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Essay on African American Family Structure

The lack of family structure is one of the major factors that contribute to the crime epidemic in the African American community. Family structure is the way in which the child and or children are raised. The mother and father play a significant role in the growth and development of children. Majority of Hispanic families are traditional. Meaning the family is raised by the biological parents. Compared to the African American family structure in today’s society where the families are not traditional, due to the increase of single parent homes.

In the year 2010, 49 percent of single parent homes were in existence (Black Children Not Hurt by Single-Parent homes/ www. nbc10. com). Many of our African American families are lacking with essential bondage because the parents are not raising their kids in the proper lifestyle. Children in today’s society are not learning what morals, respect, and right from wrong means. A significant amount of African American families in the urban communities can not carry out these responsibly because the parents are either babies themselves or just don’t know how to carry the family function alone.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, each year almost 750,000 women ages 15-19 become pregnant. Out of that 750,000, black women had the highest teen pregnancy rate. Most teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 are not ready to raise a child. The reason behind teens not being ready is because they are babies themselves and because they are still immature and have not ed and learned from their own lives in order to teach another. The most devastating effects of teenage pregnancy are felt among African Americans because of the large number of adolescent unmarried females in this community who get pregnant and give birth each year.

African-American attitudes towards family planning are also a factor in teenage pregnancy Black activists were openly hostile to family planning and argued that the use of birth control was genocidal. Although this attitude did not represent black views generally, its vibration is still heard when discussing the use of birth control, particularly by unmarried adolescents. What too needs to be considered in this thinking is the fact that back then five out of six households were comprised of both parental figures when the number now have dramatically decreased.

Is it oppositional or common sense to think that the attitude of family planning among African Americans needs to adapt to the times? The best answer is common sense. Teenage pregnancy and poverty are closely related. Class plays mire of a determining role in teenage pregnancy rates than doe’s race, and this disproportionately affects African American female teens because of the high poverty rates among African American women. For example, one in four African American children is born to a teenage mother. The statistics shows that the effects that these single teen parent households are having in the increasing crime epidemic.

Well for one Synae found that Black women have been active in the movement against rape and domestic violence from the beginning; however, their specific cultural concerns have often been left out of the discourse on violence against women, African American females experience intimate partner violence rate at thirty-five percent higher than that of white females, and about 2. 5 times that rate of women of other races(1). However, they are less likely than white women to use social services, battered women’s programs, or go to the hospital due to domestic violence.

Research was conducted by Nancy Shields and Lois Pierce on “Factors Related to Aggressive and Violent Behavior among Preadolescent African-American Boys. ” Their research concluded the following: Attitudes towards the use of violence and the use of aggressive and violent behavior among preadolescence African American males would be affected by verbal aggression in the home, violence observed in the community, family environment and peer models. A data set with ratings from behavior and protective factors was obtained for 152 boys aged 8 to 13. Ratings came from 85 group leaders over 3 project years.

A consistent finding from the three analysis performed was that attitudes towards the use of violent and aggressive behavior and actual use of violence and aggressive behavior seem to increase with age, with the effect being stronger for attitudes than actual behavior. Findings from a second analysis strongly support an ecological-developmental perspective, as all factors except positive peer relationships had a highly significant impact on self-control. Family structure improved self-control, family arguments decreased self-control and exposure to community violence decreased as well.

Peers exposure to community violence, and family arguments significantly affected the boys’ actual use of aggressive and violent behavior. The boys lived in 5 different areas of the city, suggesting that socialization in any single neighborhood was not responsible. Multivariate analysis reveal that the most important factors affecting self-control were family arguments and age, while the most important factors affecting aggressive and violent behavior were peer relationships and family arguments.

In all studies, one can see that family appears to ontribute to the negative characteristics such as poor selfcontrol or aggressive and violent behavior. Putting it all together we see that teen pregnancy is most prevalent in African American communities, commonly among the poor. African American women incur the largest intake of violence in their home by the hands of their loved ones or partner. To conclude, the studies found that an adolescent boy’s most common contributable factor to violence and uncontrollable actions is their family structure. Second Key Point

As I have said above the family contributing factors to violence in African American communities, she has noticed that economical measures are being correlated to these trends in urban America. Therefore, I would like to embark my research towards the economies stability and earning power of the average African American and the possibilities of its contributing to the increase in violence epidemics. USA today reports: African-Americans tend to be the last to be hired when the economy is booming. That means they also tend to be the first to lose their jobs when a downturn hits.

In fact, the black unemployment rate is typically twice the overall unemployment rate. The income gap between black and white families is also significant. In 2010, employed blacks earned only 65% of the wages of whites in comparable jobs, down from 82% in 1975. “According to Forbes’ magazine’s “wealthiest Americans” lists, a 2000 net worth of $800 million dollars made Oprah Winfrey the richest African American of the 20th century. ” Compare to the net worth of Bill Gates who is the richest American of the 20th century. Bill Gates briefly hit $100 billion in 1999.

“In Forbes’ 2007 list, Gates’ net worth decreased $59 billion while Winfrey’s ncreased to $2. 5 billion, making her world’s richest black person. Winfrey is also the first African American to make Business Week’s annual list of America’s 50 greatest philanthropists” Bob Johnson who is the founder of BET was also listed as billionaire before he was involved in an expensive divorce. However, he has recently regained his fortune through a series of real estate investments. “Although Forbes estimates his net worth at $1. 1 billion, which makes him the only male African-American billionaire, Winfrey remains the only African American wealthy enough to rank among the country’s 400 richest people” (https://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/ African_Americans).

With these noticeably differences among dollar figures of the wealthy African American, how do the middle and lower class compare? The difference is earning potential between that of a middle class white and black should be astronomical. The Economic Policy Institute reported in 2010 that for every dollar of whites’ income, minorities receive only 56 cents. For every dollar of net worth that whites’ control, minorities control only 27 cents. Many middle and lower class African Americans are not making the desired income that they would like.

The reason for this is because the lack of education. In today’s society a person needs more then a high school education to succeed in life. This problem is contributing to the crime epidemic because a person is going to do what is necessary to survive. For example, a person will steal and murder to make ends meet. Instead of adding to the crime rate many of African Americans need to devote themselves to school or some type of education. Education is the key to a success of well being. More than a few of African Americans are lacking education.

This is one of the reasons Why so many people are without a job and the crime rate keeps rising. Without an education life will not allow a person to go far in today’s society. According to the American Heritage Student Dictionary, education is the process of imparting or obtaining knowledge or skill through the process of learning. This is another critical ingredient to victory in life. A person can accomplish important obstacles and dreams with an education. For instance, owning a business or just having career instead of a job. These are things that a person can achieve with proper education.

On the other hand, a lot of African American males are becoming high school dropouts. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: Black Male dropouts. “Nationally 12 percent of black males, ages 16 to 24, were dropouts, compared with 6 percent for white males. The high school dropout rate for black males was 53 percent in Philadelphia in 2005. ” According to the Manhattan Institute study, “Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates. ” The gender gap was wider, this is because 59 percent of African American female students graduated compare to only 48 percent of their male counterparts.

Between the year 2005 and 2010 in the city of Philadelphia, only “two-thirds of African American females finish high school in six years and about half of the males do” (Philadelphia Public School Notebook). In six years more than “60 percent of Latino students finish high school- 40 percent of black students, 40 percent of Whites’, and 30 percent of Asians” (Philadelphia Public School Notebook). These statistics show that all ethnic groups have many peers who are or will be in high school dropouts. However, there are many reasons why this crisis is occurring in the African American community.

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