African American Characteristics Paper
African American culture in the United States refers to the cultural contributions of Americans of African descent to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from American culture. The distinct identity of African American culture is rooted in the historical experience of the African American people. The culture is both distinct and enormously influential to American culture as a whole. African-American culture is rooted in Africa. It is a blend of chiefly sub-Saharan African and Sahelean cultures. Although slavery greatly restricted the ability of Americans of African descent to practice their cultural traditions, many practices, values, and beliefs survived and over time have modified or blended with European
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In the United States African American family’s make-up 12.9 percent of the population according to the 2003 US Census. The US census also shows that for African Americans over the age of 15 there are 34 percent married, five percent separated, eleven percent divorced, seven percent widowed, and 43 percent were never married. According to the First Things First website, “African Americans are the most un-partnered group in America” (Medium, 2011, para. 4).
One major goal of African American families is communalism, which is very important for effective functioning (Hall, 2010). Hall (2010) describes African American families as having three family types. The first type is the cohesive-authoritative that is explained to be a family with high cohesion along with being supportive, nurturing, and involved with their children (Hall, 2010). The second type of family is the conflictive-authoritarian that is defined as families with conflict and the parents are controlling, critical, and express unhappiness with children (Hall, 2010). The last type of family Hall (2010) explains is the defensive- neglectful, that did not like other racial groups and also did not teach their children to be proud of being an African American.
One significant trend that has been determined about the African American family structure is that the more interconnected the family is, the lower the rate of depression in African