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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.Before the advent of health ministries, African American churches had mission volunteers who attended services and administered to parishioners.African Americans are becoming increasingly health conscious, seeking health screenings and treatments, although health literacy in this population tends to vary by generation.Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.Dishes such as hoppin’ John (rice, black-eyed peas, and salt pork), gumbos, jambalyas, fried porgies, and potlikker may all be considered soul food.
Many African Americans like hearty meals that may include meat, fish, greens, rice, grits, white and sweet potatoes, corn, turnips, eggplant, peanuts, and homemade desserts.
Okra is the principal ingredient in gumbo, a Creole stew, and is believed to have spiritual and healthful properties.
Many of these foods found their way from the south to the north via the Mississippi River.
The following guides emphasize information that can be used to stimulate thinking about cultural differences and prompt questions that will help providers understand how their patients identify with and express their cultural backgrounds.
These are not fact lists to apply indiscriminately.