African American Family Values

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Values: The chapter highlights that there is not one uniform African American community, rather a collection of diverse communities within the population and culture, thus there is not a single set of value systems, however there are main reoccurring themes that represent the group’s values, being a high importance of family – including immediate, extended and close friends, tradition and respect for elders, racial and ethic identity, religion and spirituality and the Importance of education. These African American value systems “have been shaped by a history of people formed out of many African peoples forced to become unified under the societal devaluation represented by slavery, discrimination, and prejudice while at the same time wooed…show more content…
Though family and kindship were rooted in African American traditions for its use of “linking lineages and villages” (Goode, Jones, Jackson 155), it is also immensely valued for the reason that numerous African American families were broken up and disorganized for so many decades due to slavery and unequal rights, thus many families had to rely on extended family, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friendships to care for, and socialize their children, highlighting their perseverance to reestablish a strong family presence despite conditions where biological parents were absent. This still true in African American culture today, for multiple generations frequently reside in the same household to provide social and emotional support for the child if the mother and father are working or generally absent, as well as extended relatives, outside of the home, providing financial support, following a cultured valued belief of a collective community where many African American’s “pool resources for a common benefit” (Goode, Jones, Jackson 156), strengthing the family and community as a whole and improving the political and societal status of the group, while keeping racial consciousness in…show more content…
Children of African American heritage are typically believed to be polite, kind, well behaved and respectful to both family members and community members. Such respect can be seen through children referring to adults by their formal titles of Mr., Mrs. and Ms. And although debated through the community, many African American’s believe that children should be disciplined when not obedient through “acceptance, warmth and mild-punishment” (Goode, Jones, Jackson 165), such as spanking. These beliefs are important to highlight when working with children and families of the African American community because while some centers, schools, coworkers and so forth may ban spanking, it may be accepted in their family as a form of discipline and while others may hold different beliefs, and while we may politely suggest other types of discipline such as positive and negative reinforcement, we need to respect their way of discipline. Furthermore, obedience and respect being so appreciated in the community needs to be taken notice of as well because while I may not mind if a child calls me Ryan, or Mr. Ryan, this may be seen as disrespectful in the parent’s eyes thus I should be knowledgeable of their beliefs and customs and practice with the children following those
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