The Resiliency of African-American Families

4 April 2015
This paper examines the ability of African-American families to exhibit resiliency can be understood through a consideration of their historical circumstances

This paper examines African-American history and the values that this community has, despite their history of slavery, discrimination and poverty. It examines the community’s strong commitment to education, a strong work orientation, and sense of responsibility. This paper also includes a study of African-American resiliency that was developed by the author in order to find out what adversities African-Americans faced in the pursuit of their education. The results of this study were then analyzed, and compared to the findings of prior research done on the subject. The survey included questions about age; experiences of racism, or discrimination; family structure during childhood and who helped raise them; and motivating factor for staying in school.

From the paper:

As slaves, black children were informally adopted and raised by other people in their immediate community rather than nuclear family arrangements.

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These extended family arrangements are still a prominent feature of contemporary African-American families and may be considered a major survival tool. The most important service provided by black kinship networks is support to single mothers, especially teen mothers. Hill’s research has revealed that kin provide a wide range of support to young single mothers, often enabling them to complete their education or to obtain a job. Finally, the religious beliefs and behavior are strengths that exist among African-American families. In his research, Hill found that 82 percent of black adults said that religion was very important in their lives.

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