For a very long time, the growth and development of the black family have been affected by how they are perceived by the rest of American society. To a large extent, the obstacles faced by the black family are mostly due to racial discrimination. The problem of race can be spotted in various aspects of the lives of African Americans, including education, health, employment, and legal as well as justice matters. Apparently, the racial problem has been around for ages and is not about to end anytime soon.
Undoubtedly, the election and subsequent re-election of Barrack Obama as president of the United States is a clear indication that the perception of the black family in the United States has greatly changed over the years. The fact that President Barrack Obama was able to gain the support of some members of the white family shows a change of attitude in the way African Americans are regarded. In spite of the change of heart among the white community, the black family still faces various obstacles that hinder their advancement.
Although authors generally look at the slow growth of the black family from different perspectives, the fundamental problem that has given birth to almost all the obstacles is race. A common agreement among various authors is that the problem of race permeates every aspect of the life of African Americans. Consequently, most of the obstacles that are faced by members of the black community can be addressed by attacking racial discrimination. The election and subsequent re-election of Barrack Obama should not be taken to imply that war against race has been won.
Despite the fact that the election and subsequent re-election of Barrack Obama as the first African American president of the United States, the black family is still faced with numerous challenges. While one may think that the political career of President Barrack Obama presents great opportunities for the black family to advance in different areas, these challenges greatly hinder their growth and development.
This paper looks at a number of issues that are faced by the black family and gives suggestions on how they can be resolved. In general, the black family faces obstacles in education, criminal justice, race, health, and employment, among others. These issues and others are hindrances to the growth and development of the African American community.
Obstacles Facing the Black Family
Although there have been several changes in the United States following the election and re-election of Barrack Obama as president of the United States, the state of the African American family has not changed much. There are various thorny issues that must be addressed. In a study by McGrath (2002), a number of issues were identified as major obstacles to the development of the black family.
As noted by McGrath (2002), African Americans are denied opportunities to work as a result of insecurity in parts of the United States. The African American family has also been affected by welfare, which for a very long time, a constitutional right. Apparently, welfare caused most black women to believe that depending on the government for survival was a better option than having a husband.
This belief led to the breakdown of families, increased the number of illegitimate black children, and greatly reduced the value of black men. Radical relativism is another obstacle to the advancement of the black family. Ostensibly, the laxity by African American leaders and liberal academics to condemn the obscene behavior of African American artists is responsible for the rot among the youth.
Reduced respect for human life among African Americans has also led to many cases of abortion by black women. As a result, African American women are responsible for the highest number of abortions in the United States. Drawing from the study by McGrath (2002), close to 400,000 fetuses die every year due to abortion by black women. Besides affecting the growth of the African American population, abortion is irresponsible behavior among black youths as they grow.
Although the number of employed African Americans has been increasing over the years, there are still concerns about racial discrimination (Marger, 2014).
Historically, the problem of race has affected the progression of many members of the black family. The majority of African Americans have, for example, been denied opportunities to secure employment or grow in their careers because of race. To a large extent, the American legal system is also biased against members of the black community. Unlike whites, members of the black family are frequently subjected to harsh treatment by law enforcement agencies, and the population of African Americans in American prisons is often higher than that of their white counterparts.
Racial discrimination has also been a major obstacle for members of the black family in the education sector. Because of race, many blacks have been denied opportunities to pursue their preferred careers.
Health issues among members of the black family are also an obstacle to their advancement. The impact of HIV and AIDS, for example, has had a serious negative effect on the black community as opposed to members of other ethnic groups. Other illnesses that mostly affect members of the black family include hypertension, diabetes, and prostate cancer. In addition, cases of adolescent pregnancies are also very common among members of the black community.
Drawing from a study by Hattery and Smith (2012), there are some myths that attempt to explain the poor advancement of the African American community. According to one of the myths, members of the black family can only succeed by relying on special favors (Hattery & Smith, 2012).
As a result, most people are opposed to the idea of affirmative action. Purportedly, affirmative action gives an unfair advantage to some individuals while neglecting others. Arguably, reserving specific places for members of the black family makes them lazy and prevents them from working hard to succeed in life. Based on a different myth, members of the black family do not earn what they achieve, unlike their white counterparts. Ostensibly, this has a negative effect on African Americans and causes them to be viewed as people who are generally incapable of doing anything that deserves recognition.
Solutions to Obstacles Facing the Black Family
For the Black family to advance, various obstacles should be dealt with. First, it is necessary to boost security in areas with a high population of African American employees. Among other things, boosting security will reduce criminal activities targeting African Americans and create an environment where blacks can operate without fear. It is also imperative to make changes to legislation that have a negative effect on the advancement of the black family.
As earlier explained, having welfare as a constitutional right had a negative effect on the value of black men. Influential members of the black family should also be advised to set a good example for the youth. Artists who are not a good example for the youth lead most of them astray.
In order to uphold human dignity, black women should be advised to turn away from abortion as earlier noted abortion reduces respect for human life and has a negative effect on the advancement of the black family. Efforts should thus be made to ensure that members of the black family understand the importance of respect for one another. As can be deduced from this discussion, most obstacles faced by members of the black family are as a result of racial discrimination.
As pointed out by Marger (2014), the importance of Barrack Obama’s election and subsequent re-election as far as the advancement of the black family is concerned can not be overstated. It is a major milestone in the lives of African Americans and shows that war against race can be fought and won successfully. Based on research findings, economic and social differences still exist in the United States despite having an African American in the White House (Marger, 2014).
The fight against racial discrimination must thus continue. As suggested by West (2000), dealing with the problem of race must start by addressing the flaws of American society, which have their roots in historical inequalities and cultural labeling.
Although there have been fundamental changes in the way members of the black community are generally viewed, many obstacles still stand in the way of African Americans. Generally, obstacles faced by the black family are as a result of racial discrimination. While the race is a problem on its own, it also leads to many other issues that hinder the advancement of the black community.
The black family should take advantage of Barrack Obama’s presidency and figure out how to advance in various areas. It may be helpful for African American leaders to learn from the political career of President Barrack Obama in order to grow politically. It is also advisable for members of the black family to support their leaders and avoid making negative comments about their leaders.
Hattery, A. J. & Smith, E. (2012). African American Families Today: Myths and Realities. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Web.
Marger, M. N. (2014). Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning. Web.
McGrath, L. (2002). The Ten Biggest Problems Facing African-Americans Today. Web.
West, C. (2000). Race Matters. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Web.