AFRICAN AMERICANS (also referred to as BLACK AMERICANS or
AFRO-AMERICANS ) are an ethnic group of
Americans with total or
partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The
term may also be used to include only those individuals who are
descended from enslaved Africans . As a compound adjective the term
is usually hyphenated as African-American.
Black and African
Americans constitute the third largest racial and
ethnic group in the United States (after White
Americans and Hispanic
Americans ). Most African
Americans are descendants of
enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States.
On average, African
Americans are of West /Central African and
European descent, and some also have Native American ancestry.
According to US Census Bureau data, African immigrants generally do
not self-identify as African American. The overwhelming majority of
African immigrants identify instead with their own respective
ethnicities (~95%). Immigrants from some Caribbean , Central American
and South American nations and their descendants may or may not also
self-identify with the term.
African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples
West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, and in
the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in
North America. After the founding of the United States, black people
continued to be enslaved , with four million denied freedom from
bondage prior to the Civil War. Due largely to notions of white
supremacy , they were treated as second-class citizens . The
Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U.S. citizenship to whites only,
and only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were
changed by Reconstruction , development of the black community ,
participation in the great military conflicts of the United States ,
the elimination of racial segregation , and the Civil Rights Movement
which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama
became the first African American to be elected President of the
United States .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Colonial era
* 1.2 From the
American Revolution to the Civil War
Reconstruction Era and Jim Crow
* 1.4 Great Migration and
Civil Rights Movement
* 1.5 Post-Civil Rights era
* 2 Demographics
* 2.1 U.S. cities
* 2.2 Education
* 2.3 Economic status
* 2.4 Health
* 2.5 Sexuality
* 3 Religion
* 4 Business
* 5 Language
* 6 Genetics
* 6.1 Genome-wide studies
* 6.2 Y-DNA
* 6.3 mtDNA
* 7 Traditional names
* 8 Contemporary issues
* 9 Politics and social issues
* 9.1 Political legacy
* 10 News media and coverage
* 11 Culture in the United States
* 11.1 Music
* 11.2 Literature and academics
* 12.1 General
* 12.2 Identity
* 12.3 Admixture
* 12.4 The African-American experience
* 12.5 Terms no longer in common use
* 13 Notable people
* 14 See also
* 15 Notes
* 16 References
* 17 Further reading
* 18 External links
Slavery in the colonial United States and Atlantic
The first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel
de Gualdape colony (most likely located in the
Winyah Bay area of
South Carolina ), founded by Spanish explorer Lucas
Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526.
The ill-fated colony was almost immediately disrupted by a fight over
leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to
seek refuge among local Native
Americans . De Ayllón and many of the
colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was
abandoned. The settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to
Haiti , whence they had come.
The first recorded Africans in
British North America (including most
of the future United States) were "20 and odd negroes" who came to
Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured
servants . As English settlers died from harsh conditions, more and
more Africans were brought to work as laborers. Slaves
processing tobacco in 17th-century Virginia
Typically, young men or women would sign a contract of indenture in
exchange for transportation to the New World. The landowner received
50 acres of land from the state (headrights ) for each servant
purchased (around £6 per person, equivalent to 9 months income in the
17th century) from a ship's captain.
An indentured servant (who could be white or black) would work for
several years (usually four to seven) without wages. The status of
indentured servants in early Virginia and
Maryland was similar to
slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be
physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves,
they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out,
their children did not inherit their status, and on their release from
contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel,
tools necessary", and a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their
freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes
intermarried with Native
Americans or English settlers . _ The
First Slave Auction at
New Amsterdam in 1655_, by
By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around
Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased
indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court
recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they
sentenced John Punch , a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master
Hugh Gwyn for running away.
One of Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson , would later own one
of the first black "slaves",
John Casor , resulting from the court
ruling of a civil case.
The popular conception of a race-based slave system did not fully
develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company
introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves
New Amsterdam (present-day New York City). All the colony's
slaves, however, were freed upon its surrender to the British.
Reproduction of a handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston,
South Carolina , in 1769.
Massachusetts was the first British colony to legally recognize
slavery in 1641. In 1662 Virginia passed a law that children of
enslaved women (who were of African descent and thus foreigners) took
the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under
English common law. This principle was called _partus sequitur ventrum
By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported,
virtually defining as slaves all persons of African descent who
remained in the colony. In 1670 the colonial assembly passed a law
prohibiting free and baptized negroes (and Indians) from purchasing
Christians (in this act meaning English or European whites) but
allowing them to buy persons "of their owne nation".
The earliest African-American congregations and churches were
organized before 1800 in both northern and southern cities following
the Great Awakening . By 1775, Africans made up 20% of the population
in the American colonies , which made them the second largest ethnic
group after the English.
FROM THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION TO THE CIVIL WAR
Slavery in the United States
Crispus Attucks ,
the first "martyr " of the
American Revolution . He was of Native
American and African-American descent.
During the 1770s, Africans, both enslaved and free, helped rebellious
English colonists secure American Independence by defeating the
British in the
American Revolution . Africans and Englishmen fought
side by side and were fully integrated.
Blacks played a role in both sides in the American Revolution.
Activists in the Patriot cause included
James Armistead , Prince
Whipple and Oliver Cromwell .
Slavery had been tacitly enshrined in the
U.S. Constitution through
provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, commonly known as
3/5 compromise . Slavery, which by then meant almost exclusively
African Americans, was the most important political issue in the
antebellum United States , leading to one crisis after another. Among
these were the
Missouri Compromise , the
Compromise of 1850 , the
Fugitive Slave Act , and the
Dred Scott decision
Dred Scott decision . Frederick
By 1860, there were 3.5 to 4.4 million enslaved blacks in the United
States due to the
Atlantic slave trade , and another 488,000–500,000
Americans lived free (with legislated limits) across the
country. With legislated limits imposed upon them in addition to
"unconquerable prejudice" from whites according to
Henry Clay , some
blacks who weren't enslaved left the U.S. for
Liberia in Africa.
Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society
(ACS) in 1821, with the abolitionist members of the ACS believing
blacks would face better chances for freedom and equality in Africa.
The slaves not only constituted a large investment, they produced
America's most valuable product and export: cotton . They not only
helped build the
U.S. Capitol , they built the
White House and other
District of Columbia
District of Columbia buildings. (Washington was a slave trading
center. ) Similar building projects existed in slaveholding states.
In 1863, during the
American Civil War , President Abraham Lincoln
Emancipation Proclamation . The proclamation declared that
all slaves in Confederate-held territory were free. Advancing Union
troops enforced the proclamation with Texas being the last state to be
emancipated, in 1865.
Slavery in Union-held Confederate territory continued, at least on
paper, until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Prior
to the Civil War, only white men of property could vote, and the
Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U.S. citizenship to whites only.
The 14th Amendment (1868) gave African-
Americans citizenship, and the
15th Amendment (1870) gave African-American males the right to vote
(only males could vote in the U.S. at the time).
RECONSTRUCTION ERA AND JIM CROW
Reconstruction Era and
Jim Crow laws
Americans quickly set up congregations for themselves, as
well as schools and community/civic associations, to have space away
from white control or oversight. While the post-war Reconstruction era
was initially a time of progress for African Americans, that period
ended in 1876. By the late 1890s, Southern states enacted Jim Crow
laws to enforce racial segregation and disenfranchisement .
Segregation, which began with slavery, continued with Jim Crow laws,
with signs used to show blacks where they could legally walk, talk,
drink, rest, or eat. For those places that were racially mixed, non
whites had to wait until all white customers were dealt with. Most
Americans obeyed the Jim Crow laws, in order to avoid racially
motivated violence . To maintain self-esteem and dignity, African
Americans such as
Anthony Overton and
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune continued to
build their own schools , churches , banks, social clubs, and other
In the last decade of the 19th century, racially discriminatory laws
and racial violence aimed at African
Americans began to mushroom in
the United States, a period often referred to as the "nadir of
American race relations ". These discriminatory acts included racial
segregation —upheld by the United States Supreme Court decision in
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson _ in 1896—which was legally mandated by southern
states and nationwide at the local level of government, voter
suppression or disenfranchisement in the southern states, denial of
economic opportunity or resources nationwide, and private acts of
violence and mass racial violence aimed at African Americans
unhindered or encouraged by government authorities.
GREAT MIGRATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Main articles: Great Migration and
Civil Rights Movement A
group of white men pose for a 1919 photograph as they stand over the
black victim Will Brown who had been lynched and had his body
mutilated and burned during the
Omaha race riot of 1919 in Omaha,
Nebraska . Postcards and photographs of lynchings were popular
souvenirs in the U.S.
The desperate conditions of African
Americans in the South sparked
the Great Migration of the early 20th century which led to a growing
African-American community in the
Northern United States . The rapid
influx of blacks disturbed the racial balance within Northern cities,
exacerbating hostility between both black and white Northerners. Urban
riots—whites attacking blacks—became a northern problem. The Red
Summer of 1919 was marked by hundreds of deaths and higher casualties
across the U.S. as a result of race riots that occurred in more than
three dozen cities, such as the
Chicago race riot of 1919 and the
Omaha race riot of 1919 . Overall, blacks in Northern cities
experienced systemic discrimination in a plethora of aspects of life.
Within employment, economic opportunities for blacks were routed to
the lowest-status and restrictive in potential mobility. Within the
housing market, stronger discriminatory measures were used in
correlation to the influx, resulting in a mix of "targeted violence,
restrictive covenants, redlining and racial steering". While many
whites defended their space with violence, intimidation, or legal
tactics toward African Americans, many other whites migrated to more
racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions, a process known as
white flight .
Emmett Till was a fourteen-year-old boy whose
lynching mobilized the black community throughout the U.S.
By the 1950s, the
Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum. A 1955
lynching that sparked public outrage about injustice was that of
Emmett Till , a 14-year-old boy from Chicago. Spending the summer with
Money, Mississippi , Till was killed for allegedly having
wolf-whistled at a white woman. Till had been badly beaten, one of his
eyes was gouged out, and he was shot in the head. The visceral
response to his mother's decision to have an open-casket funeral
mobilized the black community throughout the U.S. Vann R. Newkirk
wrote "the trial of his killers became a pageant illuminating the
tyranny of white supremacy ". The state of Mississippi tried two
defendants, but they were speedily acquitted by an all-white jury .
One hundred days after Emmett Till's murder,
Rosa Parks refused to
give up her seat on the bus in Alabama—indeed, Parks told Emmett's
Mamie Till that "the photograph of Emmett’s disfigured face
in the casket was set in her mind when she refused to give up her seat
on the Montgomery bus." March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
, August 28, 1963, shows civil rights leaders and union leaders.
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the conditions which
brought it into being are credited with putting pressure on Presidents
John F. Kennedy and
Lyndon B. Johnson . Johnson put his support behind
passage of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned discrimination in
public accommodations, employment, and labor unions , and the Voting
Rights Act of 1965, which expanded federal authority over states to
ensure black political participation through protection of voter
registration and elections. By 1966, the emergence of the Black Power
movement, which lasted from 1966 to 1975, expanded upon the aims of
Civil Rights Movement to include economic and political
self-sufficiency, and freedom from white authority.
During the postwar period, many African
Americans continued to be
economically disadvantaged relative to other Americans. Average black
income stood at 54 percent of that of white workers in 1947, and 55
percent in 1962. In 1959, median family income for whites was $5,600,
compared with $2,900 for nonwhite families. In 1965, 43 percent of all
black families fell into the poverty bracket, earning under $3,000 a
year. The Sixties saw improvements in the social and economic
conditions of many black Americans.
From 1965 to 1969, black family income rose from 54 to 60 percent of
white family income. In 1968, 23 percent of black families earned
under $3,000 a year, compared with 41 percent in 1960. In 1965, 19
percent of black
Americans had incomes equal to the national median, a
proportion that rose to 27 percent by 1967. In 1960, the median level
of education for blacks had been 10.8 years, and by the late Sixties
the figure rose to 12.2 years, half a year behind the median for
POST-CIVIL RIGHTS ERA
Main article: Post–Civil Rights era in
Politically and economically, African
Americans have made substantial
strides during the post-civil rights era. In 1989, Douglas Wilder
became the first African American elected governor in U.S. history.
Clarence Thomas became the second African-American Supreme Court
Justice. In 1992
Carol Moseley-Braun of
Illinois became the first
African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate . There were 8,936
black officeholders in the United States in 2000, showing a net
increase of 7,467 since 1970. In 2001 there were 484 black mayors.
In 2005, the number of Africans immigrating to the United States, in
a single year, surpassed the peak number who were involuntarily
brought to the United States during the
Atlantic Slave Trade . On
November 4, 2008, Democratic Senator
Barack Obama defeated Republican
John McCain to become the first African American to be elected
President. At least 95 percent of African-American voters voted for
Obama. He also received overwhelming support from young and educated
whites, a majority of Asians , Hispanics , and Native
picking up a number of new states in the Democratic electoral column.
Obama lost the overall white vote, although he won a larger
proportion of white votes than any previous nonincumbent Democratic
presidential candidate since
Jimmy Carter . Four years later, Obama
was reelected president by a similar margin on November 6, 2012.
The proportional geographic distribution of African
the United States, 2000. U.S. Census map indicating U.S.
counties with fewer than 25 black or African-American inhabitants
Percentage of population self-reported as African-American by state
less than 2 % 2–5 % 5–10 % 10–15 % 15–20 %
20–25 % 25–30 % 30–35 % 35–40 %
Graph showing the percentage of the African-American
population living in the American South, 1790–2010. Note the major
declines between 1910 and 1940 and 1940–1970 , and the reverse trend
post-1970 . Nonetheless, the absolute majority of the African American
population has always lived in the American South. Further
information: Historical racial and ethnic demographics of the United
States § Black Population as a Percentage of the Total Population by
U.S. Region and State (1790–2010) , List of U.S. communities with
African-American majority populations , List of U.S. counties with
African-American majority populations , and List of U.S. states by
In 1790, when the first U.S. Census was taken, Africans (including
slaves and free people) numbered about 760,000—about 19.3% of the
population. In 1860, at the start of the Civil War , the
African-American population had increased to 4.4 million, but the
percentage rate dropped to 14% of the overall population of the
country. The vast majority were slaves, with only 488,000 counted as
"freemen ". By 1900, the black population had doubled and reached 8.8
In 1910, about 90% of African
Americans lived in the South. Large
numbers began migrating north looking for better job opportunities and
living conditions, and to escape
Jim Crow laws and racial violence.
The Great Migration , as it was called, spanned the 1890s to the
1970s. From 1916 through the 1960s, more than 6 million black people
moved north. But in the 1970s and 1980s, that trend reversed , with
Americans moving south to the
Sun Belt than leaving it.
The following table of the African-American population in the United
States over time shows that the African-American population, as a
percentage of the total population, declined until 1930 and has been
rising since then.
Americans in the United States
% of total
population % Change
(10 yr) SLAVES
% IN SLAVERY
By 1990, the African-American population reached about 30 million and
represented 12% of the U.S. population, roughly the same proportion as
At the time of the 2000 Census , 54.8% of African
Americans lived in
the South . In that year, 17.6% of African
Americans lived in the
Northeast and 18.7% in the Midwest , while only 8.9% lived in the
western states. The west does have a sizable black population in
certain areas, however. California, the nation's most populous state,
has the fifth largest African-American population, only behind New
York, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. According to the 2000 Census,
approximately 2.05% of African
Americans identified as
Latino in origin , many of whom may be of Brazilian , Puerto Rican ,
Dominican , Cuban , Haitian , or other Latin American descent. The
only self-reported _ancestral_ groups larger than African Americans
are the Irish and Germans . Because many African
their ancestry to colonial American origins, some simply self-identify
as "American ".
According to the 2010 US Census , nearly 3% of people who
self-identified as black had recent ancestors who immigrated from
another country. Self-reported non-
Hispanic black immigrants from the
Caribbean , mostly from Jamaica and Haiti, represented 0.9% of the US
population, at 2.6 million. Self-reported black immigrants from
Sub-Saharan Africa also represented 0.9%, at about 2.8 million.
Additionally, self-identified Black Hispanics represented 0.4% of the
United States population, at about 1.2 million people, largely found
within the Puerto Rican and Dominican communities. Self-reported
black immigrants hailing from other countries in the Americas, such as
Brazil and Canada, as well as several European countries, represented
less than 0.1% of the population. Mixed-Race
Hispanic and non-Hispanic
Americans who identified as being part black, represented 0.9% of the
population. Of the 12.6% of United States residents who identified as
black, around 10.3% were "native black American" or ethnic African
Americans, who are direct descendants of West/Central Africans brought
to the U.S. as slaves. These individuals make up well over 80% of all
blacks in the country. When including people of mixed-race origin ,
about 13.5% of the US population self-identified as black or "mixed
with black". However, according to the U.S. census bureau, evidence
from the 2000 Census indicates that many African and Caribbean
immigrant ethnic groups do not identify as "Black, African Am., or
Negro". Instead, they wrote in their own respective ethnic groups in
the "Some Other Race" write-in entry. As a result, the census bureau
devised a new, separate "African American" ethnic group category in
2010 for ethnic African Americans. Following lobbying led by the Arab
American Institute , a national organization representing Arab
Americans , the census bureau also announced in 2014 that it may
establish an additional new ethnic category for populations from the
Middle East ,
North Africa and the
Arab world .
Further information: List of U.S. cities with large African-American
populations and List of U.S. metropolitan areas with large
Almost 58% of African
Americans lived in metropolitan areas in 2000.
With over 2 million black residents, New York City had the largest
black urban population in the United States in 2000, overall the city
has a 28% black population. Chicago has the second largest black
population, with almost 1.6 million African
Americans in its
metropolitan area, representing about 18 percent of the total
After 100 years of African-
Americans leaving the south in large
numbers seeking better opportunities in the west and north, a movement
known as the Great Migration , there is now a reverse trend, called
New Great Migration . A growing percentage of African-Americans
from the west and north are migrating to the southern region of the
U.S. for economic and cultural reasons. New York City, Chicago, and
Los Angeles have the highest decline in African Americans, while
Atlanta, Dallas , and Houston have the highest increase respectively.
Among cities of 100,000 or more, Detroit, Michigan had the highest
percentage of black residents of any U.S. city in 2010, with 82%.
Other large cities with African-American majorities include Jackson,
Miami Gardens, Florida (76.3%), Baltimore,
Birmingham, Alabama (62.5%),
Memphis, Tennessee (61%),
Montgomery, Alabama (56.6%), Flint,
Savannah, Georgia (55.0%),
Augusta, Georgia (54.7%),
Atlanta, Georgia (54%, see African
Atlanta ), Cleveland,
Newark, New Jersey (52.35%),
Washington, D.C. (50.7%),
Richmond, Virginia (50.6%),
Mobile, Alabama (50.6%), Baton Rouge,
Louisiana (50.4%), and
Shreveport, Louisiana (50.4%).
The nation's most affluent community with an African-American
majority resides in
View Park–Windsor Hills, California with an
annual median income of $159,618. Other largely affluent
predominately African-American communities include Prince George\'s
Maryland (namely Mitchellville , Woodmore , and Upper
Marlboro ), Dekalb County in Georgia, Charles City County in Virginia,
Baldwin Hills in California, Hillcrest and Uniondale in New York, and
Cedar Hill , DeSoto , and
Missouri City in Texas.
Queens County, New
York is the only county with a population of 65,000 or more where
Americans have a higher median household income than White
Seatack, Virginia is currently the oldest African-American community
in the United States. It survives today with a vibrant and active
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is director of New York
Hayden Planetarium .
By 2012, African
Americans had advanced greatly in education
attainment. They still lagged overall compared to white or Asian
Americans but surpassed other ethnic minorities, with 19 percent
earning bachelor's degrees and 6 percent earning advanced degrees.
Between 1995 and 2009, freshmen college enrollment for African
Americans increased by 73 percent and only 15 percent for whites.
Black women are enrolled in college more than any other race and
gender group, leading all with 9.7% enrolled according to the 2011
U.S. Census Bureau. Predominantly black schools for kindergarten
through twelfth grade students were common throughout the U.S. before
the 1970s. By 1972, however, desegregation efforts meant that only 25%
of Black students were in schools with more than 90% non-white
students. However, since then, a trend towards re-segregation affected
communities across the country: by 2011, 2.9 million African-American
students were in such overwhelmingly minority schools, including 53%
of Black students in school districts that were formerly under
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) , which were
originally set up when segregated colleges did not admit African
Americans, continue to thrive and educate students of all races today.
The majority of HBCUs were established in the southeastern United
States , Alabama has the most HBCUs of any state.
As late as 1947, about one third of African
Americans over 65 were
considered to lack the literacy to read and write their own names. By
1969, illiteracy as it had been traditionally defined, had been
largely eradicated among younger African Americans.
US Census surveys showed that by 1998, 89 percent of African
Americans aged 25 to 29 had completed a high-school education, less
than whites or Asians, but more than Hispanics. On many college
entrance, standardized tests and grades, African
historically lagged behind whites, but some studies suggest that the
achievement gap has been closing. Many policy makers have proposed
that this gap can and will be eliminated through policies such as
affirmative action , desegregation, and multiculturalism.
The average high school graduation rate of blacks in the United
States has steadily increased to 71% in 2013. Separating this
statistic into component parts shows it varies greatly depending upon
the state and the school district examined. 38% of black males
graduated in the state of New York but in Maine 97% graduated and
exceeded the white male graduation rate by 11 percentage points. In
much of the southeastern United States and some parts of the
southwestern United States the graduation rate of white males was in
fact below 70% such as in
Florida where a 62% of white males graduated
high school. Examining specific school districts paints an even more
complex picture. In the
Detroit school district the graduation rate of
black males was 20% but 7% for white males. In the New York City
school district 28% of black males graduate high school compared to
57% of white males. In Newark County 76% of black males graduated
compared to 67% for white males. Further academic improvement has
occurred in 2015. Roughly 23% of all blacks have bachelor's degrees.
In 1988, 21% of whites had obtained a bachelor's degree versus 11% of
blacks. In 2015, 23% of blacks had obtained a bachelor's degree versus
36% of whites. Foreign born blacks, 9% of the black population, made
even greater strides. They exceed native born blacks by 10 percentage
Marva Collins , an African-American educator, created a
low cost private school specifically for the purpose of teaching
low-income African-American children whom the public school system had
labeled as being "learning disabled ". One article about Marva
Collins' school stated,
Working with students having the worst of backgrounds, those who were
working far below grade level, and even those who had been labeled as
'unteachable,' Marva was able to overcome the obstacles. News of third
grade students reading at ninth grade level, four-year-olds learning
to read in only a few months, outstanding test scores, disappearance
of behavioral problems, second-graders studying Shakespeare, and other
incredible reports, astounded the public.
During the 2006–2007 school year, Collins' school charged $5,500
for tuition, and parents said that the school did a much better job
than the Chicago public school system. Meanwhile, during the
2007–2008 year, Chicago public school officials claimed that their
budget of $11,300 per student was not enough.
The US homeownership rate according to race.
Americans have benefited from the advances made
during the Civil Rights era , particularly among the educated, but not
without the lingering effects of historical marginalization when
considered as a whole. The racial disparity in poverty rates has
narrowed. The black middle class has grown substantially. In 2010, 45%
Americans owned their homes, compared to 67% of all
Americans. The poverty rate among African
Americans has decreased
from 26.5% in 1998 to 24.7% in 2004, compared to 12.7% for all
Americans. This graph shows the real median US household income
by race: 1967 to 2011, in 2011 dollars.
Americans have a combined buying power of over $892 billion
currently and likely over $1.1 trillion by 2012. In 2002, African
American-owned businesses accounted for 1.2 million of the US's 23
million businesses. As of 2011 African American-owned businesses
account for approximately 2 million
US businesses . Black-owned
businesses experienced the largest growth in number of businesses
among minorities from 2002 to 2011.
In 2004, African-American men had the third-highest earnings of
American minority groups after Asian
Americans and non-Hispanic
Twenty-five percent of blacks had white-collar occupations
(management, professional, and related fields) in 2000, compared with
Americans overall. In 2001, over half of African-American
households of married couples earned $50,000 or more. Although in the
same year African
Americans were over-represented among the nation's
poor, this was directly related to the disproportionate percentage of
African-American families headed by single women; such families are
collectively poorer, regardless of ethnicity.
In 2006, the median earnings of African-American men was more than
black and non-black American women overall, and in all educational
levels. At the same time, among American men, income disparities
were significant; the median income of African-American men was
approximately 76 cents for every dollar of their European American
counterparts, although the gap narrowed somewhat with a rise in
Overall, the median earnings of African-American men were 72 cents
for every dollar earned of their Asian American counterparts, and
$1.17 for every dollar earned by
Hispanic men. On the other hand,
by 2006, among American women with post-secondary education,
African-American women have made significant advances; the median
income of African-American women was more than those of their Asian-,
Hispanic American counterparts with at least some
The US public sector is the single most important source of
employment for African Americans. During 2008–2010, 21.2% of all
Black workers were public employees, compared with 16.3% of non-Black
workers. Both before and after the onset of the
Great Recession ,
Americans were 30% more likely than other workers to be
employed in the public sector.
The public sector is also a critical source of decent-paying jobs for
Black Americans. For both men and women, the median wage earned by
Black employees is significantly higher in the public sector than in
In 1999, the median income of African-American families was $33,255
compared to $53,356 of European Americans. In times of economic
hardship for the nation, African
Americans suffer disproportionately
from job loss and underemployment , with the black underclass being
hardest hit. The phrase "last hired and first fired" is reflected in
Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment figures. Nationwide, the
October 2008 unemployment rate for African
Americans was 11.1%, while
the nationwide rate was 6.5%.
The income gap between black and white families is also significant.
In 2005, employed blacks earned 65% of the wages of whites, down from
82% in 1975. _The New York Times_ reported in 2006 that in
New York, the median income among African-American families exceeded
that of white families, which the newspaper attributed to the growth
in the number of two-parent black families. It noted that
the only county with more than 65,000 residents where that was true.
In 2011, it was reported that 72% of black babies were born to unwed
mothers . The poverty rate among single-parent black families was
39.5% in 2005, according to Williams, while it was 9.9% among
married-couple black families. Among white families, the respective
rates were 26.4% and 6% in poverty.
Further information: Race and health in the United States §
The life expectancy for Black men in 2008 was 70.8 years. Life
expectancy for Black women was 77.5 years in 2008. In 1900, when
information on Black life expectancy started being collated, a Black
man could expect to live to 32.5 years and a Black woman 33.5 years.
In 1900, White men lived an average of 46.3 years and White women
lived an average of 48.3 years. African-American life expectancy at
birth is persistently five to seven years lower than European
Black people have higher rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension
than the US average. For adult Black men, the rate of obesity was
31.6% in 2010. For adult Black women, the rate of obesity was 41.2%
in 2010. African
Americans have higher rates of mortality than does
any other racial or ethnic group for 8 of the top 10 causes of death.
In 2013, among men, black men had the highest rate of getting cancer,
followed by white, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI), and
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) men. Among women, white women
had the highest rate of getting cancer, followed by black, Hispanic,
Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Violence has an impact upon African-American life expectancy. A report
U.S. Department of Justice states "In 2005, homicide
victimization rates for blacks were 6 times higher than the rates for
whites". The report also found that "94% of black victims were killed
AIDS is one of the top three causes of death for African-American men
aged 25–54 and for African-American women aged 35–44 years. In the
United States, African
Americans make up about 48% of the total
HIV-positive population and make up more than half of new HIV cases.
The main route of transmission for women is through unprotected
heterosexual sex. African-American women are 19 times more likely to
contract HIV than other women.
Washington, D.C. has the nation's highest rate of HIV/
at 3%. This rate is comparable to what is seen in West Africa, and is
considered a severe epidemic. Dr. Ray Martins, Chief Medical Officer
at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the largest provider of HIV care in
Washington D.C., estimated that the actual underlying percent with
AIDS in the city is "closer to five percent".
According to a Gallup survey conducted from June to September 2012,
4.6 percent of Black or African
Americans self identify as
LGBT ; this
is greater than the estimated 3.4 percent of American adults that self
LGBT in the total population.
Black church ,
African-American Muslims , and Black
Israelites Religious affiliation of African
Mount Zion United
Methodist Church is the oldest African-American
Masjid Malcolm Shabazz in
Harlem, New York City
The majority of African
Protestant , many of whom
follow the historically black churches. The term
Black church refers
to churches which minister to predominantly African-American
congregations. Black congregations were first established by freed
slaves at the end of the 17th century, and later when slavery was
abolished more African
Americans were allowed to create a unique form
Christianity that was culturally influenced by African spiritual
According to a 2007 survey, more than half of the African-American
population are part of the historically black churches. The largest
Protestant denomination among African
Americans are the
distributed mainly in four denominations, the largest being the
National Baptist Convention, USA and the National Baptist Convention
of America . The second largest are the Methodists , the largest
denominations are the African
Methodist Episcopal Church and the
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church .
Pentecostals are distributed among several different religious
bodies, with the
Church of God in Christ as the largest among them by
far. About 16% of African-American Christians are members of white
Protestant communions, these denominations (which include the United
Church of Christ ) mostly have a 2 to 3% African-American membership.
There are also large numbers of
Roman Catholics , constituting 5% of
the African-American population. Of the total number of Jehovah\'s
Witnesses , 22% are black.
Islam . Historically, between 15 and
30% of enslaved Africans brought to the Americas were Muslims , but
most of these Africans were converted to
Christianity during the era
of American slavery. During the twentieth century, some African
Americans converted to Islam, mainly through the influence of black
nationalist groups that preached with distinctive Islamic practices;
Moorish Science Temple of America , and the largest
Nation of Islam , founded in the 1930s, which
attracted at least 20,000 people by 1963, prominent members included
Malcolm X and boxer
Muhammad Ali .
Malcolm X is considered the first person to start the movement among
Americans towards mainstream Islam, after he left the Nation
and made the pilgrimage to Mecca . In 1975,
Warith Deen Mohammed
Warith Deen Mohammed ,
the son of
Elijah Muhammad took control of the Nation after his
father's death and guided the majority of its members to orthodox
Islam . However, a few members rejected these changes, in particular
Louis Farrakhan , who revived the
Nation of Islam in 1978 based on its
African-American Muslims constitute 20% of the total U.S. Muslim
population , the majority are Sunni or orthodox Muslims, some of
these identify under the community of
W. Deen Mohammed . The Nation
Islam led by
Louis Farrakhan has a membership ranging from
There are relatively few African-American
Jews ; estimates of their
number range from 20,000 to 200,000. Most of these
Jews are part of
mainstream groups such as the Reform , Conservative , or Orthodox
Judaism ; although there are significant numbers of people
who are part of non-mainstream Jewish groups, largely the Black Hebrew
Israelites , whose beliefs include the claim that African Americans
are descended from the Biblical
Confirmed atheists are less than one half of one-percent, similar to
numbers for Hispanics .
Americans have a long and diverse history of business
ownership . Although the first African-American business is unknown,
slaves captured from
West Africa are believed to have established
commercial enterprises as peddlers and skilled craftspeople as far
back as the 17th century. Around 1900, Booker T. Washington became the
most famous proponent of African American businesses. His critic and
rival W.E.B. DuBois also commended business as a vehicle for African
African American Vernacular English
African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is a variety (dialect ,
ethnolect , and sociolect ) of
American English , commonly spoken by
urban working-class and largely bi-dialectal middle-class African
Americans. Non-linguists sometimes call it _Ebonics _ (a term that
also has other meanings and connotations).
African American Vernacular English evolved during the antebellum
period through interaction between speakers of 16th and 17th century
Great Britain and Ireland and various West African
languages. As a result, the variety shares parts of its grammar and
phonology with the Southern
American English dialect. Where African
American Vernacular English differs from Standard American English
(SAE) is in certain pronunciation characteristics, tense usage and
grammatical structures that were derived from West African languages,
particularly those belonging to the Niger-Congo family.
Virtually all habitual speakers of African American Vernacular
English can understand and communicate in Standard American English.
As with all linguistic forms, AAVE's usage is influenced by various
factors, including geographical, educational and socioeconomic
background, as well as formality of setting. Additionally, there are
many literary uses of this variety of English, particularly in
African-American literature .
Some of the new words used by the people include "fleek" which means
on point and "throwing shade" which means offending someone.
Genetic clustering of 128 African Americans, by Zakharaia et al.
(2009). Each vertical bar represents individual.
Recent surveys of African
Americans using a genetic testing service
have found varied ancestries which show different tendencies by region
and sex of ancestors. These studies found that on average, African
Americans have 73.2-82.1% West African , 16.7%-24% European , and
0.8–1.2% Native American genetic heritage, with large variation
between individuals. Genetics websites themselves have reported
similar ranges, with some finding 1 or 2 percent Native American
Ancestry.com reporting an outlying percentage of European
ancestry among African Americans, 29%.
According to a genome-wide study by Bryc et al. (2009), the overall
ancestry of African
Americans was formed through historic admixture
between West/Central Africans (more frequently females) and Europeans
(more frequently males). Consequently, the 365 African
their sample have a genome-wide average of 78.1% West African ancestry
and 18.5% European ancestry, with large variation among individuals
(ranging from 99% to 1% West African ancestry). The West African
ancestral component in African
Americans is most similar to that in
present-day speakers from the non-Bantu branches of the Niger-Congo
Correspondingly, Montinaro et al. (2014) observed that around 50% of
the overall ancestry of African
Americans traces back to the
Niger-Congo-speaking Yoruba of southwestern
Nigeria and southern Benin
, reflecting the centrality of this
West Africa region in the Atlantic
Slave Trade. The next most frequent ancestral component found among
Americans was derived from
Great Britain , in keeping with
historical records. It constitutes a little over 10% of their overall
ancestry, and is most similar to the Northwest European ancestral
component also carried by
Barbadians . Zakharaia et al. (2009) found
a similar proportion of Yoruba associated ancestry in their
African-American samples, with a minority also drawn from Mandenka and
Bantu populations. Additionally, the researchers observed an average
European ancestry of 21.9%, again with significant variation between
individuals. Bryc et al. (2009) note that populations from other
parts of the continent may also constitute adequate proxies for the
ancestors of some African-American individuals; namely, ancestral
populations from Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Sierra Leone in West
Africa and Angola in Southern Africa.
Altogether, genetic studies suggest that African
Americans are a
multiracial people. According to DNA analysis led in 2006 by Penn
Mark D. Shriver , around 58 percent of African
Americans have at least 12.5% European ancestry (equivalent to one
European great-grandparent and his/her forebears), 19.6 percent of
Americans have at least 25% European ancestry (equivalent to
one European grandparent and his/her forebears), and 1 percent of
Americans have at least 50% European ancestry (equivalent to
one European parent and his/her forebears). According to Shriver,
around 5 percent of African
Americans also have at least 12.5% Native
American ancestry (equivalent to one Native American great-grandparent
and his/her forebears).
According to a Y-DNA study by Sims et al. (2007), the majority (~60%)
Americans belong to various subclades of the E3a (E1b1a)
paternal haplogroup. This is the most common genetic paternal lineage
found today among West/Central African males, and is also a signature
of the historical Bantu migrations . The next most frequent Y-DNA
haplogroup observed among African
Americans is the R1b clade, which
around 15% of African
Americans carry. This lineage is most common
today among Northwestern European males. The remaining African
Americans mainly belong to the paternal haplogroup I (~7%), which is
also frequent in Northwestern Europe.
According to an mtDNA study by Salas et al. (2005), the maternal
lineages of African
Americans are most similar to haplogroups that are
today especially common in
West Africa (>55%), followed closely by
Central Africa and Southwestern Africa (
Chuck Berry is
considered a pioneer of rock and roll .
African-American music is one of the most pervasive African-American
cultural influences in the United States today and is among the most
dominant in mainstream popular music. Hip hop , R make up the broadest
and longest lasting range of styles in America; and have,
historically, been more influential, interculturally, geographically,
and economically, than other American vernacular traditions.
Americans have also had an important role in American dance.
Bill T. Jones , a prominent modern choreographer and dancer, has
included historical African-American themes in his work, particularly
in the piece "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land".
Alvin Ailey 's artistic work, including his "Revelations"
based on his experience growing up as an African American in the South
during the 1930s, has had a significant influence on modern dance.
Another form of dance, Stepping , is an African-American tradition
whose performance and competition has been formalized through the
traditionally black fraternities and sororities at universities.
LITERATURE AND ACADEMICS
Many African-American authors have written stories, poems, and essays
influenced by their experiences as African Americans. African-American
literature is a major genre in American literature. Famous examples
Langston Hughes , James Baldwin , Richard Wright , Zora Neale
Ralph Ellison , Nobel Prize winner
Toni Morrison , and Maya
African-American inventors have created many widely used devices in
the world and have contributed to international innovation . Norbert
Rillieux created the technique for converting sugar cane juice into
white sugar crystals. Moreover, Rillieux left
Louisiana in 1854 and
went to France, where he spent ten years working with the Champollions
deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics from the
Rosetta Stone . Most
slave inventors were nameless, such as the slave owned by the
Confederate President Jefferson Davis who designed the ship propeller
used by the Confederate navy.
By 1913 over 1,000 inventions were patented by black Americans. Among
the most notable inventors were
Jan Matzeliger , who developed the
first machine to mass-produce shoes, and
Elijah McCoy , who invented
automatic lubrication devices for steam engines.
Granville Woods had
35 patents to improve electric railway systems, including the first
system to allow moving trains to communicate. Garrett A. Morgan
developed the first automatic traffic signal and gas mask.
Lewis Howard Latimer invented an improvement for the incandescent
light bulb. More recent inventors include
Frederick McKinley Jones ,
who invented the movable refrigeration unit for food transport in
trucks and trains.
Lloyd Quarterman worked with six other black
scientists on the creation of the atomic bomb (code named the
Manhattan Project .) Quarterman also helped develop the first nuclear
reactor, which was used in the atomically powered submarine called the
A few other notable examples include the first successful open heart
surgery , performed by Dr.
Daniel Hale Williams , and the air
conditioner, patented by Frederick McKinley Jones. Dr. Mark Dean
holds three of the original nine patents on the computer on which all
PCs are based. More current contributors include
Otis Boykin ,
whose inventions included several novel methods for manufacturing
electrical components that found use in applications such as guided
missile systems and computers, and Colonel Frederick Gregory , who
was not only the first black astronaut pilot but the person who
redesigned the cockpits for the last three space shuttles. Gregory was
also on the team that pioneered the microwave instrumentation landing
This parade float displayed the word "Afro-American" in 1911.
The term _African American_ carries important political overtones.
Earlier terms used to describe
Americans of African ancestry referred
more to skin color than to ancestry, and were conferred upon the group
by colonists and
Americans of European ancestry; people with dark
skins were considered inferior in fact and in law. The terms (such as
_colored _, _person of color _, or _negro _) were included in the
wording of various laws and legal decisions which some thought were
being used as tools of white supremacy and oppression . There
developed among blacks in America a growing desire for a term of
self-identification of their own choosing.
Michelle Obama was the
First Lady of the United States; she and her husband, President Barack
Obama, are the first African
Americans to hold these positions.
In the 1980s, the term _African American_ was advanced on the model
of, for example,
Irish-American to give descendants
of American slaves and other American blacks who lived through the
slavery era a heritage and a cultural base. The term was popularized
in black communities around the country via word of mouth and
ultimately received mainstream use after
Jesse Jackson publicly used
the term in front of a national audience in 1988. Subsequently, major
media outlets adopted its use.
Surveys show that the majority of Black
Americans have no preference
for _African American_ versus _Black American_, although they have a
slight preference for _Black American_ in personal settings and
_African American_ in more formal settings.
Americans have expressed a preference for the term
_African American_ because it was formed in the same way as the terms
for the many other ethnic groups currently living in the nation. Some
argued further that, because of the historical circumstances
surrounding the capture, enslavement and systematic attempts to
de-Africanize blacks in the United States under chattel slavery , most
Americans are unable to trace their ancestry to a specific
African nation; hence, the entire continent serves as a geographic
The term _African American_ embraces pan-Africanism as earlier
enunciated by prominent African thinkers such as
Marcus Garvey , W. E.
B. Du Bois and
George Padmore . The term _Afro-Usonian_, and
variations of such, are more rarely used.
Since 1977, in an attempt to keep up with changing social opinion,
the United States government has officially classified black people
(revised to _black_ or _African American_ in 1997) as "having origins
in any of the black racial groups of Africa." Other federal offices,
such as the
United States Census
United States Census Bureau, adhere to the Office of
Management and Budget standards on race in its data collection and
tabulations efforts. In preparation for the United States 2010
Census, a marketing and outreach plan, called _2010 Census Integrated
Communications Campaign Plan_ (ICC) recognized and defined African
Americans as black people born in the United States. From the ICC
Americans are one of three groups of black people
in the United States.
The ICC plan was to reach the three groups by acknowledging that each
group has its own sense of community that is based on geography and
ethnicity. The best way to market the census process toward any of
the three groups is to reach them through their own unique
communication channels and not treat the entire black population of
the U.S. as though they are all African
Americans with a single ethnic
and geographical background. The
U.S. Department of Justice Federal
Bureau of Investigation categorizes black or African-American people
as "A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of
Africa" through racial categories used in the UCR Program adopted from
the Statistical Policy Handbook (1978) and published by the Office of
Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce,
derived from the 1977
Office of Management and Budget classification.
Miscegenation § United States ,
Multiracial American , and
Historically, "race mixing" between black and white people was taboo
in the United States. So-called anti-miscegenation laws , barring
blacks and whites from marrying or having sex, were established in
colonial America as early as 1691, and endured in many Southern
states until the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional in _Loving
v. Virginia _ (1967). The taboo among American whites surrounding
white-black relations is a historical consequence of the oppression
and racial segregation of African Americans. Historian David Brion
Davis notes the racial mixing that occurred during slavery was
frequently attributed by the planter class to the "lower-class white
males" but Davis concludes that "there is abundant evidence that many
slaveowners, sons of slaveowners, and overseers took black mistresses
or in effect raped the wives and daughters of slave families." A
famous example was Thomas Jefferson's mistress,
Sally Hemings .
Harvard University historian
Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote in 2009 that
Americans are a racially mixed or mulatto people—deeply
and overwhelmingly so" (see genetics ). After the Emancipation
Proclamation , Chinese American men married African-American women in
high proportions to their total marriage numbers due to few Chinese
American women being in the United States. African slaves and their
descendants have also had a history of cultural exchange and
intermarriage with Native
Americans , although they did not
necessarily retain social, cultural or linguistic ties to Native
peoples. There are also increasing intermarriages and offspring
Hispanic blacks and Hispanics of any race, especially
between Puerto Ricans and African
Americans (American-born blacks).
According to author M.M. Drymon, many African
Americans identify as
having Scots-Irish ancestry.
Racially mixed marriages have become increasingly accepted in the
United States since the
Civil Rights Movement and up to the present
day. Approval in national opinion polls have risen from 36% in 1978,
to 48% in 1991, 65% in 2002, 77% in 2007. A Gallup poll conducted in
2013 found that 84% of whites and 96% of blacks approved of
interracial marriage, and 87% overall.
THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
In her book _The End of Blackness_, as well as in an essay on the
liberal website _Salon _, author
Debra Dickerson has argued that the
term _black_ should refer strictly to the descendants of Africans who
were brought to America as slaves, and not to the sons and daughters
of black immigrants who lack that ancestry. In her opinion, President
Barack Obama , who is the son of a Kenyan immigrant, although
technically black, is not African-American. She makes the argument
that grouping all people of African descent together regardless of
their unique ancestral circumstances would inevitably deny the
lingering effects of slavery within the American community of slave
descendants, in addition to denying black immigrants recognition of
their own unique ancestral backgrounds. "Lumping us all together",
Dickerson wrote, "erases the significance of slavery and continuing
racism while giving the appearance of progress".
Similar viewpoints have been expressed by
Stanley Crouch in a _New
York Daily News _ piece,
Charles Steele, Jr. of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference and African-American columnist David
Ehrenstein of the _
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times _, who accused white liberals of
flocking to blacks who were _Magic Negros _, a term that refers to a
black person with no past who simply appears to assist the mainstream
white (as cultural protagonists/drivers) agenda. Ehrenstein went on
to say "He's there to assuage white 'guilt' they feel over the role of
slavery and racial segregation in American history."
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice (who was famously mistaken
for a "recent American immigrant" by French President Nicolas Sarkozy
), said "descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and
I think you continue to see some of the effects of that." She has also
rejected an immigrant designation for African
Americans and instead
prefers the term _black_ or _white_ to denote the African and European
U.S. founding populations.
TERMS NO LONGER IN COMMON USE
Before the independence of the
Thirteen Colonies until the abolition
of slavery in 1865, an African-American slave was commonly known as a
_negro _. _
Free negro _ was the legal status in the territory of an
African-American person who was not a slave. The term _colored _
later also began to be used until the second quarter of the 20th
century, when it was considered outmoded and generally gave way again
to the exclusive use of _negro_. By the 1940s, the term was commonly
capitalized (_Negro_); but by the mid-1960s, it was considered
disparaging. By the end of the 20th century, _negro_ had come to be
considered inappropriate and was rarely used and perceived as a
pejorative . The term is rarely used by younger black people, but
remained in use by many older African
Americans who had grown up with
the term, particularly in the southern U.S. The term remains in use
in some contexts, such as the
United Negro College Fund , an American
philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for black students
and general scholarship funds for 39 private historically black
colleges and universities, as well as in
Latin America where Spanish
and Portuguese are spoken. Pronounced slightly differently, it is the
word for the color _black_, and is rarely perceived as a pejorative.
There are many other deliberately insulting terms. Many were in
common use (e.g., _nigger _), but had become unacceptable in normal
discourse before the end of the 20th century. One exception is the
use, among the black community, of the slur _nigger_ rendered as
_nigga _, representing the pronunciation of the word in African
American Vernacular English . This usage has been popularized by the
rap and hip-hop music cultures and is used as part of an in-group
lexicon and speech. It is not necessarily derogatory and, when used
among black people, the word is often used to mean "homie " or
Acceptance of intra-group usage of the word _nigga_ is still debated,
although it has established a foothold among younger generations. The
NAACP denounces the use of both _nigga_ and _nigger_. Mixed-race usage
of _nigga_ is still considered taboo, particularly if the speaker is
white. However, trends indicate that usage of the term in intragroup
settings is increasing even among white youth due to the popularity of
rap and hip hop culture.
For a more comprehensive list, see
Lists of African Americans .
This "see also " section MAY CONTAIN AN EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF
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* African American portal
African American art
African-American business history
Civil Rights Movement (1865–95)
African-American Civil Rights Movement (1896–1954)
* Timeline of the African-American
Civil Rights Movement (1954–68)
African-American middle class
African American National Biography Project
African-American upper class
African American Vernacular English
* Anglo-African term
Black History Month
Black Lives Matter
Military history of African Americans
National Museum of African American History and Culture
* Stereotypes of African
African Americans in France
Americans in Ghana
African immigration to the United States
Afro-American peoples of the Americas
Black Indians in the United States
Black Hispanic and Latino Americans
Index of articles related to African Americans
List of historically black colleges and universities
List of topics related to the African diaspora
* List of populated places in the United States with
African-American plurality populations
List of U.S. states by African-American population
* List of U.S. counties with African-American majority populations
* List of U.S. metropolitan areas with large African-American
List of U.S. cities with large African-American populations
* List of U.S. communities with African-American majority
populations in 2010
List of African-American neighborhoods
List of black college football classics
Creole peoples ,
* ^ DNA studies of African-
Americans have determined that they
primarily descend from various Niger-Congo -speaking West/Central
African ethnic groups: Akan (including the Ashanti and Fante
Bamileke , Bamun , Bariba , Biafara , Bran ,
Chokwe , Dagomba , Edo , Ewe , Fon , Fula , Ga ,
Gurma , Hausa ,
Ibibio (including the Efik subgroup), Igbo , Igala , Ijaw (including
the Kalabari subgroup),
Itsekiri , Jola , Luchaze , Lunda , Kpele ,
Kru , Mahi , Mandinka (including the Mende subgroup), Naulu , Serer ,
Susu , Temne ,
Tikar , Wolof , Yaka , Yoruba , and
Bantu peoples ;
specifically the Duala , Kongo , Luba , Mbundu (including the
Ovimbundu subgroup) and Teke .
* ^ "The Black Population: 2010" (PDF). Census.gov. September 2011.
Retrieved June 3, 2013.
* ^ "Pew Forum: A Religious Portrait of African-Americans". The Pew
Forum on Religion & Public Life. January 30, 2009. Retrieved October
* ^ West, Cornel (1985). "The Paradox of Afro-American Rebellion".
In Sayres, Sohnya; Stephanson, Anders; Aronowitz, Stanley; et al. _The
60s Without Apology_. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 44–58. ISBN
* ^ "The Black Population: 2010" (PDF), Census.gov, September 2011.
"Black or African Americans" refers to a person having origins in any
of the Black racial groups of Africa. The Black racial category
includes people who marked the "Black, African Am., or Negro"
checkbox. It also includes respondents who reported entries such as
African American; Sub-Saharan African entries, such as Kenyan and
Afro-Caribbean entries, such as Haitian and Jamaican."
* ^ African
Americans Law however, the term _African American_
refers to an ethnic group, most often to people whose ancestors
experienced slavery in the United States (Soberon, 1996). Thus, not
all Blacks in the United States are African-American (for example,
some are from
Haiti and others are from the Caribbean).
* ^ Don C. Locke, Deryl F. Bailey (2013). _Increasing Multicultural
Understanding_. SAGE Publications. p. 106. ISBN 1483314219 . Retrieved
October 23, 2014. African American refers to descendants of enslaved
Black people who are from the United States. The reason we use an
entire continent (Africa) instead of a country (e.g., Irish American)
is because slave masters purposefully obliterated tribal ancestry,
language, and family units in order to destroy the spirit of the
people they enslaved, thereby making it impossible for their
descendants to trace their history prior to being born into slavery.
* ^ "African American". _American Heritage Dictionary_. Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "The size and regional distribution of the black
population". Lewis Mumford Center. Archived from the original on
October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
* ^ _A_ _B_ American FactFinder,
United States Census
United States Census Bureau.
"United States – QT-P4. Race, Combinations of Two Races, and Not
Hispanic or Latino: 2000". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved January
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