My family is a significant part of my life. It offers me the support I need to achieve my dreams and overcome challenges. I get support from my family, close friends, and my religion. For financial support, we have heavily relied on each other for uplifting when someone needs help. But this has not been so from childhood. Over the years, my parents have insisted on the need to understand what society requires of us. They told me that I should show respect to community members. My father has taught me how to respond in case of discrimination and racially inspired abuses. I live in a nuclear family, with my dad, mother, two brothers, and one sister. We have learned only a few things about our origin, which our parents have not openly shared in the past. Yet, we have remained focused on the current happenings and our lives. We, particularly, consider it a privilege to live in the U.S. Thus, it is paramount to overcome challenges that affect minority groups.
Cultural Norms, Values, And Beliefs
We have practiced some traditions taught to us by our parents. They have trained us to respect the elders. We often visit our older relatives and share life experiences with them. We also stand by each other in times of need. Supporting relatives has been a tradition for a long time since my young age when I relied on relatives when my parents were not around. My parents are supportive of each other. In African American families, wives were collaborative, offering overt compliance to their husbands (Pinderhughes, 2002). My parents have lived together, supporting each other in times of need. They raised us with love, showing us the need to respect other people. However, the difference with black families is that we did not live in communities with many people of my race. We have learned how black families got segregated (McNeil Smith & Landor, 2018). In my case, we could travel long distances to greet friends and families that my parents knew. Therefore, we believe in solidarity, helping each other in need.
My parents have taught me the essence of sharing and helping one another. When we stand together, we have a better chance in life than adopting an individualistic approach to life. I used to see my father helping my mother when she was sick, getting her medicine and sometimes cooking for us. My mother was also there when my father needed a helping hand. This value is a feature associated with most black extended families. My father taught me to share with my siblings, live in harmony with everyone, and lend a helping hand.
My parents raised me with love, showing me how to respect other people. They did not normalize beating me up whenever I made a mistake because they believed I deserved another chance. I now see the need to consider others with the same respect and always respect other traditions and cultures in the country. I don’t see color in people; I see the human aspect. I have seen so much injustice to the black community in the media for many years. Most of them get labeled as ‘dangerous’ despite doing nothing wrong. But, such racial biases have not been common in my community.
My religion has been a vital source of support. I believe that the far I have come is not on my own. My parents taught me how to remain hopeful of tomorrow even with challenges. Even when my parents used to experience abuse and discrimination while working, they insisted that religion offered them the strength to know everything is possible. McNeil Smith and Landor (2018) say that black families had coping strategies to oppression. One such coping strategy is religion. According to McNeil Smith and Landor, religion is a supporting system in an oppressive environment. In the 1980s, African Americans felt strong because of religion. Religion and spirituality are consistently important values among African Americans (Suizzo et al., 2008). Similar to the case of black families, we have developed values of closeness and autonomy to adapt and maintain our psychological strength when we face discrimination.
Sociopolitical Systems of Oppression
My parents have shared less about their immigration story. However, they tell me how they experienced discrimination in various spheres of life, including the workplace. My father used to talk about moments when his colleagues questioned his patriotism. Many believe that immigrants had more loyalty towards their countries of origin than the U.S. He would have to ignore some sentiments from co-workers and community members to remain resilient and focus on the positives of his life. I have experienced bullying in school and other places. When an immigrant cannot speak good English, it becomes an excuse for insults by the racially abusive whites. But this has never deterred me from working for what is mine. These experiences could equate to what African Americans face. We have learned how workplaces discriminate against people of color, giving opportunities to select few and majority whites. Contrary to what gets reported about African American families experiencing a high rate of economic distress and community violence (McNeil Smith & Landor, 2018), my family has had relatively better experiences.
Reimagining Community Evolution
My family and community will continue to adapt to the U.S. culture and traditions. There is a feeling that the next generation will live in a better society. Over the past years, we have seen the country adopting various laws on race intended to create equality for all people irrespective of their color or race. But, this may not happen immediately; it will take time, and it will require people to speak up against all forms of injustices. I am training myself to get involved in community programs and shape the future for the next generation. I have lived together with people of diverse backgrounds. In those years, I have taught myself to respect and value everyone’s beliefs and traditions, and I believe that should be the norm for everyone.
It is never too late to shake off any feelings of resentment caused by injustices and discrimination in the past. The future generation must choose to accommodate each other. I will continue to show gratitude and respect to my parents for their input and valuable insights on how to live in this dynamic society. I will pass this knowledge to my children, teaching them the core values that have enabled me to get to where I am today. I hope they will express their beliefs without fear, standing against injustices against the minorities. Their resilience will come by persistent commitment towards improving their lives and holding dear their values, traditions, and culture.
Undoubtedly, I have learned a lot throughout the course. The various study materials and journals I have read about the history of minorities in the U.S. have shaped my understanding of society. I can relate to the experiences of black families in my community, having grown under an almost similar situation. My family and religion have been the pillars of support in my life. They have made me successful in various aspects of life. The future is bright. Our children will live in a more diverse society, possibly with better laws to impede potential injustices and discrimination we have endured for a long time.
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McNeil Smith, S., & Landor, A. M. (2018). Toward a better understanding of African American families: Development of the sociocultural family stress model. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(2), 434-450.
Pinderhughes, E. B. (2002). African American marriage in the 20th century. Family Process, 41(2), 269-282.
Suizzo, M. A., Robinson, C., & Pahlke, E. (2008). African American mothers’ socialization beliefs and goals with young children: Themes of history, education, and collective independence. Journal of Family Issues, 29(3), 287-316.
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Editorial Team. (2023, May 13). Reflecting and Reimagining Family Values and the Community’s Future. Help Write An Essay. Retrieved from https://www.helpwriteanessay.com/essays/reflecting-and-reimagining-family-values-and-the-communitys-future/