Race alone accounts for the disparate treatment of people of African descent who have been enslaved in America. Stripped of their language, culture, civil rights and dignity these enslaved individuals endured over hundreds of years preserving what was possible under the inhuman conditions and structural burdens of race based discrimination in all sectors of American society.
For generations of African Americans, the national history of sanctioning the destruction of African American wealth has resulted in health disparities. If we understand the social determinates of health, we can trace the cause to systemic racism leading to the distrust of the healthcare system, a distrust that severely impacts our collective health. Our proposal is to unearth the role of elders in the African American community as a modern construct. We will study the meaning of elderhood today as a path forward. If we imagine a community where growth and development is guided by the connection and wisdom of our elders could we identify who the elders and seniors are and qualify them to support health care decision making?
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