Tag: Traditional Strengths Of African American Families

 

Traditional Strengths Of African American Families

 


Introduction

Most people in the modern society define a black family as a family where personality and identity are developed. In addition, a black family is a family where people are assigned status, and people learn the norms and values of the society. There are several traditional strengths of African American families. That is strong kinship ties among the family members, and strong work orientation. Another traditional strength of African American families is strong achievement orientation, and strong religious orientation. Lastly, African American families have strong adaptability of family roles. The five strengths of African American families make the families unique in the society. The characteristics make the families different from other families like the white families. The traditional strengths of African American families are important to the families as they help them associate with each other. The traditional strengths of African American families have helped many black families survive various situations. This paper analyzes traditional strengths of African American families. The novel I Know Why the Caged Bird sings by Angelous Maya shows various strengths of African American families.


 Traditional strengths of African American families

There are several strengths of African American families. First, African American families have strong kinship ties unlike other families like white families. The kinship ties tend to be stronger in African American families than white families (Angelous 2009). This is because African American families tend to absorp more relatives than white families. The African American families absorb a lot of relatives because of the ties they have with relatives. For example, African American families take in young children, and care for them. But, white families do not take in young children, but they take them to care (Angelous 2009). For instance, in the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird sings by Angelous Maya, Maya is taken to her grandmother’s place.


The grandmother accepts her and takes care of her. In addition, Maya goes to visit her father in South Carolina, and he accepts her. Maya lives happily with her father, and she has good experience that strengths her development. She drives a car for the first time as she drives her intoxicated father (Angelous 2009). The families do not reject children like white families. The family structure in African American families does not matter when it comes to kinship. Families headed by mothers absorb children like families headed by fathers. For example, Maya is absorbed by her grandmother, father and mother. Grandmothers play important roles in African American families, and they absorb more children than white families.


Maya and her brother a send to stay with their parental grandmother who takes care of them. Grandmothers take care of young children in African American families. Thus, a strong kinship tie is a traditional strength of African American families (Angelous 2009).Another traditional strength of African American families is strong work orientation. African American families have a strong work orientation than white families (Angelous 2009). Most men and women in African American families work. In white families most women do not work. The women in African American families work to supplement the family income. For example, in the book, Maya shows a strong work orientation. In the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird sings by angelous Maya, Maya works in a racist employer who changes her name.


In addition, before Maya graduates, she becomes the first black female to be a street conductor. Maya’s grandmother is rich as she owns a general store where she works to supplement the family income (Angelous 2009).African American families have strong adaptability of family roles. The family members are able to fill in the roles of another person (Angelous 2009). For example, in African American families, a mother, grandmother a can play the role of a father. A father can also play the role of a mother or grandmother. Children in African American families can play the role of a mother or father. This is mostly when the parents are not there or are busy. The parents play each other role when one of the parent is busy, has died or divorced. This makes it easy to care for the children when parents die or divorce (Angelous 2009).


The flexibility of roles in these families helps the members overcome economic necessities. For example, Maya’s grandmother plays the role of the father and mother by absorbing the children. She cares for the children while parents are away. Also, Maya’s mother cares for the children after the grandmother sends then to her. She provides them with security and other basic needs. The father also cares for Maya and her brother in the book. Thus, the family members in the book are able to assume the roles of another family member (Angelous 2009). The flexibility of roles in African American families makes them unique. It also strengthens the African American families as they are able to survive in dificuity situations. In case of divorce or death the families do not break, but they continue to survive. The families also share financial responsibility.


The wife and the husband are able to share responsibilities in the family. The women in African American families work to supplement family income. They do not depend on the father to provide everything. Anybody in the family can be a bread winner (Angelous 2009).African American families have strong religious orientation. The families have used this strength to survive dificuity situations. Most African American families face racism, discrimination, and slavery. The African American families have used religion during racism and discrimination to overcome the situations (Angelous 2009). For example, in the novel, Maya uses her strong religious orientation to overcome racism and discrimination. Maya uses her Christian myth to demonstrate her passage from childhood to adult hood.


The religion helps her overcome the dificuity situations like racism, rape and she grows to an adult and accepts her role as a mother (Angelous 2009).African American families have strong achievement orientation. The family members work to benefit other people in the family. They do not work to benefit themselves. The African American families’ value education as it helps them achieve their dreams. Most characters in the book have worked hard to benefit the African American family (Angelous 2009). For example, Maya’s grandmother works hard in the general store to benefit her family. Maya has a strong achievement orientation as she learns how to drive, and this becomes her strong achievement. She also works hard in school as she values education.


Mrs. Bertha flowers help Maya with books to enhance her interest in reading. Maya also attends George Washington high school where she achieves a lot. Before her graduation she manages to become the first black female street conductor (Angelous 2009).African American families help the children have strong identity. This is shown by Maya in the book. Maya manages to overcome racism and inferiority with dignity. She also manages to develop a strong identity which she uses to overcome racism. The identity sets Maya as a role model for all black women. Identity is one of the themes in the book as Maya demonstrates her strong identity when overcoming racism (Angelous 2009).


 Conclusion

African American families have several strengths that make them unique. The African American families have a strong work orientation. This is shown by most of the characters in the novel. The novel shows traditional strengths of African American families. Most women in African American families work to supplement family income. In the novel, Maya and her grandmother work to supplement the family income. Most women in white families do not work. The strong work orientation makes African families unique. African American families have strong kinship ties. Most families absorb young children. This is evidenced in the novel as most members absorb the children. Maya and her brother are absorbed by the grandmother, father and mother. African American families have strong achievement orientation.


This helps them to help each other in the family. Most characters in the novel show a strong achievement orientation. The grandmother works hard to benefit the family. Maya works hard in school and she loves education. She manages to be the first black woman to be a street conductor. The families have strong religious orientation. They use it overcome dificuity situations. For example, Maya has used her strong religious orientation to overcome racism and rape. It also helps her become a mother and assume her role. The African American families help children develop strong identity. Maya develops a strong identity which she uses to overcome racism. Thus, the novel shows the traditional strengths of African American families.


 Reference

Angelous, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House Inc, 2009


James Robinson is the Author and the Managing Director of MeldaResearch.Com a globally competitive top essay writing service which is the premiere provider of Essay Writing Services, Research Paper Writing Services at Term Paper Writing Services at very affordable cost. For 9 years, she has helped a number of students in different academic subjects.

 

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