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#1 Sep 01, 2018 11:24 am

New Historian
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Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

An interesting comparison of Black and Indian family life, the differences are glaring. The key to the difference? "The family structure of Indian-Caribbean families is in many ways similar to their Indian counterparts."

The Afro-Caribbean Family:

The African-Caribbean family has unique mating and childrearing patterns. Some of these patterns include absent fathers, grandmother-dominated households, frequently terminated common-law unions, and child-shifting, where children are sent to live with relatives because the parents have migrated or have begun a union with another spouse. Families tend to have a matrifocal or matricentric structure. Jacqueline Sharpe noted that, "To say that African Caribbean fathers and other men are fundamental to the socialization of children and to an understanding of African Caribbean family life is putting it mildly. That Caribbean men care for their family and provide for them economically has been demonstrated. . . . However, their emotional availability and their social ties to children are unclear" (Sharpe 1996, p. 261–262). A study conducted with students from the University of the West Indies suggested that Caribbean men have poor emotional relationships with their children. As a result, young boys may view family patterns such as matriarchal households, male absenteeism, and extramarital relationships as norms and continue them as adults (Sharpe 1996).

There are four basic types of family structures that affect childrearing, values, and lifestyles. Hyacinth Evans and Rose Davies (1996) describe these as (1) the marital union; (2) the common-law union (the parents live together, but are not legally married); (3) the visiting union (the mother still lives in the parents' home); and (4) the single parent family. Relationships often start as a visiting union, change to a common-law union, and culminate in a marital union. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of African-Caribbean families are headed by a female ( Jamaica: 33.8%; Barbados: 42.9%; Grenada: 45.3%) (Massiah 1982). It is estimated that 60 percent of children grow up in two-parent homes, and 30 percent live in households where they are raised exclusively by their mothers. Children born to couples in the later stages of family development usually have two parents in the home (Powell 1986).

Being a majority in the Caribbean, African-Caribbean families have significantly influenced the culture and political climate of the region. For instance, the celebration of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, the introduction of reggae and calypso, and the invention of the steel pan all originated in African-Caribbean families. In addition, most of the political leaders are from an African background. It is also evident that African-Caribbean families have shaped the history of the region in significant ways.

The Indo-Caribbean Family:

The family structure of Indian-Caribbean families is in many ways similar to their Indian counterparts. In the traditional Indian-Caribbean family, the roles of family members are clearly delineated. The father is seen as the head of the family, the authority figure, and the primary breadwinner. He has the final authority in most matters. In general, males are valued more than females and are seen as the primary disciplinarians and decision makers (Seegobin 1999).

The mother has a nurturing role in the family, and is usually responsible for taking care of the children and household chores. In general, women are taught that their major role is to get married and contribute to their husband's family. From a traditional Hindu religious perspective, women are seen as subordinate and inferior to men (Seegobin 1999).

The principal role of children is to bring honor to their families by their achievements, good behavior, and contribution to the family's well-being. As such, characteristics such as obedience, conformity, generational interdependence, obligation, and shame are highly valued. Children are seen as parents' pride and the products of their hard work. One of the primary goals of marriage in Hindu families is to have children. It is assumed that children will be cared for by their parents as long as is necessary with the understanding that children will take care of parents when they grow old (Seegobin 1999).

Indian-Caribbean families usually share their resources and have mutual obligations to each other. It is not unusual to see several generations living in the same house or in houses built close to each other, even after marriage.

Marriage is an important event for girls, because they are groomed for it from childhood (Leo-Rhynie 1996). At marriage, the woman leaves her family and becomes a part of her husband's family and is expected to be submissive to her husband as well as his family. Men in these families have more privileges and respect, and women are expected to cater to their needs and desires.

However, there have been some significant changes in Indian-Caribbean families. More women are going to high school and university, and hold prestigious jobs (Sharpe 1996). Marriages are also becoming more egalitarian. Fewer of these families are headed by females when compared with African-Caribbean families (Guyana: 22.4%; Trinidad and Tobago: 27%), and when it does occur, these households are usually headed by widows and not single mothers (Massiah 1982).

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#2 Sep 01, 2018 12:12 pm

Calypso
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

New Historian wrote:

An interesting comparison of Black and Indian family life, the differences are glaring. The key to the difference? "The family structure of Indian-Caribbean families is in many ways similar to their Indian counterparts."

The Afro-Caribbean Family:

The African-Caribbean family has unique mating and childrearing patterns. Some of these patterns include absent fathers, grandmother-dominated households, frequently terminated common-law unions, and child-shifting, where children are sent to live with relatives because the parents have migrated or have begun a union with another spouse. Families tend to have a matrifocal or matricentric structure. Jacqueline Sharpe noted that, "To say that African Caribbean fathers and other men are fundamental to the socialization of children and to an understanding of African Caribbean family life is putting it mildly. That Caribbean men care for their family and provide for them economically has been demonstrated. . . . However, their emotional availability and their social ties to children are unclear" (Sharpe 1996, p. 261–262). A study conducted with students from the University of the West Indies suggested that Caribbean men have poor emotional relationships with their children. As a result, young boys may view family patterns such as matriarchal households, male absenteeism, and extramarital relationships as norms and continue them as adults (Sharpe 1996).

There are four basic types of family structures that affect childrearing, values, and lifestyles. Hyacinth Evans and Rose Davies (1996) describe these as (1) the marital union; (2) the common-law union (the parents live together, but are not legally married); (3) the visiting union (the mother still lives in the parents' home); and (4) the single parent family. Relationships often start as a visiting union, change to a common-law union, and culminate in a marital union. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of African-Caribbean families are headed by a female ( Jamaica: 33.8%; Barbados: 42.9%; Grenada: 45.3%) (Massiah 1982). It is estimated that 60 percent of children grow up in two-parent homes, and 30 percent live in households where they are raised exclusively by their mothers. Children born to couples in the later stages of family development usually have two parents in the home (Powell 1986).

Being a majority in the Caribbean, African-Caribbean families have significantly influenced the culture and political climate of the region. For instance, the celebration of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, the introduction of reggae and calypso, and the invention of the steel pan all originated in African-Caribbean families. In addition, most of the political leaders are from an African background. It is also evident that African-Caribbean families have shaped the history of the region in significant ways.

The Indo-Caribbean Family:

The family structure of Indian-Caribbean families is in many ways similar to their Indian counterparts. In the traditional Indian-Caribbean family, the roles of family members are clearly delineated. The father is seen as the head of the family, the authority figure, and the primary breadwinner. He has the final authority in most matters. In general, males are valued more than females and are seen as the primary disciplinarians and decision makers (Seegobin 1999).

The mother has a nurturing role in the family, and is usually responsible for taking care of the children and household chores. In general, women are taught that their major role is to get married and contribute to their husband's family. From a traditional Hindu religious perspective, women are seen as subordinate and inferior to men (Seegobin 1999).

The principal role of children is to bring honor to their families by their achievements, good behavior, and contribution to the family's well-being. As such, characteristics such as obedience, conformity, generational interdependence, obligation, and shame are highly valued. Children are seen as parents' pride and the products of their hard work. One of the primary goals of marriage in Hindu families is to have children. It is assumed that children will be cared for by their parents as long as is necessary with the understanding that children will take care of parents when they grow old (Seegobin 1999).

Indian-Caribbean families usually share their resources and have mutual obligations to each other. It is not unusual to see several generations living in the same house or in houses built close to each other, even after marriage.

Marriage is an important event for girls, because they are groomed for it from childhood (Leo-Rhynie 1996). At marriage, the woman leaves her family and becomes a part of her husband's family and is expected to be submissive to her husband as well as his family. Men in these families have more privileges and respect, and women are expected to cater to their needs and desires.

However, there have been some significant changes in Indian-Caribbean families. More women are going to high school and university, and hold prestigious jobs (Sharpe 1996). Marriages are also becoming more egalitarian. Fewer of these families are headed by females when compared with African-Caribbean families (Guyana: 22.4%; Trinidad and Tobago: 27%), and when it does occur, these households are usually headed by widows and not single mothers (Massiah 1982).


Yes, NH, the research is accurate. Strong families are the structure of society. 75 percentage of black families are headed by women. Where are the men? They don't know to be fathers because the never had headship and manhood modeled for them.

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#3 Sep 01, 2018 11:21 pm

Expat
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

It may be true, but it is pretty pathetic.

Fathering is down to taking responsibility. Frankly it astounds me why a girl who KNOWS the track record of the men in her country would let herself become like the breeding machines that preceded her. Is the itchy crutch just too intense to keep the panties on?

Could it have nothing to do with Slavery at all, which is the favorite cop out. Rather less control on Libido or concern about the consequences. Which is of the now, and when the blood is pulsing in the temples, nothing to do with history.

While you can legitimately state Europe messed with the boarders and stuff in Africa, you cannot claim Slavery has affected family cohesion over there among those who never left the Continent. So why is it the Aids epidemic was far worse than it needed to be in Sub Saharan Africa due to truck drivers shagging every whore on their routes and then bringing their diseases back to their wives. Could they not have been celibate for the couple of days driving they were away from home?  Could they not have at least had the sense to wear a rubber? Is a Black man just a F7king machine?

Again I know people who have had long happy stable one partner marriages..... nuffin to do with me, they just knew how to keep the lead in their pants, and they came from the same villages you did.


PS. NH I am marking you down as a troll.... smile

Last edited by Expat (Sep 01, 2018 11:23 pm)

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#4 Sep 02, 2018 9:38 am

Calypso
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

Expat wrote:

It may be true, but it is pretty pathetic.

Fathering is down to taking responsibility. Frankly it astounds me why a girl who KNOWS the track record of the men in her country would let herself become like the breeding machines that preceded her. Is the itchy crutch just too intense to keep the panties on?

Could it have nothing to do with Slavery at all, which is the favorite cop out. Rather less control on Libido or concern about the consequences. Which is of the now, and when the blood is pulsing in the temples, nothing to do with history.

While you can legitimately state Europe messed with the boarders and stuff in Africa, you cannot claim Slavery has affected family cohesion over there among those who never left the Continent. So why is it the Aids epidemic was far worse than it needed to be in Sub Saharan Africa due to truck drivers shagging every whore on their routes and then bringing their diseases back to their wives. Could they not have been celibate for the couple of days driving they were away from home?  Could they not have at least had the sense to wear a rubber? Is a Black man just a F7king machine?

Again I know people who have had long happy stable one partner marriages..... nuffin to do with me, they just knew how to keep the lead in their pants, and they came from the same villages you did.


PS. NH I am marking you down as a troll.... smile

The itchy crotch of the black female  is a myth. If they had women who model good values from them, they would be better. They do breed like mosquitoes and with multiple fathers. Many of the pregnancies stem from trying to form a bod with men who fooled them.

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#5 Sep 02, 2018 12:20 pm

Expat
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

Grenada is ram packed full of Pius people preaching the right way to live and behave. Church attendance is still pretty high..... are there not enough good examples.

If so many are going at it like rabbits, what would it be like without the church....

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#6 Sep 02, 2018 1:29 pm

New Historian
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

"The itchy crotch of the black female  is a myth. .... They do breed like mosquitoes and with multiple fathers."

How to contradict yourself in 2 sentences. African women are a lot "easier" than Caribbean women, having sex is not that big a deal over there. Or so I've heard!

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#7 Sep 02, 2018 1:53 pm

Calypso
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

New Historian wrote:

"The itchy crotch of the black female  is a myth. .... They do breed like mosquitoes and with multiple fathers."

How to contradict yourself in 2 sentences. African women are a lot "easier" than Caribbean women, having sex is not that big a deal over there. Or so I've heard!



>>>>The itchy crotch of the black female  is a myth. If they had women who model good values from them, they would be better. They do breed like mosquitoes and with multiple fathers. Many of the pregnancies stem from trying to form a bod with men who fooled them.<<<<<


Mr. journalist, I did not contradict myself. They might appear to be women of easy virtue but they don't have good models to show them what womanhood is about. If they see their mothers with worthless, unproductive men hen they are on that path. The pregnancies do not stem from promiscuity; they stem from bad self image.

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#8 Sep 02, 2018 2:05 pm

New Historian
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Re: Black versus Indian family life in the Caribbean

I'm not going into the reasons why they are like they are - and you are right in why that is - I'm just saying that you yourself proved your first sentence incorrect. They do have an itchy crotch but it's not their fault, it's the fault of all the things you said.

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