During holidays, we would travel to New Orleans to visit family. I knew of a particular family that was our neighbors, the Parkers. Their family structure comprised of a husband and wife with three children; two girls and a boy, relatively close in age. They also lived with the grandmother to the children. They had a little house with a clean front yard where the family dog, usually, plays.
Life was difficult, and both parents worked two jobs. The house they lived in belonged to Mr. Parker’s mother. She had retired and now owned a convenience store. To make ends meet, the children would help in the store every chance they got. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, the father got laid off. With the reduced income, the mother and grandmother had to exert themselves even more. Mr. Parker tried to find a job, but it was not easy. I believe the stress, frustration and shame got to him because he started drinking a lot at all times of day. He would often fight with his wife over money. His children started spending most of their time at my place. In addition, the convenience store got robbed, and since they did not insure it, their investment suffered. The grandmother nearly had a stroke. Therefore, she got confined to bed and rarely stepped outside, leaving the work up to her daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
Despite all this, the Parkers endured and thrived. Apart from picking up extra shifts at the hospital, Mrs. Parker started to attend night classes. The little she saved went into replenishing the store that the children and the husband were now running. Mr. Parker dealt with his depression and diversified the convenience store’s main business activity; introduced other products and services like a gas pump. The grandmother got better and resumed working in a reduced capacity though. Last time I saw them, the family had undergone a transformation. Mr. Parker had opened another branch of the store; Mrs. Parker got promoted at the hospital; the grandmother had recovered and seemed happier, and the children were doing well in school.
That is a perfect example of an African American family lucky to have a responsible father. I would say that the father is the reason for the family’s stability. In many cases, where there are many children and a challenging upbringing, the father would, usually, abandon his family. In this case the father stays with his family works to sustain them and keeps them bonded. I think this is a great father and, subsequently, blessed with a humble and cooperative family.