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An apt analogy to keep in mind is that learning about a specific model of car is helped by referencing the operator’s manual, but reading and even memorizing that manual doesn’t replace learning how to drive a car.

The following cultural patterns may represent many African Americans, but do not represent all people in a community.

Older African Americans may be suspicious of clinicians, believing their health is personal and up to God’s will.

Because they may be reluctant to share personal or family issues, building a trusting relationship is key.

The family may be matriarchal, although father or mother may take on the decision-making role.

For African Americans, women more than men tend to remain unmarried, and more women have been educated at the college level.

African Americans often have strong religious affiliations.Cajun and Creole cooking, which originated from the French and Spanish in Louisiana, was changed in character and composition by the influence of African cooks.In 1965, African Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to eat a recommended diet of fruit, vegetables, fat, fiber, and calcium.African Americans are affected disproportionately by the leading causes of death in the US, with more morbidity and mortality from premature births, cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diseases related to obesity, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.* African American men have higher rates of getting and dying from prostate cancer than other men.

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