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Essay On African American Culture

2089 words - 8 pages

Essay on African American Culture
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African American culture is defined as the learned, shared and transmitted values, beliefs, norms, and life ways carried by this group of people, which guides their decisions, thinking, and actions in patterned ways. The individual in society is bound by rules of their culture. Culture of people are different in that the same events that maybe fear- inducing in one culture, maybe anger-inducing in another culture (Leininger's, 1991).

The theoretical framework that I used for this paper is Leininger's Sunrise Model. It describes the factors that have to be assessed in order to provide competent trans cultural care for a culture. These include educational factors, economic factors, political and legal factors, cultural values and life ways, kinship and social factors, religious and philosophical factors, technological factors, generic or folk systems within a cultural care worldview (Leininger's, 1991).

There is tremendous diversity among African Americans. They live in all areas of the United States and come from all socioeconomic levels. Approximately ninety percent of African Americans have some Caucasian ancestry and at least twenty-five have Native American ancestry.

They are more present time oriented group of people. However, there may be strong future oriented behaviors as well. These include saving for college education for children, purchasing insurance policies to cover funeral and burial cost, etc. Elders may place a great deal of values on past experiences, which are frequently shared with younger individuals.

The dominant language among African American is English. Speech may be accompanied by animated non-verbal gestures such as a hand movement, touching, etc. There is frequent use of words that may be classified as slang - especially among teenagers and young adults. Language may include the use of Black dialects, which reflect the combination of various native African languages and languages of other culture. Gullah, a Creole language derived from West African is the first language of some African Americans along the coast of Georgia.

Worldview and religious beliefs of the African American people include the belief that health and happiness are connected to living a life that is pleasing to God. Many of them have strong ties with the church and may want to have visitors and the minister of the church visit and offer prayers for their recovery. There is a strong belief in the healing powers of God. Nurses should support their decision to have a minister at the hospital to pray with them. Most of African American are Protestants and growing number of them follow Islam.

There are tremendous variations in their health beliefs. These include incorporation of some hot and cold principles, trouble and pain are God's will-health is a gift from God while illness is punishment for some past wrongdoing. Women are more susceptible to illness at certain times...

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