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An apt analogy to keep in mind is that learning about a specific model of car is helped by referencing the operator’s manual, but reading and even memorizing that manual doesn’t replace learning how to drive a car.The following cultural patterns may represent many African Americans, but do not represent all people in a community.
The idea of what soul food is differs greatly among African Americans.The family may be matriarchal, although father or mother may take on the decision-making role.For African Americans, women more than men tend to remain unmarried, and more women have been educated at the college level.Body and Soul: A Celebration of Health Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a health diet rich in fruits and vegetables.African Americans often have strong religious affiliations.Institutionalization of elders has historically been avoided, with sons and daughters taking on the family caretaker role.
Many African Americans like hearty meals that may include meat, fish, greens, rice, grits, white and sweet potatoes, corn, turnips, eggplant, peanuts, and homemade desserts.
The following guides emphasize information that can be used to stimulate thinking about cultural differences and prompt questions that will help providers understand how their patients identify with and express their cultural backgrounds.
These are not fact lists to apply indiscriminately.
Before the advent of health ministries, African American churches had mission volunteers who attended services and administered to parishioners.
African Americans are becoming increasingly health conscious, seeking health screenings and treatments, although health literacy in this population tends to vary by generation.
Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.