13 May Most African Americans currently in the USA originated from Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them are descendants of the people who were brought to Americ
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Instructor: Dr. Maria Luque
MHS504 Scholarly Writing in the Health Sciences
24 April 2022
Most African Americans currently in the USA originated from Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them are descendants of the people who were brought to America as slaves between the 17th and 19th centuries (King, 2020). They initially came into the US as slaves and later revolted before getting recognition as one of the American races.
Most Black Americans reside in Ney York, Texas, California, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and Louisiana. Texas has the highest population of African Americans, with 14% of the total population being African Americans.
The African Americans originated from sub-Saharan Africa, a savannah with grasslands and scattered trees region. Most of the region is a vast plateau, and the land area has an altitude of fewer than 500 feet. Majorly in South America, their current residence is characterized by large mountains and a relatively flat interior.
The labor of African Americans has been foundational and significant to the growth of the economy of America. The original immigrants built the country's infrastructure, producing the most lucrative products, such as tobacco and cotton. Today, African Americans significantly contribute across all industries, including agriculture and service.
African Americans have made significant strides in American politics. The current congress includes 57 African American representatives, a high increase from 1965. The fifteenth amendment to the country's constitution allowed all male citizens to vote, and African Americans have since become politically active. In 2008, Barack Obama broke history and became the first African American to clinch the presidency in America.
The educational status among African Americans is both a witness of continuous achievement and disparities in the US. The number of African Americans who have studied to advanced levels and got good jobs increased. In 2016, a study revealed that the number of Blacks aged 25 or older who attained a bachelor's or associate degree has risen significantly since 1996. However, there are disparities in terms of the nature of schools, and they also face discrimination in schools.
African American workers are employed in various sectors and contribute significantly to the economy of the country. According to research, most of the members of this community occupy office and administrative positions (Pedulla & Pager, 2019). Other occupations with a significant number of blacks include sales, transportation, management, food preparation, and related occupations.
The dominant language among African Americans is African American English(Ebonics). The umbrella term refers to the varieties of English that people of African origin speak in the US.
There are seven main dialects associated with African Americans: African-American vernacular English, Standard English, Appalachian English, Outer Banks English, Nova Scotian English, Older Africa-American English, and Gullah. The dialects vary linguistically, generationally, stylistically, geographically, and other factors.
The context or setting plays a significant role in deriving the meaning of words used by African Americans. Some words can only make sense if one understands the context, and other words can be used in one context and not the other.
The good pattern among African Americans English contains variations in pitch and volume. Their voices can range from very loud and deep to very quiet. The correctness of the volume and tone depends on the speaking situation.
African Americans are comfortable speaking with less distance between themselves. For this reason, African Americans may not keep a distance between themselves and the people they are speaking with because they do not mind getting close. African American children also tend to stand closer to each other when talking than whites.
African Americans are believed to make more frequent eye contact when speaking than listening. Their failure to maintain eye contact when listening has led to being labeled as resistant or less interested. The overall amount or length of eye contact is not different from the dominant cultures.
African Americans exhibit all the basic facial expressions. They tend to smile more, and Whites may have difficulties telling when they are smiling genuinely and faking.
African Americans have several ways of greeting each other. They may nod, grip, or give a dap, especially for males. The up nod is usually used to let the other person know you have seen them, and a grip is used to show a closer connection. Females may shake their hands or hug, depending on the closeness
African Americans are present-oriented and are more likely to take short-term measures. Studies indicate that African Americans perceive them to be less susceptible to future consequences and take short-term measures (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). In healthcare, it is revealed that African Americans are present-oriented regarding the daily management of hypertension.
African Americans may keep time, but they are associated with smaller phase delays than whites. For this reason, they are more likely to delay a meeting. Researchers attribute this to the relationship-oriented nature of African Americans, which makes them more relaxed on this issue. When others are angry for being late, an African American is likely to be puzzled.
Most African Americans use names that are common with the wider American culture. Most of the names are derived from the Bible. Other names have Arabic, French, European, or Muslim origins. Most African Americans have an English name that is usually given at birth and a second name that is more intimate.
African Americans embrace touch and other forms of physical contact. Friends and family members may hug and kiss each other on the cheek. Colleagues may hug, but it depends on the connectedness between parties. In formal settings, handshakes are more preferred than hugs. Research also shows that blacks touch their children for a longer time and more frequently compared to other cultures.
King, S. (2020). From African American vernacular English to African American language: Rethinking the study of race and language in African Americans’ Speech. Annual Review of Linguistics, 6, 285-300.
Pedulla, D. S., & Pager, D. (2019). Race and networks in the job search process. American Sociological Review, 84(6), 983-1012.
Purnell, L. D., & Fenkl, E. A. (2019). People of African American Heritage. In Handbook for Culturally Competent Care (pp. 27-39). Springer, Cham.
African Americans’ Cultural Construct
Instructor: Dr. Maria Luque
MHS502 Cultural Diversity in Health Sciences
1 May 2022
Family Roles and Organizational Construct
Head of Household
The woman, the mother, heads most African American families. However, a significant number of households are also headed by men.
There is controversial information about gender roles in African American culture. However, most studies indicate that African American women are more masculine and possess masculine traits. They are documented to be stronger, more independent, and reliable (Noel, 2018). On the other hand, African American men are said to be weaker and more emotional. In terms of occupation, there is a thin line between male and female roles, and the same applies to house duties.
Goals and Priorities
African Americans live for different goals and priorities, including religion, family, and career. Depending on individuals, people may devote most of their time to what they believe is a priority.
African Americans have shown to respect stages of life and have the desire to be able to do certain things at a certain age. They believe there are developmental tasks for adolescents, adults, and even the aged. People also experience developmental crises as they try to adapt to new tasks. For example, African American female adolescents struggle with gender and racial identity development at this stage (Leath et al., 2019).
Roles of aged
African Americans value aged people and believe their wisdom contributes to the well-being of society. Older people also guide raising children and other important issues. They are a valuable source of wisdom to the younger generation too.
Extended family members are recognized, and aunts, uncles, nephews, and others have an immense responsibility in families. The impact of the extended family is more significant in single-parent families because members of the extended family have to ensure that the children and parents are healthy and okay.
African Americans hold low social status in American society. The pretax income is the lowest among African Americans in terms of income. The community is also recorded as the least healthy ethnic group.
African Americans are quite flexible and easily adapt to the alternative lifestyle in health and social matters. A lot has changed over the past decades, and African Americans no longer live as enslaved people. Today, they have embraced the freedom to move to places they want, leave the normal sexual orientation, diet, family relations, and so on.
Workforce issues construct
African Americans report higher segregation demands compared to other ethnic groups. They are significantly discriminated against and experience overall negative acculturation conditions. They also experience higher levels of work-related stress due to harsh environmental conditions at the workplace. However, most African Americans use assimilation as an acculturation strategy, which often fails due to lack of support.
African Americans show some level of autonomy which has become less significant over time. For example, they would only consume products that have been produced by themselves. African Americans also organized and implemented a series of rebellious activities to fight back the racial segregation from Americans. However, they have embraced the American culture, and their autonomy has been reduced.
Language is a significant barrier holding African Americans back in American society. A culture that values standard English may not be favorable for blacks who speak African English variations. Language is a significant barrier in healthcare that makes access to healthcare a difficult task among African Americans.
Americans exhibit genetic diversity, which results from demographic histories such as changes in the size of the population and environment. The common biological variations among the population include different levels of susceptibility to diseases, response to drugs, and even skin tone.
African Americans have dark and light skin tones depending on genes and other factors. Research shows that African Americans with a light skin tone are preferred and treated better because they are closer to whites than those with a dark skin tone. Their color is also used for identity, and African Americans have learned to be color-conscious to respond to the negative color reactions in social settings.
The culture of African Americans is rooted in the blend between European culture and the African cultures of central and west Africa. The culture, however, has been influenced by the American south and other environmental changes.
Self-reported genetic ancestry shows that 0.85 have native ancestry, 24.0% have European Ancestry, and 73.2% have African ancestry (Abuabara et al., 2020). Studies also indicate that most of the community members have genetic roots in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
African Americans value the environment and care about climate change. They are more vulnerable to harsh environmental conditions, so they make efforts to keep the environment as safe as possible. They also belong to environmental groups, but their environmental interests have been omitted.
African Americans are twice as likely to have fertility issues than whites. African Americans consider infertility a taboo issue and do not discuss it openly (Scott et al., 2019). They are also less likely to seek fertility treatment. The obstacles to medical attention make the situation worse for African Americans.
Views toward Pregnancy
The community considers pregnancy as a significant healthcare and community aspect. Pregnant women seek high-quality prenatal care for the well-being of the mother and the baby. They respond to pregnancy in the best way possible and consider the satisfaction of themselves and the baby.
A section of African American women believes some foods are harmful to the baby and may not eat them during pregnancy. They may also avoid moving so much and change their daily routine.
African American families significantly prepare for birthing and take necessary emotional, physical, and financial preparations. However, research shows that they do not receive high-quality maternal care like their white counterparts (Assari, 2018). African American women are easily dismissed and ignored when they are in labor, which often leads to the death of the mother or the child.
Child-rearing is considered a communal activity among African American families. Children are also considered of central importance in the community and are given maximum attention. African American women are more likely to experience postpartum depression compared to whites. They are also more vulnerable to maternal death.
Abuabara, K., You, Y., Margolis, D. J., Hoffmann, T. J., Risch, N., & Jorgenson, E. (2020). Genetic ancestry does not explain increased atopic dermatitis susceptibility or worse disease control among African American subjects in 2 large US cohorts. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 145(1), 192-198.
Assari, S. (2018). Parental education better helps white than black families escape poverty: National survey of children’s health. Economies, 6(2), 30.
Leath, S., Mathews, C., Harrison, A., & Chavous, T. (2019). Racial identity, racial discrimination, and classroom engagement outcomes among Black girls and boys in predominantly Black and predominantly White school districts. American Educational Research Journal, 56(4), 1318-1352.
Noël, R. A. (2018). Race, economics, and social status.
Scott, K. A., Britton, L., & McLemore, M. R. (2019). The ethics of perinatal care for black women: dismantling the structural racism in “mother blame” narratives. The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing, 33(2), 108-115.
Cultural Construct Amongst African Americans
Instructor: Dr. Maria Luque
MHS502 Cultural Diversity in Health Sciences
8 May 2022
Meaning of food
Food is not just a nutrition element buts a cultural identity and a catalyst for African Americans to connect to their values. Food brings people together and helps them fellowship beyond bloodline relatives. Food always connects the community to the solidarity of enslaved ancestors.
The typical food amongst African American families includes mashed potatoes and gravy, red beans and rice, homemade macaroni and cheese, seasoned vegetables, fried chicken, and ice-cold tea. These foods may not be considered healthy, but they are exciting and warm the hearts of many African Americans.
African Americans prepare traditional cuisines that embody cultural legacies, making most of their meals flavorful and rich. Most eat three times a day, but lunch and dinner are the most basic meals. In most families, people pray before they eat. They are also required to serve or arrange plates and food in a specific order. Most foods are associated with drinks, The type of food prepared in an event depends on the nature of the event and the guests.
Vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent among African Americans compared to other ethnic groups. Most young and healthy African Americans fail to attain optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration throughout the year (Ames et al., 2021).
Most members of this ethnic group fall short of recommended dietary allowances for Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Magnesium. The community also obtains 355 calories from fat and gets 12% from saturated fat. Most of their foods also expose them to lifestyle diseases such as obesity.
Health promotion activities appear to be modestly working in the African American population. Research shows that African Americans suffer health disparities that increase their vulnerability to disease and death. Culturally appropriate interventions are necessary for closing these gaps and enhancing the outcomes. Health promotional materials and approaches must be culturally appropriate for effective outcomes.
Tobacco-Tobacco use is a significant contributor to death among African Americans. African American youth and young adults are significant smokers, although the prevalence is lower than whites and Hispanics. Compared to white Americans, African Americans start smoking at a later age compared to whites. However, African American children are more vulnerable to secondhand smoke than all other ethnic groups and generally have higher cotinine levels than non-smokers of other races.
Alcohol-African Americans engage in risky alcohol consumption behaviors compared to other ethnic communities. Research shows that excessive alcohol consumption among younger adults enhances their vulnerabilities to irresponsible sexual behavior (Mertzger et al., 2018), increasing their chances of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
African Americans are overrepresented in substance abuse and recreational drugs in the US. For example, 6.9% of African Americans have substance abuse disorder compared to 7.4% of the total population. In terms of illicit drug disorder, 3.4% of African Americans have the disorder compared to 3% of the total population. It is also reported that African Americans do not always receive rehabilitation treatment when they need it.
African Americans are less active in physical activities compared to whites. Although physical activity participation has improved slightly, participation is still low and decreases with age. The range of black youth engaging in physical activities ranges from 33% to 52%, while that of black adults ranges between 27% to 52%. Due to their less engagement in physical activity, African Americans are highly vulnerable to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
African American adults are less likely to report that they feel safe. In healthcare, they distrust healthcare quality and consider alternative healthcare options in illness. About half of the population also report feeling safe when walking alone at night. Due to many dears that may result from discrimination, African Americans take all precautionary measures to maintain their safety.
Death is a significant rite of passage among African Americans that prepares the deceased's spirit for the next realm of life. The community prepares well the body of the deceased in preparation for burial. African Americans dress their loved ones respectfully, as an important part of the death rituals. They also wash the body, dress it, and groom the hair (Roberson et al., 2018). The funeral service is taken seriously and can be postponed to ensure all close members attend. It is common to decorate the coffin and the grave.
Flower girls pay special attention to grieving family members. Nurses may be around to help mourners who may be overwhelmed. Africa Americans extend their helping hand to close family members during bereavement. Family members, however, get comfort from the belief that their loved ones are in a safe place and are watching over them.
Religious practices-Christianity is the predominant religion among African Americans. Christianity is a vibrant spiritual and institutional force that African Americans hold dearly. Some religious practices include attending religious services, taking your official roles, reading religious books like the Bible, watching religious programs on TV and listening to the radio, and praying at individual and group levels.
Use of prayer-Prayer is an essential aspect of spiritual and religious fulfillment. Prayer is a ritualistic behavior among African Americans, and they do it often at an individual, family, or even congregation levels. Prayer is used to thank God, change the outcomes of difficult situations, and seek forgiveness. African Americans report that they experience positive emotions when they pray.
Meaning of life-African Americans believes that God is the source of life and that human beings were created with a purpose. Therefore, they adhere to a system of religious beliefs as they find meaning in their lives. African Americans also link religiosity to well-being and believe they cannot live well without integrating religion and spirituality in their lives. They also perceive religion as a source of help in adversity in their lives.
African Americans believe in individual strength, which comes from God. They read the Bible and get inspiration from religious stories to get strength. When they face difficulties, they turn to the church for strength.
Spirituality and Health
African Americans consider the church and spirituality a significant source of hope during illness. When feeling unwell, a lack American uses spirituality to feel the inner strength, resulting in faster recovery. Spirituality is directly linked to patient outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and the quality of life. Patients battling chronic illnesses resort to the church and faith, where they find solace and hope (Holt et al., 2018). Integrating spirituality with medication and therapy is also believed to improve healthcare outcomes.
Ames, B. N., Grant, W. B., & Willett, W. C. (2021). Does the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in African Americans contribute to health disparities?. Nutrients, 13(2), 499.
Holt, C. L., Roth, D. L., Huang, J., & Clark, E. M. (2018). Role of religious, social support in longitudinal relationships between religiosity and health-related outcomes in African Americans. Journal of behavioral medicine, 41(1), 62-73.
Metzger, I. W., Salami, T., Carter, S., Halliday-Boykins, C., Anderson, R. E., Jernigan, M. M., & Ritchwood, T. (2018). African American emerging adults’ experiences with racial discrimination and drinking habits: The moderating roles of perceived stress. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24(4), 489.
Roberson, K., Smith, T., & Davidson, W. (2018). Understanding Death Rituals. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 33(3).