Cultural Competence In African American Culture

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The ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures is cultural competence. “Culture” is a term that goes beyond just race or ethnicity. It can also refer to such characteristics as …disability, religion, income level, education, or profession (SAMHSA.gov, 2016).” Competency is defined as the capacity to function effectively (Merriam-Webster, n.d.).
I could trace my cultural heritage back to Africa. However, as a descendant of slaves, I cannot pinpoint what part of Africa I came from. Overall, my cultural identity comes from the idea or notion that we have developed an African American culture by fusing imported slave and American culture together to fit our experience of life in America (Ritter, 2017). Therefore, my cultural ancestry is the African American culture.
African Americans have not been traditionally willing to share thoughts, feeling, or ideas with anyone including our own people. This is mainly due to the mistrust that our people experienced over time. Also, during our ancestors’ time as slaves they weren’t allowed to communicate with each other and were beaten when they did.
Many topics are taboo in the African American culture such as discussions about sex or where babies come from. However, as African Americans the biggest taboo we face is mental illness. According to the National Association for Mental Illness, mental health conditions are perceived by African Americans as a personal weakness or a punishment from God ( National Alliance
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