African American men (AA) carry unequal burdens of several conditions including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and HIV. Engagement of diverse populations including AA men in research and health promotion practice is vital to examining the health disparities that continue to plague many racially and ethnically diverse communities. To date, there is little research on best practices that indicate locations, community areas and settings to engage AA men in research and health promotion. Traditionally, the AA church has been a key area to engage AA men and women. However, changing tides in attendance of AA parishioners require additional information to identify areas where AAs, particularly, AA men congregate. The AA barbershop has been identified as a place of social cohesion, cultural immersion and solidarity for AA men but specific sub-populations of AA men may be underrepresented. To further investigate additional locales where AA men congregate, this study engaged AA barbers and clients in several urban community barbershops in Chicago, Illinois. 127 AA men over age 18y/o receiving grooming services in 25 Chicago area barbershops across 14 predominantly AA communities were consented and recruited for a quantitative survey study. The self-administered surveys were completed in ~15 min and $10 compensation was provided to men. Descriptive statistics were reported for demographic variables and for frequency of responses for locations to find AA men of specific age ranges for health promotion and screening activities. Outside of the traditionally used churches or barbershops, the top recommended recruitment sites by age were: 18-29y/o- city park or a recreational center; 30-39y/o- gym, bars or the street; 40-49y/o- various stores, especially home improvement stores, and the mall; and 50y/o+- fast food restaurants in the mornings, such as McDonalds, and individual’s homes. The study participants also reported that locations where AA men congregate vary by age. Findings from this study illustrate that AA barbers and barbershops remain a key stakeholder in health promotion among AA men. The findings also demonstrate the need for additional research to examine best practices for identifying locations where diverse groups of AA men that vary by age and sexual orientation may congregate in order to support increased health promotion among AA men.
Alternative Locales for the Health Promotion of African American Men: A Survey of African American Men in Chicago Barbershops.