Today, my focus is on the role of African-American grandmothers and the role that they play in the cycle of incarceration that is prevalent in poor black communities.
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.
In Oakland and Berkeley in the 1980s, it was not until African-American grandmothers
stood up and said "no more dead children" that the consciousness of the community got raised to a degree that got policymakers moving to really concentrate on families at risk.
From one generation to another, African-American grandmothers
have been at the forefront of caring for members of their family.
Assata Zerai's research with African-American grandmothers
raising their cocaine-exposed grandchildren substantiates many legal and practical barriers that make difficult their efforts to provide good care for these young family members.