Traditional African-American food—sometimes referred to as “soul food”—is diverse and flavorful with origins in Africa, the West Indies, and American southern states.
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In general, the older generation is more conservative, may have a more traditional view of gender roles, and may shun interracial dating and marriage.
Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren.
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.
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.
Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.
The term African American generally refers to people descended from Africans who did not come to the US voluntarily—descendants of the four million slaves brought to the US between 16.
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.
Older African Americans may be suspicious of clinicians, believing their health is personal and up to God’s will.