In the context of growing diversity, Shirley A. Hill examines the work parents do in raising their children. Based on interviews and survey data, African American Children includes blacks of various social classes as well as a comparative sample of whites. It covers major areas of child socialization: teaching values, discipline strategies, gender socialization, racial socialization, extended families -- showing how both race and class make a difference, and emphasizing patterns that challenge existing research that views black families as a monolithic group.

Continuity and Change

Continuity and change

I have written to you because a world into which I was born, a world that nurtured and sustained me, has mysteriously disappeared.

LouisGates, Jr., Colored People (1995, p. 237)

Henry Louis Gates's beautifully written autobiographical account of growing up during the 1950s is dedicated to his two daughters, whom he fears may never experience the world he grew up in. That world is viewed by many black people, at least retrospectively, as one in which the majority of African Americans were unified by a “consciousness of kind” that inspired racial solidarity immersed in the distinctive humor, music, religion, and linguistic styles of their own culture, and were unified in their conviction that most of their troubles (e.g., poor education, poverty) stemmed ...

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