Following the success of its best-selling predecessors, the Fourth Edition of Harriette Pipes McAdoo's Black Families retains several now classic contributions while including updated versions of earlier chapters and many entirely new chapters. The goal through each revision of this core text has been to compile a book that focuses on positive dimensions of African American families. The book remains the most complete assessment of black families available in both depth and breadth of coverage. Cross-disciplinary in nature, the book boasts contributions from such fields as family studies, anthropology, education, psychology, social work, and public policy.

Chapter 1: African American Families: A Historical Note

African American Families: A Historical Note

African American families: A historical note
John HopeFranklin

The family is one of the strongest and most important traditions in the black community. How much of this tradition is based in African custom and how much was developed in the New World is impossible to determine. It is doubtless some of both.

There is no question that early in their sojourn on this continent, enslaved Africans evinced their concern about the family unit. Their loyalty to the family defied the efforts of slave owners to promote a casual attitude among blacks toward this all-important institution. A great deal has been written about gentlemen slave owners who would not separate families, but the evidence clearly refutes this. “I think it is quite probable ...

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