As I have matured as a student and a scholar it has become more clear to me that in today's society with all it's talk of multi-culturalism and melting pot rhetoric it is blatantly clear that much of the discourse regarding the social world is rooted in Euro-centric research and ideology. As such, I content that it is the role of the African American sociologist to shift the center of analysis from a European focus to one that is inclusive of all people represented in this society. This can only be achieved by giving voice to those whose experiences have been traditional marginalized in the discourse concerning the social world.
A fifteen-year-old girl finds out that she is pregnant. Although she and her boyfriend have been together since she was thirteen, she is afraid she will lose him if she tells him. She feels as if she has finally found someone to love. This man loves her more than the men in her family who sexually abused her did. He loves her more than her father who is never home. Despite her fear, and because of that love, she tells him.
He is seventeen and afraid of fatherhood. After all, he never had a father. What was he going to be able to impart to the new life he had created? How would he be able to teach a daughter how to demand respect from a man when he was not certain if respected women? How would he teach manhood to a son when he was still a boy himself? These questions and more raged through his head. All of Nevertheless, he knew what he must do. He would marry her After all, he did love her or so he thought and besides it was the right thing to do.
This couple bore a son born with mental and physically disabilities. They became married at the age of sixteen and eightee...
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...aking and communication skills. With this knowledge, we expanded our program to include workshops on these issues. Soon we began training other teens on how to start programs of their own. Eventually, this program began reaching teens all over the state and teen pregnancy rates began to fall. This did not happen because one messiah came and changed the world. It happened because young people decided that they wanted to make a difference in their community. This must be the goal of Black sociology or the tree that is this discipline will bear no fruit.
My role as an African American sociologist is to change the world around me by offering an intellectual prowess, a dedicated spirit, and a focus on giving voice to the unheard by challenging the Euro-centric view of African American life. Anything less is a disservice to my discipline, my community, and myself.
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