Black families at the crossroads: challenges and prospects

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Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1993 - Social Science - 293 pages
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Virtually every measurable aspect of the quality of life for Black Americans is declining. Poverty, crime, drug addiction, disease, and educational problems continue to plague a growing segment of the Black population. An enriched understanding of the Black family - an institution seen as both the cause and victim of many of these problems - is an essential step toward stemming the decline of the quality of life in Black America. This book offers a comprehensive examination of the diverse and complex issues surrounding the Black family unit as it has evolved from preslavery to contemporary society. Robert Staples and Leanor Boulin Johnson draw on more than fifty years of combined experience studying the Black American family to offer insights into the specific characteristics and needs of this institution. Black Families at the Crossroads looks at the historical development of the Afro-American family, its changing structures, and the roles of its family members. It describes how external forces such as economics, racism, culture, and politics have affected the dynamics of family relations. Examining all the dimensions of family life, Staples and Johnson go beyond statistics to explain the reasons behind dating and sexual norms, patterns of marital interaction, the prevalence of the female-headed household, and characteristics of family life among the aged. Based on the authors' extensive research, this book explores how children fare in households with only a single parent; how economic success correlates to marital happiness; how youths are socialized into dating roles in Black culture; and how income, education, and occupational levels differ between Black men and women.

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History as Fact and Fiction
Studying Black Families
The Struggle

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