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The Black Family In Todays Society Sociology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1546 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In todays society when you look at the different family structures, many families have changed over the years. These changes include divorce, fathers staying home while the mother works, increased single parent homes and more. Though there have been many changes throughout the family structure, the black family structure is an unusual entity unlike all other family structures. The structure of the black family has historical and unique roots. African Americans have experienced a lot from being denied their rights to be treated fair and times of enslavement. Even with the many struggles that African Americans has been through, there is still something out there today that affects the black family. Many people outside the African American culture and who do not understand the black family structure will say that it’s the family structure within the black family that is negatively affecting African Americans. The problem the black family is trying to figure out whether the black family is a pathological entity, in other terminology the family structure is the starting place of many issues negatively affecting African Americans.

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In any circumstance before answering any questions to whether African Americans are negatively affected by the family structure, you must understand the black family. When understanding the black family you are able to recognize other extensive cultural patterns that exist in today’s society like poverty, divorce, health care, and more. People must also understand that not all black families are the same and many black families come from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. You might even have to trace back to times of slavery to understand what it is that might be affecting the family structure and African Americans. In the following reading by Eugene D. Genovese, examines a widespread of myths about the black family during the time of slavery. In Genovese article he discovers that despite significant constraints on their ability to hold out normative relations roles, those responsible for legal bond formed inspiring norms of a basic family. They had also gone into the post-emancipation era with a strong admiration for the family and a fairly steady family foundation. Genovese also points out that slaves back then created remarkable norms of family life. “Genovese argues that many families became indifferent or demoralized, but those with a strong desire for family stability were able to set norms for life in freedom…” (Genovese, 26). In the following reading by Genovese there is no evidence that suggest that it is the family structure that negatively influences African Americans.

When talking about black families, there has always been somewhat a struggle for African Americans to attain success in America. Many black families come from a long life of suffering such as a life of poverty, and other obstacles that some black families may face throughout life. Though many black families have achieved some type of success there are still those who still struggle in society and are trying to live each day one at a time. The good thing about most black families is they have not let majority of these obstacles destroy the stable environment from which they come from or living in. However the questions that still is being asked is, whether the black family is a pathological entity, in other words the black family structure is the starting place of many issues negatively affecting African Americans? Many people will say that the black family structure is the reason for many issues within the African American home or community. In today’s world majority African Americans are faced with countless troubles that exist because of many outside factors such as economic issues and things that have happened in the past life of African Americans. And as we continue to go on life we see many of these issues still affecting black families still today. Many of these problems that exist are the reason why African Americans are negatively being affected. There are many other reasons other than economics and the past, such as their environment and education as well. In the end it is important to truly understand the reasons behind what is truly the cause of many issues negatively affecting African Americans.

When the structure of the families starts to fall, especially in low income areas or even suburban areas, it’s because of outside factors that affect the family. When you think about the black family majority of these outside factors are not because of the family within, but economic issues affecting the black family. Those economic issues facing black families in today’s society include being without a job, home ownership, riches and the recession. Many black families are faced with economic issues that affect the household. “In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents” (Lecture, Economic Issues Affecting the Black Family Part 1 02/18). In looking at it in an economic point of outlook countless blacks are overrepresented in local and state administration jobs that are being removed due to substantial resources.

The economic issues that most black families are effected by are unemployment. Some unemployment is due to job discrimination. This is when specific job agencies or employers unlawfully point out job applicants based on specific characteristics. These specific characteristics may include the color of one’s skin, age, sex, disability, name, or even religion. Employment prejudice can also take place during work. It may involve someone not being promoted, transferred, and other opportunities. Some people may not know that “your employment employee rights are protected by whichever employment discrimination law-Federal, state or municipal-affords the most protection” (Lecture, Economic Issues Affecting the Black Family Part 2 02/21). However many blacks are still discriminated against during the job or in the process of trying to get a job. In today’s society many minorities including African Americans seem to face this issue more frequently. The fact that black males have a much higher unemployment rate than white males; this gender difference has a significant connection with a range of negative outcomes for the black community such as black families.

The unemployment rate also comes from blacks not being hired. The one reason that may sound unusual to some people is because of one’s name. Most black people with what may be perceived as having a black sounding name may have a less chanced of being hired then someone with w white sounding name. This would be known as name discrimination. A study conducted by Braverman, “found that employers engage in serious discrimination on name alone. White applicants were asked to attend an interview 50% more than black applicants” (Lecture, Economic Issues Affecting the Black Family Part 2 02/21). Because of this many blacks miss out on opportunities of work and can not provide like they want to for their families. This issue is a huge hurdle for black families’ especially African American fathers. When the father is not able to provide for their family, this affects everyone in the household. The family must try to live each day by any means necessary. And it not being able to provide for the ones you love which is one of the reasons that negatively affects African Americans.

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In one of the following readings “Work without Work: Causes and Consequences of Black Male Joblessness”, the center for the study of social policy describes the black male as being “highly connected with a range of negative outcomes for the black population, along with the increase of single female-headed homes, crime rates, decrease in education, drug abuse, and mental health problems” (Work without Work, p291, 02/21). This goes to show the importance of employment and financial independence in progression of black men and black families maintaining a stable home. It is the U.S economy and society that has an effect on black men vanishing from the work force. When there is a majority of black men without the education and skills need to move ahead in the society today, affects black males and other African Americans as well.

Throughout life the structure of the black family will continue to change. And as the structure of the black family changes, African Americans will continue to change and grow as well. People will always argue that issues negatively affecting African Americans start from the structure of the black family. But, African Americans will become stronger, and there will always be that opportunity to achieve some type of success in life. There will always be obstacles that African American must face as well. Through each obstacle the black family must stay strong. And it is not because of the black family structure that is the root cause for issues that exist that affect African Americans, but outside factors such as society, education, and economic issues that African Americans must go through to achieve success.


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