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Contradiction to Relationship: The African American Slave Family

Human beings are born with a tabula rasa. This is a theory that explains that people are born without a pre-existing knowledge of their identity. It further describes that human knowledge and the development of their nature comes from experiences and interactions with other human beings. These types of interactions can turn into relationships, which can aid in personal growth and also bring in a strong support system during times of crisis. One of the first places a person may find this type of support and connection is in a stable family. The meaning of the word family can vary depending on the person and other environmental factors like culture, religion, etc. The Oxford English Dictionary defines family as “a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.” (AskOxford.com, 2008). This is the most general definition of a family in America. However, querying individuals from American society about their own experience with family may expose a new definition. This is mainly due the fact that over the last few decades, Americans have seen the development of single parenthood and the common transaction of blended families because of the nature of divorces. Nevertheless, the focus here is not on just the word family, but on the idea of a “stable family”. The meaning of this leads us back to the Oxford definition, which helps characterize the structure of a stable family as having one household with a mother and father who have been married for a long time. This is the type of family where people find solace and security when everything else seems dire. When trouble starts brewing, individuals tend to find support and comfort in their mother’s love, in their father’s wisdom and in their siblings’ understa... ... middle of paper ... ...w.blackpast.org/?q=primary/moynihan-report-1965>. Novkov, Julie. "Racial Constructions: The Legal Regulation of Miscegenation in Alabama, 1890?1934." Law and History Review 20.2 (2002). History Cooperative Database. University of Illinois. Web. 1 May 2010. "Scott Bond Interview." Interview. New Deal Network. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography. Web. 1 May 2010. . "The Enslaved Family: Selection from WPA Interviews of Formerly Enslaved African Americans, 1936-1938." National Humanities Center. Library of Congress, 2007. Web. 23 Apr. 2010. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai/community/text1/enslavedfamilywpa.pdf "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account." Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Web. 1 May 2010. .

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