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Cultural Groundings

A publica*on of IASBFLC, Inc. for Professional Development Training in Human Well‐being,   Family Development and Community revitaliza*on 

Volume 2, Number 1  January 2002 Wade W. Nobles, Ph.D., Editor in Chief

About the IASBFLC, Inc.. For over 28 years, The Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture, Inc., has applied Black Psychology and African centered thought to addressing the problems and advancement of African and African American communities world-wide. Incorporated in the State of California in 1980, the Institute is both a scientific research corporation and a human developmental/social services organization. The Institute’s corporate mission is the reunification of the Black family, reclamation of Black culture, and revitalization of the Black community.

Responsibility “Father only means  that you are taking  care of your children.  That’s what it means  to be a father. It  doesn’t mean having  babies. Anyone can  make a baby, but a  father helps to raise  his children. There’s a  word for fatherhood.  It is called  RESPONSIBILITY.”                       Malcolm X  

Fatherhood Matters

Fatherhood is an achieved status wherein men accept responsibility for protecting, defending and providing for, self, family and community by defining what is good, providing a sense of security and belonging, and obtaining those things necessary to sustain life and to inspire the imagination. In addition fathers are responsible for perpetuating the species through reproduction, providing developmental guidance and education, and establishing values and codes of conduct that serve as models for their children to emulate. Fatherhood represents the achievement of mastery and completion of the internalization and acquisition of a prescribed set of skills, attitudes and values relevant to the stages of Being and Becoming consistent with the meanings of one’s cultural community. Fatherhood matters because, fathers like mothers are needed to protect and defend the spiritual balance and well being of their children and are necessary for securing and establishing children’s spiritual harmony with the best of community. Both fathers and mothers must devote themselves to the higher responsibility of utilizing the collective spirit and genius of our people to guide and direct the permanent advancement of their children and to channel their vital life force for doing good

From Boys to Men In the African and African American tradition, youth development or education was not only seen  as  learning  facts,  Ligures,  names  and  dates.  It  was  viewed  as  a  process  of  “transformation”  or  change.  The  goal  of  education  was  to  develop  the  learner  and,  through  him  to  bring  about  harmony,  understanding  and  enlightenment  in  the  world.  As  such  the  educational  process  went  through successive stages so that the learner grew from “one not knowing” to “one who knew” to  “one  who  understood”.  Black  youth  development  was  governed  by  a  particular  attitude  and  training  method.  The  attitude  was  one  of  excellence  and  high  achievement. The  African  cultural  training methodology utilized the techniques of accentuation, association and attribution and the  practices of rote memorization, repetition, recall, replication and reLinement. This developmental  process was intended to prepare the boys for participation in the adult world by providing them  with  the  requisite  set  of  skills,  values,  attitudes,  beliefs  and  behavior  that  would  make  them  conLident, competent, conscious, committed and  contributing members of society. 

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