The role that African-American grandmothers play when an adult female child is incarcerated reinforces the elevated status within the community that black grandmothers have always had.
In this Essay, I will primarily focus on: (1) the history of African-American grandmothers in the United States; (2) their status when they take on the role of raising grandchildren of their incarcerated children; and (3) the impact of mass female incarceration on these children.
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN GRANDMOTHERS
The West African culture and tradition of caregiving across generations through the extended family carried over into America, (24) and most African-American grandmothers pride themselves on being the glue that holds their families together.
Perhaps the biggest difference in how the gender entrapment theory applies to battered African-American women who are incarcerated and the African-American grandmothers who are left as caretakers of their children is the grandmothers' ability to survive and to help their families under such poor circumstances.