This book presents an exceptionally detailed description of lower-class family life within a community. Although primarily ethnographic, it also attempts to be explanatory. Moreover, the explanation of data is offered as a first step toward a general theoretical statement of lower-class family organization. Some readers may be most interested in the descriptive material, as raw data for their own theories or interpretations. Other will be most interest in the explanation, in order to see how useful it is in explaining data on other societies. Very few ethnographic studies have been published about lower-class Negro communities in the US of the Caribbean. This is one reason for the sharp controversies about whether family life is organized or disorganized; whether the families reflect a culture of poverty or a poverty of culture; whether they represent strength or weakness; whether a war on poverty should focus upon the deficiencies of individuals and their families, or upon the deficiencies of a society which perpetuates poverty. I hope that the present study of a lower-class Negro community in Trinidad will help clarify these issues. From the preface.