In a perfect world, some would say that an average American family consists of a father, mother and 2 children, preferably and son and daughter. But we all understand that the concept of family occured thousands of years ago and although the constructs have been manipulated over time, the necessity for each role in a family is vital because it produces a variety of cultures that have affected generations.
The ideology behind the roles of each family member generates its own culture. For example, parents have experienced life during their own generation, which was influenced by their own parents. Our children have the benefit of experiencing life through their grandparents and parents generation, as well as their own generational time period. These generational time periods that each family member experiences are relative to the culture of which they choose to accept. Some cultures are based on religion, music, color, race, politics, etc.. But when we combine family and culture in the African American ideology, we seem to be talking about a separate entity that in a perfect world wouldn’t really make sense at all.
First of all, family cultures are different based on race because we all have different cultures within and surrounding our race and color. For example, The African American Family, according to historians and biblically are the 1st family with its own culture. Although some may argue against it, for the sake of this article, we believe it to be true. Based on that truth, The African American family’s culture is rich and diverse. It also has a hereditary culture that some may misconstrue as being negative because of lack of knowledge, understanding and possibly racism. However, we celebrate the Kings and Queens of The African American Family along with its culture by saluting each role of the family as a Renaissance of its own kind.
Imagine an African American family without the standards, racism, legal barriers, stereotypes, and prejudices. Imagine that same family without the need of any assistance from any other culture because it is its own resource of power, finance, intellect, and entrepreneurship. Now, imagine that family living, growing, producing, reproducing, advancing, developing, and learning. This isn’t a stretch of any imagination because this is what we do, and have been doing since the beginning of creation.
Fathers and Mothers taught and are teaching their children and children are maturing to inherit family businesses. Family members support those in need, along with the entire village/community pitching in to make it work. That’s the culture of the African American family and that’s what makes it work; because of constantly being reborn and awakened into greatness with even greater expectations for the next generations.
The African American Family doesn’t fit into the constraints of a perfect family because it cannot be condensed into a father, mother and 2 children. Our King and Queen family structures consist of fathers, mothers, children, aunties, uncles, cousins, in-laws, neighbors, friends, coworkers, and sometimes complete strangers are welcomed into our family culture. This is one of the many reasons why we matter, because we are resilient and can thrive in a famine, pandemic, racial torment, and legal injustices.
According to an online definition of culture, there are 3 main definitions, but the one that is preferred to define the African American Family and its culture, by this WOC, is “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group, (Oxford online dictionary). This is the perfection that the African American Family experiences within our culture and what generates a suitable environment for our growth. The fact that we live together, we love together, we hate together, we cry together, we’ve died together, and we thrive together.
To my African American Queens (and Kings), we have generationally survived numerous setbacks and changes throughout our history. Our family’s compositions has been chased down to be thwarted into something unrecognizable, but if we together choose to make our love and devotion towards one another, our motivation and purpose, realizing that we are unstoppable together, then we will demonstrate to the world, that although we are considered last, we really are first because of our rich Family Culture, which is true perfection alive and thriving.