Without any doubt, the African American families share the same family culture with other U.S. families. However, there are some distinctive patterns relating to the customs, the gender roles, the head of the family, the traditions in the household, believes, discipline that distinguish the African American family into the one unique group. There were several problems that badly influence our family generation. Among them it can be distinguished: poverty, hunger, and economical decline. Talking about family traditions, it is necessary to scrutinize the following questions:
Firstly, who was the established head of the family and who was the actual head? During the speedy development of the historical changes in the social systems of the matriarchy and patriarchy, the father gained the role of the established head of the family. His main duties were to work and to bring money to the family. Regarding to our family, there was no distinctive division of the parent’s head roles. It is amplified by the poor conditions in which we lived. Or family strived for food: we used to go fishing and hunting for food that helped us in hard times. Both parents were responsible for gaining money. The father’s role was to work in the farm. The mother’s role was to keep the household in order. It is generally true that the father’s word was the most important. Nevertheless the mother’s decision was also keenly felt.
Secondly, what were the gender roles? Without any doubt, everybody knew their own place. The father was the actual breadwinner. He paid the bills. His duty was to perform hard work connected with the field and the building. He did male type of the work. The father was associated with the stern person, who’s thought, gesture or facial expression were seriously taken into consideration. He was the disciplinarian. The children were sometimes afraid of him. Particularly, it could be observed when the father was out of spirits. This situation was put down to the economical decline from which our family suffered.
On the contrary to the father, the mother was patient and kind person. However, she could strike the children when they were naughty. She kept discipline also, but not in such strict forms. The mother should keep the household in the ordinary. The distinctive patters of the mother’s work were the following: cleaning, washing the dishes and clothes, feeding the cattle, being engaged in the gardening and preparing food for the whole family. The mother was the immediate care taker of the entire family. Furthermore, she was responsible for doing homework with the children and attending the school meeting. Mostly, she was responsible for household chores and education of the children. Our family gave the preference to the education. The most vital for our family was gaining the knowledge in order to improve the situation for the future generation. With the parent’s support, we exerted ourselves to gain a sufficient education.
Additionally, the herbal cure was a peculiar feature of our family. We believed that natural supplements could cure any sore spots. There is a close connection between herbal medicine and religion. We believe in spiritualization and blessing of each plant on the Earth from the Heaven. Hence, it means that plants have the healing power. From the remotest times, we attend church. We belong to the Baptists Christians. In our church, everybody should keep discipline and be cautious of own actions. There are strict rules for the clothes. It is forbidden to go to church in the short dresses or skirts. It is our sacred duty to pay tribute to God in the holy places.
All in all, talking about the African American families the credit belongs to the man who strives valiantly, not paying attention to the poverty; who at the best knows the triumph of high achievement – the establishment of the unique family culture full of customs and traditions.