Family Roots And Traditions We Should Diligently Practice Today

These traditions could strengthen us as a people and as a nation. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels.)

This post was originally published on Afro

By Catherine Pugh

I recently sat at a dinner that began with a family tradition: Before we eat, we bless the food. When the organization’s president finished the appeal, I began to think about things that were once traditional in many black families — including my own — and aren’t as common today. Perhaps there are things we should return to as black people and as members of humanity in general.

So many of our ancient wise teachings are not discussed, such as teaching our children to read and write before they start school. It is also time to bring younger generations back into the voting booth with us so that they understand the privilege of voting and its history. These traditions have helped us understand our worth and respect our elders who have given so much for so long.

This month, AFRO highlights the importance of going back to our roots and understanding our history. Below is a list of traditions that I believe could strengthen us as a people and a nation. Which “old ways” do you think we should go back to?


Prayer changes things… Deitrich Haddon sang about it

In 1962 the Supreme Court ruled against prayer in public schools, declaring that it violated our First Amendment rights. However, it was not ruled out that we should not pray at home.

Maybe our school systems are considering a minute’s silence before school starts. I believe it would help create a peaceful atmosphere.

Before every meal and before we left the house as children, my parents prayed with us. Before we went to bed at night, we knelt and prayed. The act itself bonded us as a family. My parents would require that we take turns blessing each other at every meal. There were seven of us plus my parents so it would be a little over a week before it was our turn.

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Where could you fit a prayer or a moment of meditation into your family routine?

Eat together as a family

Family gatherings around the breakfast and dinner table were not, and perhaps are no longer, uncommon in many households. However, more and more families are eating on the go, rushing to work or the next appointment. Some family members may come home at different times, so those moments of sharing and conviviality are lost.

Studies show that eating together is not only a great way to start or end the day, but also a way to promote healthy eating habits and weight management. In fact, according to a Stanford University study, “When a family comes together, it helps them cope with the stresses and problems of everyday life.”

According to the study, regular mealtimes can improve family dynamics.

I agree.

What meals could you share with your family? How could having dinner together in your household strengthen family bonds?

Travel together as a family

My parents couldn’t afford a luxury vacation. But in a way they seemed luxurious to us. Both migrated north from South Carolina. Every year when my dad took his three week vacation, they would pack us in the Buick and drive 12 hours to Newberry, SC. ​​The dynamics of the annual migration were amazing. We were all excited because we were going to my grandparents’ farm.

My grandfather raised cows, pigs, chickens, corn, tomatoes, okra and more. The conversations along the way were wonderful, but what happened on these visits created important memories.

We learned how to milk cows, get eggs from the hens and spend quality time with my grandparents.

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Studies show that traveling together as a family helps improve communication, reduce the likelihood of divorce, strengthen lifelong family bonds, and increase adult and child well-being.

Take regular trips with your family! It doesn’t have to meet the definition of “luxury” to create beautiful memories.

Support black businesses

Here’s the reality: A dollar circulates 28 days in the Asian community, 19 days in the Jewish community, 17 days in predominantly WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) communities, seven days in Hispanic communities, and only six hours in the black Community .

The data shows that 99 percent of our $1.3 trillion spending power is spent outside of our community. Some would argue that integration has separated us from our communities and black businesses are hard to find. Others are misled into believing that black products are inferior.

Our businesses still struggle with racism and discriminatory practices, but there are increasing ways to support black businesses, whether online or at their locations. There is hardly a product or service that you cannot find in the community of skilled black business owners.

Back to the church

History tells us that the Black Church was born in Philadelphia in 1787 as a protest against racism. In his book “How the Black Church Saved America‘ notes Henry Louis Gates that both Nat Turner and Frederick Douglass were grounded in the church. He cites the Black Church as the “parent” of the civil rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement as one of its “heirs.”

Church and Bible school were a commitment our family made every Sunday. Here we come together, strengthen our faith, join the choir and usher in the usher. Churches are where many of our black colleges and universities were founded. Today, the churches provide day care centers, credit unions, and many other services such as job training and scholarships for our youth. One of the roles of the Black Church today is to bring about change. Going to church promotes family cohesion.

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Catherine Pugh is the former mayor of Baltimore City.

The post comment: Family Roots and Traditions We Should Be Diligently Practicing Today appeared first in AFRO American Newspapers.

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