Important Cultural Terminology

Crossover Phenomenon—Closely related to the subject of differential life expectancy, the Crossover Phenomenon refers to the fact that both Black females and males who were 80 years of age or older in 1976 had a longer life expectancy than their White female and male counterparts. Its name comes from the reversal in average life expectancy that occurs between Blacks and Whites between 80 and 85 years of age.

Fictive Kin— People that are considered ‘family’, as the result of longstanding relationships, but may not be linked directly by blood ties. These individuals may be serving as the primary care giver or even as the surrogate decision makers and may be sometimes more involved than the directly related family members. References

Natural Illness—Primarily induced by natural causes; conjuration may affect the physical and psychological as well as the spiritual life of the person (Mitchell, l978). Part of some traditional African systems of thought.

Occult Illness—A result of supernatural, not physical, causes. The conjurer uses his or her powers, as well as fetishes to induce and/or ward off illness in specific individuals. Part of some traditional African systems of thought.

Spiritual Illness—A result of a willful violation of sacred beliefs or of sin, such as adultery, theft or murder (Mitchell). Like the occult, spiritual forces can affect all aspects of life, ranging from the physical to the spiritual characteristics of the person (Simpson, 1970; Willer, l97l). Part of some traditional African systems of thought.

Tuskegee Experiment— In 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service began the Tuskegee Alabama Syphilis Experiment in which 599 black men with syphilis were studied. Although penicillin was discovered in the 1940s, the men were not treated until after the study ended
in the 1970s. References