Courtesy of realblackgrandmothers.com
Courtesy of realblackgrandmothers.com

An assistant professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington has created a website dedicated to the role African-American grandmothers play in their communities and the lives of their grandchildren.

LaShawnDa Pittman, whose realblackgrandmothers.com website presents oral histories of Black grandmothers, said Black children are at least twice as likely to be cared for by a grandparent as are children of other races and ethnicities.

“After slavery, it was grandmothers who reconstituted the family and maintained family ties through reunions, church and child-rearing,” Pittman said in a statement. “Today, grandparents step in when parents are unable to meet a child’s needs, and in the Black community, it’s not assumed that they always can. Raising children is a collective endeavor, and grandmothers are key to that collectivity.

“I hope that like other archives that hold the stories of African-Americans, Real Black Grandmothers can be a useful educational, historical, and even inspirational tool for generations to come,” she said.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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