African Americans have an extensive history in the United States. They have had to overcome many obstacles including slavery and discrimination. Even today, there is still inequality among African Americans and the majority culture. African Americans have an unique cultural history and practices, some of which are still being practiced to this day. This section will discuss the communication, family roles and organization, and types of health care practicioners of African Americans. Healthcare professionals need to keep each patient and their families in mind as they provide care, but be careful not to stereotype, as every family is different and has differing cultural and personal values.
African Americans speak English in America, and some use a slang form of English called "Ebonics" or "Black speech". This slang not only includes the way words are pronounced, but also how they are used as descriptive language. Some words are pronounced in a different way, such as "baf" for bath or are shortened, such as "gon" for going to. Double negatives are also used, and words are created for descriptive measures. "Ain't nobody got time for dat" or "Jon trippin" are also examples of speech used.
African Americans have a very open and interpersonal way of speaking. They are outgoing, loud, and are not afraid of expressing their opinions. They also tend to be very animated with their body movements and conversations. They do not have the "bubble" of personal space that others may, so very close interpersonal communication is common. They openly express themsevles, however personal family information is kept private from outsiders.
Family Roles differ from each family, but African Americans typically depend on a large extended family for support. Sometimes, there may be only one parent to raise a child, so support from extended family can be common. According to the National Institute of Health, African American families are larger than white families (65% compared to 54% having three or more members). About 38% of African American children live in a two parent home, so one parent raising a child can be common. Among those, women were more likely to be the single parent. There are more single-parent families among African Americans, so having a large network for support can be beneficial to the parent and the children.
Family roles become mixed since the...