Brief History of Afro-American Families

4 April 2015
This paper looks at the economic and social and psychological history of African-American families.

This paper is an overview of Afro-American history, beginning with slavery in the 1700s. The author looks at how slavery affected the nuclear family, both economically and psychologically, and how this pattern continues to be prevalent in today’s Afro-American families. Some of the issues discussed include, the owner-slave relationship, marriages between slaves and how slavery affected children and their identity. The paper also looks at the post-Emancipation period and the hardships that the freed slaves continued to encounter including poverty, unemployment and racial discrimination. According to the author, migration from the South to the North was one of the most significant changes that occurred as a result of Emancipation. The Afro-American families’ strong bond, which may not be categorized as a
‘traditional’ but ‘extended’ family can be traced back to the period of slavery and in this author’s opinion, shows the strengths of the community as a whole.

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Roberson reported that some of the migrating families were quite large, with six or seven children. It could be very difficult to find housing to old a family of that size, even with extensive family and community support. So often, these parents would have to make hard decisions to break the family apart, at least temporarily. Some of the children would be taken in by aunts and uncles, but given that the extended family was so strong, connected and well bonded together, this wasn’t as wrenching as it might have been. The extended family continued to watch out for and support the new arrivals until they had work and a place to stay. (Roberson, accessed 2002)

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Brief History of Afro-American Families. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved November 16, 2019, from
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