African American Cultural Group’s Healthcare Analysis

Table of Contents


The African American cultural group is constituted of individuals of African ancestry, raised and residing in the U.S. It was through slavery that many African Americans were enslaved and moved to America against their wish. In the early years, these cultural groups were restricted from assuming active roles in their citizenship. Several African cultures exist in forms of storytelling, dance, and music (Kittler, 2012).


As of the 2010 census, 12.6% of the U.S population is comprised of African Americans. This was an estimated figure of about 38.9 million African Americans. Metropolitan cities in the U.S accommodated about 58% of this group as of 2000. Several cities in the country had a high population of African Americans by 2010. Detroit city in Michigan had 82% of its population representing African Americans in 2010. Large populations of African Americans are found in; New Orleans in Louisiana with a percentage of 60%, Baltimore in Maryland has a 63% representation of African Americans amongst its entire population, Memphis in Tennessee had a 61% representation of African Americans and 54% of the population in Atlanta city in Georgia represented the African Americans (Kittler, 2012).

Health Care Practices

The African Americans lack confidence in the overall health care system of the U.S. They believe that they will receive less attention and low-quality care as compared to the whites. In recent years, there is increasing health awareness among African Americans and they access medical services through regular screening for diseases. They also engage in physical exercises to reduce the prevalence of some conditions such as obesity (Carteret, 2011).

Risk Behaviors

African Americans have high HIV risk behaviors and especially among women. Having unprotected sex promotes such behaviors in women. This may occur despite their knowledge of the risk behaviors associated with their males. Drug use and injection behaviors place African Americans at the risk of conducting HIV. Bisexuality and practices of gay among men are other risk behaviors among this group (Cullen, 2009).

Genetic Susceptibility

Diabetes is common among African Americans and especially Type II diabetes. Syndrome X symptoms are common among people of this group. These symptoms increase the susceptibility to chronic conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease and erectile dysfunction (Cullen, 2009).


“Soul food” is the common term for cooking amongst African Americans. Most of the taken foods are rich in nutrients such as leafy green, collard greens, yellow vegetables, rice, beans, potatoes, and legumes. Their diets are low in potassium, calcium, fiber, and high in fat (Kittler, 2012).


Most African Americans are spiritual and mostly affiliated with religious groups and more specifically Christian denominations. Baptists are very common among the group as well as the Methodists. African Americans have a considerable representation in the Protestant Communions of the whites. Some members of the African Americans practice Islam. Amongst the U.S. Muslim population, African American Muslims represent about 20% of the total population. Some African Americans also follow Judaism. Other African Americans follow Buddhism and several other religions (Carteret, 2011).

Death Rituals

Spirituality plays a major role among African Americans in the way they process as well as reconcile death experiences. African Americans strongly believe in the sanctity of life that makes them have close unity in their families during times of loss. Extended families meet at times of death and decisions are made through consensus. African Americans avoid cremation (Carteret, 2011).


Carteret, M. (2011). Health Care for African American Patients/Families, Web.

Cullen, K. W., & Buzek, B. B. (2009). “Knowledge about Type 2 Diabetes Risk and Prevention of African- American and Hispanic Adolescents with family history of Type 2 Diabetes” The Diabetes Educator 35 (2009): 836- 844.

Kittler, P. G., Sucher, K., & Nahikian-Nelms, M. (2012). Food and culture. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

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