Survival of the African American Family: The Institutional Impact of U.S. Social Policy

Survival of the African American Family: The Institutional Impact of U.S. Social Policy

Survival of the African American Family: The Institutional Impact of U.S. Social Policy

Survival of the African American Family: The Institutional Impact of U.S. Social Policy

Synopsis

Challenging widely held beliefs, this provocative book offers nothing less than a blueprint for enhancing the social and economic status of African American families. Despite the implementation of liberal social policies in the 1960s and '70s, successive U. S. administrations continue to dash the hopes and expectations of African Americans, who remain subject to racism and discrimination. Arguing that social policies--and their absence--have affected the stability of the African American family, Jewell refutes the myth of significant progress for African American families emanating from the civil rights era, exposing the myriad reasons why greater advancement toward equality has not occurred in major societal institutions. Attention is focused on the extent to which African American families have been adversely affected by a process of assimilation that was socio-psychological rather than economic. This new edition builds upon the first edition, and is revised and expanded to reflect new and persistent institutional policies and practices of race, gender and class inequality facing African American families. The revised edition explores such issues as racial profiling, capital punishment, police brutality, predatory lending, No Child Left Behind, welfare reform, affirmative action and racial disparities in healthcare, academic achievement and home ownership. Jewell proposes a variety of strategies and policies that are needed to ensure greater social and economic equality and justice for African American families.

Excerpt

The primary focus of this book is on the limited progress that African American families have made several decades after the implementation of liberal social policies in the 1960s and 1970s. I also examine the continued hope and high aspirations of African American families who have remained committed to the belief that Democratic administrations will represent their interests and understand and attempt to remedy their continued experiences as the targets of institutional racial inequality, injustices, and even aggression. However, I present irrefutable evidence that these expectations and hopes are dashed as new administrations become even less committed to the elimination of institutional racial discrimination and structural barriers that prevent African American families from participating fully in mainstream American institutions, and that make them victims of institutional and individual racial inequality, which have a profound adverse effect on the stability of African American families. Institutional policies and practices such as racial profiling; financial institutions that deny mortgage loans to creditworthy African Americans; police brutality; policymakers permitting the increasing presence of predatory lenders in lower-income inner-city neighborhoods where African Americans become their chief prey; the mainstream media's continued practice of vilifying African American males and devaluing and negatively stereotyping and objectifying African American females; and the poor quality of urban education and health care-delivery systems provided to African American families are presented as further evidence of the deprivation, humiliation, and inequalities that African American families encounter on a daily basis. I also explore how some of the most . . .

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