farm and gather and bring home the spoils for the family. The Parham men are to be respected as they are the Kings of their households. Though several of my grandfather's sons have their own families now, they are still viewed as head of their household and will have the final word in matters. The Parham men are farmers and work hard outside daily to grow grains, tobacco, beans, and peanuts. They start early in the morning, often before sunrise, and may often work until after sunset. Though the females in the Parham family are also very strong individuals, we are looked down upon. It seems as though females in the Parham family should be seen and not heard as our opinions are not valued or considered equal to the male opinion. However, the Parham women are strong and nurturing individuals; and though our opinions may not
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