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Voices from the African American Village: It Takes a Village to Define a Community

For many African Americans who grew up in the pre-civil rights era, the segregated community was usually referred to as a village. This was the origination of the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child." The voices that came out of the village were voices that are now becoming diminished. These voices helped to keep the culture intact. The voices from the elderly, the parents, the church, and the community-provided discipline, hope, pride, and integrity for the inhabitants. Many may feel that some of the messages were crude or inappropriate, but we have to take into account the lack of educational opportunities during this time. This book attempts to capture the messages that we need to not only remember, but respect. These voices helped us to survive racism and discrimination. The voices of the village are still relevant today and should not be forgotten.

--Charles E. Becknell, Sr., PhD

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