How The Bride Price Or Lobola Is A Social Issue Among African Americans In The Usa's Modern Soiety.

997 words - 4 pages

Social Problem: Bride PriceIn most traditional African-American households, women provide the backbone of support for the family. Women provide spiritual fortification, childbearing and in some cases significant financial contributions. From the time that a little girl has grown tall enough to reach a sink, she has been washing dishes and helping her mother to manage the household duties. Depending on the female's birth order, she has varying degrees of responsibility; but in all cases, she had work. In traditional African- American households, this has been the women's role for many generations. So when a man comes along with intentions of marrying a significant participant in a family unit and removes her from her home, he in turn leaves a tremendous loss in terms of resources, work and money for the family. This brings the concept of bride price, which is a potential husband having the responsibility offering a payment of significant measure to the brides family in exchange for the opportunity to marry her (Jenkins 12). The Bride price in its originality was a beautiful tradition that sealed the new relationship between two families that joined through marriage. Today, in modern society, the usage of the bride price has been changed and manipulated by "traditional" African-Americans to suite their desires. As Ingrid Sturgis explored the African Culture in her book, The Nubian Wedding, she stated:"I feel that these days, our culture is slowly disappearing because, not many parents sit with their children or send them off somewhere to learn what their culture is and what certain things are done and not done. We have lost the concept of what practices our parents and grandparents did and why." (125)From the interactionist perspective the bride price is seen involving a father setting a ridiculously high bride price on his daughter's head to stop a man from marrying his daughter (Smith 45). During an interview with Samaru Malaga, I noticed he saw things in an integrationist perspective and he stated:"Marriage ought to be a legally approved union between individuals of opposite sex, who commit to one another with the expectation of a stable, lasting and intimate relationship. But what do have: a businessman in the form of the brides father, attaching a price tag onto his daughter." (Jan./2003)From the Conflict Perspective, bride price is seen as an excuse for husbands to abuse their wives with the "I bought you" excuse. Some men assume that because he has paid the bride price on a woman, he has bought her as a piece of property and then owns her. Martha Chileshe in her book, The Tribe and Its Successors, quoted: "Remember that she doesn't become your property--she becomes your equal in qualities that are human" (256). On the other hand, you find women telling their husbands they cannot tell them anything because their husbands paid an insignificant amount of money to the bride's...

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