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African American, African and Haitian Heritage Culture

A Brief History of the Cultural/Socio-Cultural Group

  • African American & African cultural group is represented by individuals who live in Africa or in the African Diaspora in the USA. Haitian Heritage’s socio-cultural group includes people from Haiti (some are of European descent).
  • African Americans initially were Africans who became black slaves brought to the USA by force. Haitian Heritage comes from slaves who won liberty from the power of France.
  • The earliest African Americans were poor slaves. The earliest Haitian Americans were from the upper classes (Haitians, 2007).
  • Today, both Africans and Haitians leave their native lands searching for a better life.


  • Africans and Haitian Heritage values family life and allow adaptable family roles.
  • Both groups value education, but Haitian Heritage has worse access to it.
  • Haitian Heritage values its customs while African Americans tend to have more American views.


  • Haitian Heritage pays much attention to hierarchies. The majority of African Americans treat themselves as the representatives of the same class.
  • Africans always kept to community solidarity. Haitians are more individualistic.
  • African Americans are a separate group that is not yet equally treated. Haitians are often seen as a part of African Americans, and they do not always distinguish themselves.

Language and Communication Patterns

  • Many representatives of Haitian Heritage use Creole and French. Africans use Afrikaans and English.
  • The French language provides more opportunities to get to the upper class. Knowing English is not treated as a privilege.
  • Haitians follow European communication patterns while Africans use American ones.

Art and Other Expressive Forms

  • Haitians prefer painting, Africans – woodcarvings.
  • Haitian flag-making is a popular, African – sculpture.
  • Haitians prefer naïve perspective and humor in pictures, Africans – jazz and blues melodies.

Norms and Rules

  • Marriage for Africans is building community, for Haitians – family.
  • Women and men can work, but females should take care of children while males for finances.
  • African Americans often go from preschool to college; Haitians lack higher education.

Lifestyle Characteristics

  • Haitians eat two meals and Africans – three.
  • Haitians do not value punctuality, unlike African Americans.
  • African Americans have better hygiene than Haitians.
  • Haitians believe fat people to be healthy while Africans suffer from obesity.

Relationship Patterns

  • Haitian female friends kiss on the lips, African Americans – on the cheeks.
  • Men shake hands.
  • Haitian males and females kiss on cheeks, American – shake hands.

Common Rituals

  • Haitians celebrate Flag and University Day and Discovery of Haiti Day, which means nothing for Africans.
  • All Africans have a harvest festival. Haitians who practice voodoo celebrate them.
  • During a Haitian wedding, the groom leads the bride but not the father.

Degree of Assimilation or Marginalization from Mainstream Society

  • Haitians assimilate slowly, unlike Africans.
  • More Africans left their homeland than Haitians.
  • African Americans prove their rights actively while Haitians are more yielding.
  • Haitians are more foreigners than Africans in the USA.

Health Behaviors and Practices

  • African Americans know more about health issues and treatments than Haitians, so they can demand care of better quality (Carteret, 2011).
  • African Americans and Haitians have diet problems, so professionals should find out what they lack.
  • Haitians often refer to folk healers while African Americans go to hospitals. Thus, Haitians have advanced stages of diseases more often (Unaeze & Perrin, 2014).
  • African Americans believe in health organizations more, so professionals need to work harder with Haitians.
  • Special drugs for African Americans exist but not for Haitians.
  • Mothers and grandmothers make a diagnosis for Haitians.
  • Haitians prefer French medications while Africans use American ones.


Carteret, M. (2011). Health care for African American patients/families. Web.

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Haitians, (2007). Web.

Unaeze, F., & Perrin, R. (2014). Haitian Americans. Web.

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