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The AA Ethnic Lens. Ethnogerocounseling Counseling Ethnic Elders and Their Families . Demographics. AA are the largest ethnic category in the United States and black elders are the fastest growing segment of the total black population. Between 1970 and 1980:

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the aa ethnic lens

The AA Ethnic Lens


Counseling Ethnic Elders and Their Families

  • AA are the largest ethnic category in the United States and black elders are the fastest growing segment of the total black population.
  • Between 1970 and 1980:
    • Elders increased 34 percent compared with a 16 percent in the total black population.
  • 1990:
    • 2.5 million blacks over age 65
    • 230,000 over the age of 85
    • 63 black males for every 100 black females over age 65.
  • Black females have the longest life expectancy.
  • They will experience the most significant increase in the total elderly population.
  • 82 % live in cities that are 50% or more black
  • 59% live in the southeastern states.
  • 20% live in extended families.
  • 3-4% live in nursing homes.
  • Over age 85 – 8.4%/males; 13.5/females are institutionalized.
  • Many black elders live in poverty.
  • Racism has reduced opportunities for adequate healthcare, preventive care, education, and job training.
  • Many low paying jobs are not covered by Social Security and medical insurance.
  • Blacks receive less retirement income than comparable whites.
  • 1988 – 32% of black elderly were below the poverty level.
immigration and migration experiences
Immigration and Migration Experiences
  • Most black slaves came from 25 nations south of the Sahara desert in West Africa.
  • Most lived along the Egyptian routes where traders disseminated goods and the Islamic religion.
  • African-Muslim societies were dominant from the 12th and 16th centuries.
  • The Portuguese established trading posts in the 1500’s and were the first to export African slaves.
In 1619, Dutch traders sold 20 West African to colonists in Jamestown, VA.
  • 425,000 were to follow.
  • Their cultures were mainly based on the extended family and religion.
  • The Civil War ended slavery; but a new form of slavery was created by racism, poverty, and oppression.
By the late 1800’s:
    • The Ku Klux Klan was created.
    • Jim Crow laws began under the guise of “separate but equal”.
    • Black families were reunited; marriages were legalized; a black graduated from West Point and Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute.
  • In the early 1900’s:
    • 500,000 blacks, mostly intact two parent families migrated from the south to the urban north in search of jobs and education.
“Red Summer” of 1919 resulted in riots towards the 100,000 blacks who returned from WW I.
  • KKK now had over 5 million members.
  • 1930’s brought some progress.
    • Integration in the labor movement.
    • More blacks into government.
Blacks were still segregated in the armed forces until 1948.
  • After WW II segregation still occurred in the form of:
    • Segregated business and facilities;
    • Poll taxes;
    • Laws preventing blacks eating together (Illinois).
Civil Rights Era:
    • 1954 – Brown v. Board of Education (school)
    • 1961 – Affirmative Action
    • 1965 – Civil Rights Act of 1965 (integration of school and facilities).
  • Most black elders learned about slavery from their grandparents
cultural values
Cultural Values
  • AA culture is defined as bicultural and AA children are socialized to assimilate into both the white and the Afro culture.
  • Standards of child rearing, language, communication, religion, and family composition sometimes differ from those of the dominant society.
  • Parenting is caring but harsh.
  • AA parents raise sons to be both assertive and acquiescent.
Blacks are criticized for a culture of poverty and female-centered families.
  • When AA differ from the dominant culture it is not a reflection of their inability to assimilate but rather remnants of an African society and subsequent deprivation.
  • In Africa, blacks enjoyed a culture that included a strong but complicated family life based on a lineage system.