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Holiday Family, Fun, & Fellowship: How Essential is it?


In the “hustle-and-bustle” of today’s world, it’s very easy to overlook that family time and fellowship with loved ones. Family values is a catchphrase often used by politicians on the right, but the term is very subjective. What are family values? Well, that often depends on the culture, and in the United States, a country made up of hundreds of different ethnic groups and nationalities, there is bound to be some disagreement on what family values are. When politicians use the word family values, they are often referring to the traditional two-parent family, consisting of a mother, father, and biological children. But this is not even realistic these days with the high rate of divorce.

In many cases, marriages involve stepchildren and stepparents, and sadly, in some communities, the two-parent family is not the norm. In the African-American community, about 70 percent of children are born out of wedlock and often raised in single-parent homes. Studies also show that out-of-wedlock birth rates in the white and Latino communities are also on the rise, making the two-parent family increasingly rare. However, just because the out-of-wedlock birth rate is high in the African American community, it does not always mean that African Americans have poor family values. In many cases, although black fathers are not married to their mothers, they often have relationships with their children and care for them. In addition, many African-American men care for non-biological children.

African-American family life has several distinctive features related to the timing and approaches to marriage and family formation, gender roles, parenting styles, and strategies for coping with adversity. Some of those distinctive features include, but are not limited to, education, spiritual beliefs, and economics.


  • Barbarin, O. (1983). "Coping with ecological transitions by black families: A psycho-social model. “Journal of Community Psychology 11:308–322.
  • Chapman, A. B. (1997). "The black search for love and devotion: facing the future against all odds." in black families, 3rd edition, ed. h. p. McAdoo. Newbury Park, ca: sage.
Family values, Two-parent family, African American community, Holiday


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