the early 1900ís, Black and white scholars have written
much on the Black family. When one examines the card
catalogue of any library in America they will find volumes
of books, articles and newspaper clippings discussing
some aspect of Black family life. What we need in
the African .American community is a framework to
examine and solve the problems of Black family life
on our own terms.
capturing of African people, who were placed in chattel
slavery in North America, has left some devastating scars on the most basic unit
of any group - the family. There is no question that
the family has been that unit that provides the basic
foundation for any group of people to survive and
The family has been that unit
that provides the basic foundation for any group of
people to survive and develop
constitute grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers,
brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and in-laws. Sometimes
families extend beyond blood relatives to those persons
we bring into our families for whatever reason. Families
function in the context of their racial and ethnic
identity. This identity is shaped by the historical
and external forces of a given society.
the problems of the Black family appear to be very
complex on the one hand, on the other, the problem
is very simple:
First of all, African people who were captured and introduced
into the western hemisphere as property and commodities
were removed from their land and institutional arrangements
of African life.
Second, this process of white takeover of Black life, through
the most brutal form of oppression - the slave trade
and the eventual enslavement of African people on
the plantations of North America
- has been a back-breaking experience for our people.
It is the strategy of the
white supremacy system to place so much pressure on
us that we give up our fight for independence
through our survival techniques have been superior,
in the face of brutal psychological and physical violence
against us, we are now at the crossroads. We face
the challenge of preserving some of the traditions
of the Black family, developed by our ancestors, who
fought so hard against racism and white supremacy
in this country.
must be done, in part, through the continuing African
Centered Education Movement. As our renowned ancestor
and deep thinker, Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers,
explained, African Centered Education should focus
on the following:
that restoring the historical truth about Africa
is the priority
for African thinkers (including Africans
in the Diaspora).
that there is a distinct universal African World View
be the foundation for all African
the massive education or rather re-education of the
African people of the world from an African perspective
in the interest of African people and directed by
is a necessary pre-condition for the freedom of the
African mind and subsequently African liberation.
must not abandon family life. It is the basis for
our survival and development. It is the strategy
of the white supremacy system to place so much pressure
on us that we give up our fight for independence
and freedom. When the family unit begins to wither
away, we must rise to the occasion and fight to keep
its basic elements alive in our communities.
is the duty of all Black people to understand that
we are faced with a genocidal set of circumstances
Look around our communities and what do we
/you see? We witness the absence of that fighting
family spirit among us that has been so much a part
of Black family life.
family is the support mechanism for all that we do
and it is a sacred institution that we must preserve
and protect on our own terms.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman Emeritus of the National
Black United Front (NBUF).
Click here to contact Dr. Worrill.