The Black-American Community
Members of the Black community have their origins in Africa; the majority were brought here as slaves from the West Coast of Africa. There is a great number of Blacks who have immigrated to the United States voluntarily - from African countries, the West Indian Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. However, vast majority of the people are the descendants of slaves.
It is not clear whether voodoo is fully practice today in the U.S., but there is evidence that there are people who still believe and practice it to some extent. The current practice evolved from early African rites, to which Christian rituals were added to form the ceremonies that exist today. Leaders of the voodoo sect tend to be women, and stories and evidence abound in New Orleans about the workings of the sect and the women who ruled it.
Many other members of the Black community are practicing Muslims. Religious believes are important part of the Muslim lifestyle, and health care providers should be familiar with them.
A Black female was the primary nurse for two black teenagers. When
one got out of line, she would simply say, "Boy, keep your mouth
shut and go somewhere and sit down." They usually complied.
Mary Smith, an elderly Black woman, was in the recovery room after
surgery. To assess her condition, the nurse, spoke her name,
"Mary." The patient slowly opened her eyes and turned her
head but made no further signs of acknowledgment. The nurse became
concerned because most patients responded readily and clearly at this
point. She called the woman Mrs. Smith. She then became alert,
pleasant, and cooperative. The patient had perceived the use of her
first name as a lack of respect and a form of racism.
3- The patient was a nine-month-old Black male. His hands and feet were tied to the bed to prevent him from pulling out the intravenous lines. When his grandmother saw him tied down, she became very angry. "How come you got the baby tied down? He's not doing anything. He ain't no trouble. He ain't no dog!" She had experienced much discrimination at the hands of whites and perceived her grandson's treatment as a racist act. Once the nurse explained the purpose of tying the baby down, she relaxed.
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