African American Culture Essay

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African-American people from a qualitative perspective. The literature review will provide a brief background on African-American people and leading health problems they face along with a brief inclusion of census data to create a general picture of health from the perspective of an African-American person. One African-American man was interviewed. His answers provide a means of generating a construct that will be used to draw conclusions for nursing practice and standard of care development.

African-American People: Literature Review

A website called: 'Dimensions of Culture', examines cultural patterns existent in many African-American communities. Those that recently immigrated from Africa show an even different culture compared to African-Americans that have lived in the United States for generations. One common cultural pattern experienced by African-Americans is the 'Black' Experience, which is diverse, representing a wide array of skin tones and backgrounds. The next is the social structure. The social structure often takes on a matriarchal tone although both mother and father can make decisions for the family (Dimensions of Culture, 2017). African-American women are also more college-educated than African-American men and may remain unmarried (Dimensions of Culture, 2017).

In general, there is a respect for elders amongst the African-American population and there may be a more traditional perspective regarding gender roles. Interracial dating and marriage may be frowned upon. Often elders take care of their grandchildren and avoidance of institutionalization for African-American elders is common. While not all African-American people live in disadvantaged neighborhoods, those that do are exposed to fast-food chains, high-priced food marts, and liquor stores (Dimensions of Culture, 2017). This can lead to a high prevalence of chronic illness and obesity.

Another source of understanding for African-American culture is a slideshare presentation. The presentation notes African-American culture has roots in Africa, namely West Africa. The mixture of people from African-American descent are typically Sahelian and sub-Saharan African cultures (Tameika, 2015). People within this segment of the population often value church and family with many being Baptist and other denominations of Christian. They experience extended kinship bonds with cousins, aunts, uncles, and most importantly, grandparents.
Although most Blacks are Protestant Christian or Baptist, a growing, small number of African-Americans practice Santeria and Voodoo (Tameika, 2015). It is important to understand what common beliefs are upheld within the African-American population. Understanding their religious beliefs can lead to an overall better delivery of care.

A 2016 article on Dementia family care givers, shows not only that African-Americans are affected by dementia disproportionately, but that the family caregivers of Dementia patients experience major rates of physical and psychological symptoms. The results from the survey revealed the need for African-American family care givers to embark on higher levels of self-care and receive education on how to take care of their relatives with Dementia.

Analysis revealed 4 key themes: the tradition of family care, caregiving and caregiving issues, culturally appropriate care, and navigating without a map. Suggestions for an educational program included a focus on developing caregiver skills and knowledge for caregiving, promotion of self-care, and reflection on the AA family and community as resources for care (Samson, Parker, Dye, & Hepburn, 2016, p. 492).

The last article provides a close look on the perspective of the African-American experience and cultural competence with healthcare. The authors note the impact slavery has had on the African-American population and noted the cultural differences that influence healthcare attitudes and decisions regarding healthcare. For example, they noted religion's part in African-American interaction with health care. Some in the population use home remedies because they distrust the government and remain health illiterate. "The authors identify key influences, including the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow discrimination, the Tuskegee syphilis study, religion's interaction with health care, the use of home remedies, distrust, racial concordance and discordance, and health literacy" (Eiser & Ellis, 2007, p. 176). This article shows the need to enhance understanding of African-American culture to deliver better and higher standards of patient care.

Census Data: African-Americans

African-American people in the United States account for 14.4% of the population at 46.3 million. The exact estimation is 46,282,080 (Black Demographics,….....

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Black Demographics. (2015). | Health status & Life Expectancy. Retrieved from

Dimensions of Culture. (2017). Health Care for African-American Patients/Families -- Dimensions of Culture. Retrieved from

Eiser, A. R., & Ellis, G. (2007). Viewpoint: Cultural Competence and the African-American Experience with Health Care: The Case for Specific Content in Cross-Cultural Education. Academic Medicine, 82(2), 176-183. doi:10.1097/acm.0b013e31802d92ea

Samson, Z. B., Parker, M., Dye, C., & Hepburn, K. (2016). Experiences and Learning Needs of African-American Family Dementia Caregivers. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 31(6), 492-501. doi:10.1177/1533317516628518

Tameika. (2015). African-American Culture 2013. Retrieved from

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