Black culture in the United States maintains many of the features of matrifocal social structure.  Speaking in generalities, the African-American woman is comfortable wielding authority, is often the head of family and frequently engages in serial monogamy.  It would be interesting to explore studies that examine the social structures of the communities of origin of American blacks.  Understanding the influence of the slave experience upon African indigenous societal orientations could offer deeper understandings of what the American black wrestles with when creating family.

George Lakoff discusses differences between the Left and Right Wings of the American political community.  One way to parse out contrasts, complementary to Lakoff, is by noting the tendencies toward patriarchy present in the American Right vs. a matriarchy orientation on the Left.  The young man marrying Bush’s daughter asked Bush for his daughter’s hand.  I imagine this custom is far more common among conservatives than liberals.  On the left, personal choice and woman’s choice occur at many levels.  The American black community fits well within the progressive movement because they share a social structure perspective.

A lot has been written about the dynamic leading up to and supporting white racist attitudes toward blacks in the United States.  One more thing to consider is deeply contrasting social structure frames of reference.  In a homogeneous culture, there is variation from the conventional social structure orientation, variation often manifesting in the political polarities.  Not surprisingly, people usually pick mates from a pool of people that share their politics.  In the United States, where large minorities have so little in common with the ruling white majority, differing social structure further polarizes the two communities.

Among the list of features that blacks display and that racist whites assign to the category of “other”:  most blacks subscribe to very different ideas of an ideal mate, how to pick a mate, raise a child and how the individual fits into the community.  Social structure orientation is perhaps the biggest difference between American blacks and the American Right, a foundation for white prejudice rarely discussed and little understood.

In other words, if blacks looked and sounded the same way as whites and there were no disparity in income, there would still be relatively little traffic between the American Right Wing and African Americans.  Social structure, how we pick our sexual partners and engage in family, is perhaps the single most powerful feature informing the nature of our communities and the place of the individual within society.


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