The Adaptations of Urban Black Families: Trends, Problems, and Issues

  • Albert J. McQueen
  • Frederick C. Green
  • T. Berry Brazelton


The theme of this conference—is contemporary family dying or developing?—yields seemingly paradoxical results when applied to black families. For many years, the conventional wisdom of social science held that black families were either dying or had attained a precarious equilibrium of perpetual existence in the shadows of death and decay. Over 300 years of survival suggest that the announcement of the death or near-death of black families has, in the words of Mark Twain, been premature and grossly exaggerated. And yet, on the face of it, 300 years does seem like an awfully long time to be still talking about the development of black families. There is, of course, no paradox here. Instead, we are confronted with a complex of social conditions and behavioral responses that social scientists have only recently begun to understand and interpret realistically as experienced by black people themselves.


Black Male Black Community Black People Black Female Negro Family 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert J. McQueen
    • 1
  • Frederick C. Green
    • 2
  • T. Berry Brazelton
    • 3
  1. 1.Oberlin CollegeOberlinUSA
  2. 2.Children’s Hospital National Medical CenterGeorge Washington UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Harvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA

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