Cultural Family Background
CULTURAL FAMILY BACKGROUND 2
The African American culture has worked its way from enslaved individuals to the principles for which this land was created (all men are created equal). From the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil Rights Act 1964, to the Voting Rights Act 1965, movement within this culture has steadily improved with opportunities. The election of the first biracial President in the United Sates is positive reinforcement of growth. The migration of this culture was not of choice but by force. Within this cultural family background paper discussion regarding issues of religion, education, and social development in the home are highlighted topics. Former President Bush seen and measured the achievement gap of black students among white and other minority students. “The results in achievement level of black and minority students where devastating and caused for the implementation of the No Child Left Behind act by U.S. Congress” (Orfield, pg.4). Finally, I will discuss my family history and findings of educational, religion, and social trend of the Thomas/Wilder family.
CULTURAL FAMILY BACKGROUND 3
Religion within the African American culture has been the backbone from the time of slavery. Many African American homes rely on faith and belief in the Holy Word for guidance, strength, and during any trial times in life. I can’t remember a time in my childhood where religion wasn’t used as a reinforcement of discipline, praise, or reassurance. Remembering the times of my mother crying out to God to help her family, cover her children with His precious love, and to keep her mind stayed on Him. In the African American church many denominations are separated by how church service is rendered. Some believe in worshiping by speaking in tongue, shouting (dancing with praise), or simply as coming to honor God and going home.
As a child I can remember spending an extreme amount of time in church. My mother is an ordained Evangelist and Sunday thru Saturday seemed as if our home was (Thankful Baptist Church). The conversations between my brothers and I consisted of complaints of spending more time in church than being with friends or doing what teenagers do. As if any of us knew exactly what being a teenager meant. My family spent a great deal of time in rehearsal singing and preparing for the next gospel event. I remember at the age of nine becoming a member of the Gospel Signing Stars, a gospel quartet my mom assembled with my brothers and me.
In the African American community churches are distinguished between traditional and non-traditional. In this community the church is the cornerstone for many social needs of blacks. At one time the church was the meeting place, shelter, and educational sources for this group. The traditional church is the only time that a large percent of America is segregated. Many churches don’t see nor understand the need of congregating together. Not only is this an issue surrounding different ethnic groups worshipping together. A study completed by a professor in 2007 gave a breakdown: Just 2% to 3% of mainline Protestants congregations and 15% of
CULTURAL FAMILY BACKGROUND 4
Catholic parishes are racially mixed, with at least 20% of another race” (Shelton, pg. 3). This can be seen in the black community as an issue amongst black churches in general. In a rural city you may see an African American church on every other corner however these churches never seem to worship