African Americans are facing a serious health crisis. They are disproportionately affected by most chronic illnesses. The disparity among ethic groups as it relates to health and illness is related to psychosocial and biological factors within the African American culture. Many African Americans are sometimes reluctant to participate in studies. This article discusses the process of creating a caring community when conducting research within an African American community based on the experience of the authors with two faith communities in a southern metropolitan area in the United States. The process is identified as unknowing, reflection, presence, and knowing. The process is based on Leininger's theory of culture care diversity and universality and her stranger to friend enabler. When the theory and method are used, the investigator moves from a stranger within the community to a trusted friend and begins to collect rich and valuable data for analysis from the informants' point of view
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