Five Theories Of The African American Family

930 Words 4 Pages
To gain a better understanding of the African American family, one must study the African philosophy and cosmology. By learning about the philosophies origins and its five themes, the black family will be able to harmonize itself and begin to see what is wrong with research done by people like E. Franklin Frazier and Daniel Moynihan. Once this is accomplished the black family can free itself from western conceptual incarceration.
There are five central themes in African philosophy and cosmology that are outlined by T’Shaka. These themes are harmonious twin-ness, unicity, Maat, Nommo or the word, and transformation and change from the lower self to higher through spiral motion (T’Shaka 90). The first theme is harmonious twin-ness. According
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Franklin Frazier and Daniel Moynihan. Their theories oppose the theories of the African philosophy and cosmology. E. Franklin Frazier saw the family as a matriarchal unit (The State of the African American Family). However, in the African philosophy and cosmology, “men and women are in internal harmony with a cosmos...based on harmony, balance, [and] unity” (T’Shaka 90). In addition, Frazier believed that the African American family was disorganized from the beginning because casual sexual relations and not marriages were dominant during slavery (The State of the African American Family). The African philosophy and cosmology states, on the other hand, that sacred secular unions once existed, and seeks to bring them back in black societies (T’Shaka 90). This idea does demonstrate that the African family was once a stable and organized unit, despite what Frazier believes. However, the African American family is now a muddled institution and Daniel Moynihan believed that the government must step in and provide assistance to African American families to keep them from falling apart. Yet, the African philosophy and cosmology instead believes that themes such as unicity, harmonious twin-ness, and Maat need to be taught to black families in order to restore families (T’Shaka 91). The ideas of the African philosophy and cosmology are not the only lessons that African Americans need to be …show more content…
What this phenomenon is, is best explained by Oba T’Shaka when he describes black people comparing themselves to beauty standards made for white people (p.163). Two different groups of people with distinct looks cannot be held to the same beauty standards. This is the same when comparing the black family to white families. However, in order for researchers and African American people to free themselves from western conceptual incarceration, they must be taught an alternative view. Black people, and those who research black people, need to be taught the African philosophy and cosmology and its themes. In addition, people need to understand the origins of the African philosophy. Books and movies that highlight the African family before slavery and colonization will show people what inspired African philosophy, and media showing black families and people living by African philosophy themes in the present day will also be educational. Through these, the people can learn about the black family from a perspective that is based on them, not other races and

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