Is the Black Family Only A Myth? Essay

4088 Words 17 Pages
Is the Black Family Only A Myth?

My objective for writing this essay on the black family was to examine and interrogate a myriad of stereotypes surrounding this family structure. Slavery and its inception need to be explored because it enables one to acquire a better understanding of the modern day black family. It is my hope that once we achieve this level of understanding, if not acceptance, that we may be able to start the healing process that is so necessary.

THE MOYNIHAN REPORT. SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES. POVERTY. CHILDREN IN TROUBLE. The aforementioned are descriptions and reflections associated with the black family. Although these identifications are different, they all reflect one negative connotation. The connotation is that
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The application of this testing to those of African descent prompted the labeling of the IQ test as the "Bitch Test."

Eradicating and contradicting such beliefs perpetu ated by the Moynihan Report and the "Bitch Test" has been a long but steady process. Nevertheless, it is a process that those of African descent have undertaken with a great deal of vigor. Before anyone, including black Americans themselves, can truly understand where the black family is going, one has to take into account certain factors. These factors are numerous, but the one that has had the most profound effect was the institution of slavery. An in depth study of this factor will help to answer whether the depiction of the black family as "dysfunctional" and "problem -rid den" are a reality or simply a myth.

Despite its inception some 400 odd years ago, slavery continues to impact families of African descent. Al though forcibly taken to American shores with shack les and chains draped around them like garments, Africans retained some sense of family both mentally and spiritually. The familial bond which was present those 400 years ago still exists today. It is the tradi tional African family structure that is the baseline for the past, present and future black American family. It is therefore imperative that we examine this tradi tional structure.

In tribal Africa, the most important aspect of life and survival was the family. Unlike the
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