The family costs of white racism: The case of African American families Academic Article uri icon


  • Drawing on 209 interviews with middleclass African Americans across the nation, we examine the impact of racial discrimination in the workplace and other arenas on Black family life. We argue that discrimination not only affects how workers feel about themselves but also how they relate to kinfolk, for African Americans frequently share accounts of racial humiliation and discrimination with their families. We establish what kinds of support are sought from kin by Black men and women in the aftermath of injustice, and whether the responses to help-seeking are favorable. We examine how and when individual experiences with racial bigotry and discrimination activate in other family members memories of similar events. In summary, we explore the central role and consequences of collective memories about racism for African American individuals, families, and communities.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • St Jean, Y., & Feagin, J. R.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • St Jean, Y||Feagin, JR

publication date

  • August 1998