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Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.
The term African American generally refers to people descended from Africans who did not come to the US voluntarily—descendants of the four million slaves brought to the US between 16.
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.
By 1996, 28 percent of this population was reported to have a poor-quality diet, compared to 16 percent of whites.
A poor quality diet often can be attributed to greater access to packaged, processed, and fast foods; the common practice of using fats in cooking; and the high cost of fresh produce and lean meat.
Many are affiliated with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. Maintaining good health is associated with good religious practice.
Many churches maintain a health ministry, through which congregations and parish nurses support good health with flu shots, blood pressure checks, and health education.
African Americans often have strong religious affiliations.
Leafy greens may include spinach, collards, mustard, kale, and cabbage.
Traditionally, many elders eat a large noon meal on Sunday after church.
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.