Living Single: A Qualitative Analysis of the Deconstruction of the Black Family Using the Family Cultural Theory

Grace Serene Salvant


Within the Black community, the most basic social unit, the family, has been torn apart. Stemming from the slavery era, there has yet to be a resolution to incomplete households. Contorted policies on issues such as welfare and child support further complicate and intensify the trend of the Black broken home. Some scholars argue that this problem began in the age of slavery when Black families were separated by force, as a result of their masters selling members of the family to different plantations. Understanding that the family was a solid structure for the African people, the effort to tear it apart was deliberate and effective. This paper provides an in-depth explanation of how the Black family has suffered immensely and has unfortunately been caught in a revolving door of disconnection. Additional issues such as teen pregnancy, one-parent households, down-low relationships, poverty and government dependency, as well as communities being plagued with “Dead Beat Dad Syndrome,” have manifested and embedded themselves in the Black family culture. Utilizing the Family Cultural Theory, which analyzes the particular dynamics of a people’s way of life, as well as dissects the relationship between culture, nature and society, several ideologies are explained in this essay. Thus, the paper not only tests the hypothesis that the damage that accompanied Blacks during more 200 years of decomposition and corruption may prove to be irreversible, it further analyzes the proposition that additional government interference and policies surrounding this issue intend to prevent the Black family from regrouping into the strong foundation that it once was. Findings from the analysis of the primary data collected from family experts as well as secondary data from statistical and case studies seem to support the tenability of the hypothesis and the proposition.


Living Single, Black Family, Deconstruction, Slavery

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