Changing Gender Roles In African American Culture

gender roles african culture

The history of the African culture can be divided into four parts, the Old Stone Age, the Paleolithic period, the Delta period, and the Modern era. In addition to the mentioned four chronological periods, there are several smaller events that also shaped the society in Africa. For example, the spread of agriculture from the Middle East to the coastal regions of Africa, the existence of the caravan trade, the invention of farming techniques such as irrigation and farming field management, and the domestication of animals, among many others. These events influenced gender roles in the African society in regards to the responsibilities and role of women.

History Of Gender Roles In The African Culture

A person holding a baby

The history of gender roles in the African culture can further be divided into three categories based on the gender roles practiced by men and women. In the Old Stone Age, there is only one gender and it is referred to as the “Ugliest Woman”. This prehistoric society only has a single gender and the societal roles were primarily defined by gender roles. This was because there was no concept of male and female, and thus the only way to classify a person was by their physical attributes.

Time Of The Old Stone Age

A close up of a hand

During the time of the Old Stone Age, men have occupied the role of leaders and leadership was still determined by gender. The men of this time also had a dominant position because they dominate the wealth and property distribution in the society. Thus, the men were also the ones who went out hunting and collected animal furs which were used as the material of clothing for the women. They also took care of their livestock. Women, on the other hand, were not allowed to go outside the home unless they were married to a man.

During the period of the Paleolithic period, the culture is believed to have evolved when human beings started living in caves and using tools to build fireplaces. The main purpose of this is to keep them warm during the colder seasons, which was why the male members of the tribe were the ones who gathered wood and created fire. Another very important role of women in this culture was to look after their children, particularly during hunting. The men would be away from the women and look after them, feeding, dressing them and teaching them about life. It was also the women’s role to cook food for the entire tribe.

Roles Of Men Also Began To Decrease

Throughout the Early Dark Age, as the population of Africa continued to decrease, the roles of men also began to decrease. There were not many places for them to go to because the settlements were built by women and there were not nearly enough children to support a large population. This led to a situation where there were very few men to hunt animals for food and there were not very many ways for them to create fire or make tools. So, they were at the mercy of their neighbors and the climate. This brought about an influx of slaves into the region from the southern part of the world who were sold to make things such as weapons and clothes.

Summing Up

One of the biggest influences on this new change in African culture is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Many people blame the changing of the family structure on the rise of the disease, but the truth is that it actually had a big impact. There was less emphasis on the role of the mother during the times of the Great Migration and many women were forced to be the primary breadwinner of the family. Today, that has all changed and African-Americans are now making the largest investments in home care in America. By having qualified mothers available to take care of their children when they get out of school, the family is being strengthened and this has a tremendous impact on the culture.

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