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Rooted in Kin

Rooted in Kin

(p.21) Chapter 1 Rooted in Kin
Raised Up Down Yonder
Angela McMillan Howell
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the role of family in the life and identity of black youth in Hamilton, Alabama. More specifically, it considers the relationship between family name and social interaction and looks at the “compound lifestyle,” a household pattern that fosters extended family networks and intergenerational activities while reframing the nature of poverty from what the general public traditionally knows. It also explores the hidden diversity in socioeconomic levels and the prevalence of blended families, similarities among the families in Hamilton, the impact of divorce and blended families on young people, and the interrelatedness between family activity and socioeconomic status. The chapter concludes by comparing generalizable patterns with subjectively lived experiences.

Keywords:   family, identity, black youth, Hamilton, Alabama, social interaction, compound lifestyle, poverty, blended families, socioeconomic status

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