Family Communication and Messages about Race and Identity in Black Families in the United States

Mackensie Minniear, Jordan Soliz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Racial minority families engage in “racial socialization,” the process by which individuals develop meaning and understanding of what race is, and its implications. While parents are often seen as the site of this socialization, we wanted to explore which racial socialization messages were salient for young adults, and from whom they received these messages. This paper utilized focus groups to explore messages that young Black adults received about race, and what this means for their racial identity. We identified three dominant themes in our analyses: (a) the content of familial messages regarding race, identity, and prejudice, (b) critical incidents that shaped individuals’ understandings of Black racial identity, and (c) familial sources. Each of these themes is constituted by various experiences and examples that shed light on racial socialization in today’s social climate. Overall, parents, extended family members, and community members were sources of socializing what race meant to young Black adults. We discuss implications for research on racial socialization and family communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-347
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication


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