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John L. Hudgins, Bernadette J. Holmes, and Mamie E. Locke


This section reviews the general and theoretical study of black family structure. Since the black family is often the subject of public policy debates and mass media presentations, its discussion and study continue to be rather controversial. Writing in the November 1980 edition of the Journal of Marriage and the Family, Robert Staples observes that, as white males have dominated the quantitative studies of minority families, they have often discredited their minority counterparts by accusing them of being polemic and substituting speculation and ideology for objective data. This controversy sparked the publication of over 50 books and 500 articles related to the black family between 1970 and 1980. That lo-year period produced five times more black family literature than had been produced in all the years prior to 1970. Along with this expansion of black family research and literature came the development of new perspectives.

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