African families face serious crises today. They are under economic, demographic and political pressures of all kinds; yet, families are not mere hapless victims of global change. They are proactive, resilient agents and creators of change. This volume studies global and national transformation from the point of view of families in local communities. Contributors are from Africa, North America, and Europe, and provide socially and historically based, culturally rich, multigenerational, and comparative perspectives on family life in Africa today. The essays explore contemporary change in African families, and consequences for children and parents, the elderly, gender roles, moral values, fertility, health (HIV and nutrition), and economic development. Ultimately, despite desperate economic, sociohistorical, demographic and political circumstances, African families remain vitally important for social and psychological support throughout an individual's life span.