The Decline of the Family Essay

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Pages: 4

The Decline of the Family

African Americans have endured change in the family since the first group of Africans was bought to the original colonies back in the 1600s. The Africans were not bought to the Jamestown settlement by choice, but by force. They were then forced into slavery by the colonists and eventually were separated from their families or those who were familiar to them. In many instances, fathers and mothers were separated from their children. Women were forced to raise their children alone in single parent homes. Single parent homes still exist in today’s society. Although, this is not a choice for most woman it is a forced reality for some.

Marriage is a tradition that was not legal, or law binding, during slavery in the African American community. Slave masters typically made it hard for slaves to socialize. Socialization was only intended for procreation of the next generation of slaves. But there were couples who married, had children and lived together. Ultimately, these families were most often split up by the slave trade. Members of these families were sold and sent away, never seeing their families again. They were hurt emotionally, but they had to deal with the heartbreak and continue to do their duties as a slave or endure severe physical punishment.

African American families have been enduring the hardship of single parent homes not by choice. They have had their fathers ripped from their homes for numerous reasons throughout the years. After slavery, African American men had to migrate to find work, temporarily leaving their families behind. Some men were fortunate enough to raise enough money to send for their families, while others died in the effort. In the Jim Crow Era, many African Americans were the product of hate, racism and prejudice. On any given day, an African American could be lynched, dragged or killed some other type of horrifying and humiliating death, due to the white people’s resistance of equality among whites and blacks. Today, there are many factors that contribute to the decline of the African American family; those factors include murder, gangs, prison, drugs, unemployment or simply fathers not caring enough for their children.

African American’s change of the family is attributed to both the decline in two-parent homes and also the economy. The feminist perspective not only focuses on the decline of the two-parent home, and economy, but it also stresses the importance of diversity in each different home. The feminist understand that having a mother and father can be beneficial to children’s well-being, emotionally and financially. But sometimes that two-parent lifestyle is not an option, when a relationship fails and the couple cannot bear to live with or deal with one another anymore. Some couples say they stay unhappily married “for the children”. This leads to arguments and tension in the home. Children are humans that can sense hostility in the air. The conservatives find the importance of two-parent homes far more important than actual happiness.

The economy in the United States of America has declined within the past ten years. This decline has caused many people to lose their jobs. African Americans have been hit hard by this decline. Many African Americans, like those of many other races and cultures, have had trouble keeping up with bills and providing for their families. Well-paying jobs are becoming scarce. Families that have to deal with the hardship of losing a home or