Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)


Africana Studies


Mei Mei Sanford

Committee Members

Elyas Bakhtiari

Oludamini Ogunnaike


The focus of this research will be on the medicines and health practices of first-generation African immigrants in the U.S. and the role they play in an increasingly holistic formal American health field. For the Eurocentric American, traditional African practices are predominantly viewed as antithetical to modernity; for the Afrocentric American, White western medicine can represent a rejection of African culture and thus one’s complete identity. The dynamic of these two perspectives within African immigrants in the U.S. is proficient in both resolving health crises and creating cultural conflict. The rise of alternative medicine within the formal American health field may illuminate the benefits of a multifaceted approach to medicine in popular media and possibly ease the tensions for first-generation African immigrants and their descendants. This research aims to explore first-generation African immigrant attitudes towards health and medicine in the United States through ethnographic accounts and observe the extent to which the acceptance of alternative medicine applies to African-derived practices.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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