Table of Contents
The Impact of the American Ghetto to the African Americans
Before 1900, blacks and whites lived side by side in American cities. The race was not a significant aspect of the segregation between whites and blacks. Despite modern America having more laws to protect and assure equal human rights to blacks and whites, the segregation we see today was an unknown feature of this distant past. Blacks and whites were more connected in this period despite slavery and other issues being so common across states. Nevertheless, this integration remained only for a while before America started to push the “Ghetto” walls. Ghettoization reduced the significant contact that had existed for long between the blacks and whites and cut off the economic and political support African American elite were getting from whites.
The northern cities had a modest level of segregation combined with a small black population that promoted substantial contact between blacks and whites. This integration was crucial to the black community for many reasons. First, they could enjoy the same amenities as the white. The business owners in the community were more successful because they served a large base that included the wealthy whites. History records that interracial contacts, at the time, were frequent, cordial, and often intimate. Even though the blacks’ lower classes had less significant interracial ties, they too interacted with whites in their places of work and on the streets. For instance, members of Chicago’s nineteenth-century African American elite were physicians, journalists, attorneys, and clergy, relied significantly on the entire community for economic and political support. Thus, the idea of Ghetto in this time would come at the expense of this magnificent interracial relationship, and the disadvantaged were the blacks.
The industrialization and the movement of blacks from farms to cities rapidly effaced the era of integrated living. These events brought social, economic, and technological changes that altered the way of living. Compared to their white counterparts, blacks were largely unskilled. As a result, most whites who relied on human labor in their businesses and farms got it from the blacks and other minorities. It increased the dependence of blacks on whites’ jobs. Subsequently, the continued industrialization exposed the black community to more challenges on their human rights. Even without a massive provocation by the whites, the idea of Ghettos started to become a reality simply because blacks would choose to live by each other in low-class communities while working on farms. The integrated living that had been the core of most communities before became a thing of the past. The most impacted group was the highly dependent ones; the blacks.
The end of integrated living across the state presented significant challenges to the blacks. It terminated crucial economic and political support for the African American elites from the whites. It also caused a significant separation between the races as described in the text, “American Apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass” by Massey and Denton. Despite the modern challenges, such as racism, the America we live in today has created an excellent environment for all races to live together.
Massey, D., & Denton, N. A. (1993). American apartheid: Segregation and the making of the underclass. Harvard University Press.
Thought Paper: Residual effects of slavery
Although slavery ended several years ago, it left psychological and emotional injuries to African American generations. Wilkins et al. (2012) discuss the residual effects of slavery and what clinicians need to know. This issue is significant in counseling, bringing the idea that marriage and family therapists should have a good understanding of it in theoretical and clinical practice. This article presents vital information as research indicates that African American clients underutilize therapeutic services.
After the end of slavery, African Americans did not experience equity in almost every aspect of life. They continued to face challenges economically, socially, and in their access to public services. Slavery labeled Africans as inferior individuals, giving the masters a reason to violate their rights and use them as they will. But, emancipation brought no hope to them either. They had no resources to survive on, causing a multigenerational disadvantage that is present to date. Today, when a Black boy or girl in school gets punished more severely than their white counterparts, they and their parents are most likely to associate that experience with their history. Still, some are less careful in responding to injustices and oppression, which often ends terribly with deaths or jail terms.
Some families and parents have mastered the art of training their children on how to socialize with others. It is one way African Americans promote resilience from one generation to another. Undoubtedly, living in the U.S as an African American is a tough job by itself. But many individuals have remained resilient, acting as inspirational figures to the next generation. During the course, we have learned how some African Americans use religion as a coping strategy against oppression, and others rely on their families. In this article, the authors note that mothers are heavily supportive of their families, including standing beside men as heads of their families.
There are clinical implications of the residual effects of slavery. Marriage and family therapists should understand that mistrust may delay the success of therapy. Thus, it is necessary to consider a multicultural perspective that considers historical and contemporary contextual factors. This way, they can advance the therapeutic progress and the healing of residual effects of slavery scars. We must appreciate the strength exemplified by African Americans; for today’s generation of African Americans to understand that they are products of a strong and resilient system instead of over-focusing on suffering. The authors’ arguments are clear, making the article insightful to understand more about African American struggles and culture.
Wilkins, E. J., Whiting, J. B., Watson, M. F., Russon, J. M., & Moncrief, A. M. (2012). Residual effects of slavery: What clinicians need to know. Contemporary Family Therapy, 35(1), 14-28. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-012-9219-1
The Black Extended Family Thought Paper
Family is a crucial element of life to both blacks and whites. As it comes out across various readings, a family organization distinguishes the life of a black person from that of a white counterpart. The nuclear family is more typical in the blacks’ lives than the nuclear family. But these two settings are also impacted by several factors, as described by Wilson (1986) in his article The Black extended family: An analytical consideration. He describes the disparities in the family arrangement in the U.S., talking about the possible factors influencing the commonality of one setting over the other in specific instances. The article is insightful because it relates to the modern societal settings in the country and provides a deeper understanding of extended and nuclear families. The most crucial thing I learned was the rationale behind the popularity of the extended family setting among blacks.
On the disparity between blacks and whites that makes extended family popular to the former, blacks are often not as financially stable as whites. Most black families depend on a few family individuals. Therefore, the extended family structure becomes a preferred way of living whereby family members meet and live almost together to share the resources available. I agree with Wilson’s argument based on what I have seen in society around and across the country. Blacks support one another, and in most cases, they depend on their relatives for needs such as a place to stay. Consequently, it is almost impossible for some families to have nuclear family settings as conditions dictate high dependency levels.
The article makes so much sense when compared to our society today. But, there is a significant gap in the validity of its argument because people’s way of living changes time after time. Subsequently, these arguments emanate from an article with over three decades of age, and we expect a lot to have changed since then. I believe that everything he saw and understood in society back then could be significantly different today. Yet, it is a sublime piece of writing and has complemented the other course materials excellently as far as matters concerning the black community are concerned.
Wilson, M. N. (1986). The black extended family: An analytical consideration. Developmental Psychology, 22(2), 246–258. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-16220.127.116.11
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