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AFRICAN AMERICANS (also referred to as BLACK AMERICANS or AFRO-AMERICANS ) are an ethnic group of Americans
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
Americans
constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States (after White Americans
Americans
and Hispanic and Latino Americans
Americans
). Most African Americans
Americans
are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans
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 from West Africa
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 .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Colonial era * 1.2 From the American Revolution
American Revolution
to the Civil War * 1.3 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 Terminology
Terminology

* 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

HISTORY

Main article: African-American history

COLONIAL ERA

Main articles: Slavery
Slavery
in the colonial United States and Atlantic slave trade

The first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony (most likely located in the Winyah Bay area of present-day South Carolina
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
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
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
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
Americans
or English settlers . _ The First Slave Auction at New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam
in 1655_, by Howard Pyle

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 into New Amsterdam
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
South Carolina
, in 1769.

Massachusetts
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

Main article: Slavery in the United States Crispus Attucks
Crispus Attucks
, the first "martyr " of the American Revolution
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
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
Slavery
had been tacitly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution through provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, commonly known as the 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 Douglass

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 African Americans
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
Henry Clay
, some blacks who weren't enslaved left the U.S. for Liberia
Liberia
in Africa. Liberia
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
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 signed the Emancipation Proclamation
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. Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman

Slavery
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
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

Main articles: Reconstruction Era and Jim Crow laws

African Americans
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 African Americans
Americans
obeyed the Jim Crow laws, in order to avoid racially motivated violence . To maintain self-esteem and dignity, African Americans
Americans
such as Anthony Overton and Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune
continued to build their own schools , churches , banks, social clubs, and other businesses.

In the last decade of the 19th century, racially discriminatory laws and racial violence aimed at African Americans
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
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 relatives in 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
Rosa Parks
refused to give up her seat on the bus in Alabama—indeed, Parks told Emmett's mother 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.

The 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 the Civil Rights Movement to include economic and political self-sufficiency, and freedom from white authority.

During the postwar period, many African Americans
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
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 whites.

POST-CIVIL RIGHTS ERA

Main article: Post–Civil Rights era in African-American history

Politically and economically, African Americans
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
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
Barack Obama
defeated Republican Senator John McCain
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 Americans
Americans
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
Jimmy Carter
. Four years later, Obama was reelected president by a similar margin on November 6, 2012.

DEMOGRAPHICS

The proportional geographic distribution of African Americans
Americans
in 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 in 2010:

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 African-American population

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 million.

In 1910, about 90% of African Americans
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 more African Americans
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.

African Americans
Americans
in the United States YEAR NUMBER % of total population % Change (10 yr) SLAVES % IN SLAVERY

1790 757,208 19.3% (highest) – 697,681 92%

1800 1,002,037 18.9% 32.3% 893,602 89%

1810 1,377,808 19.0% 37.5% 1,191,362 86%

1820 1,771,656 18.4% 28.6% 1,538,022 87%

1830 2,328,642 18.1% 31.4% 2,009,043 86%

1840 2,873,648 16.8% 23.4% 2,487,355 87%

1850 3,638,808 15.7% 26.6% 3,204,287 88%

1860 4,441,830 14.1% 22.1% 3,953,731 89%

1870 4,880,009 12.7% 9.9% – –

1880 6,580,793 13.1% 34.9% – –

1890 7,488,788 11.9% 13.8% – –

1900 8,833,994 11.6% 18.0% – –

1910 9,827,763 10.7% 11.2% – –

1920 10.5 million 9.9% 6.8% – –

1930 11.9 million 9.7% (lowest) 13% – –

1940 12.9 million 9.8% 8.4% – –

1950 15.0 million 10.0% 16% – –

1960 18.9 million 10.5% 26% – –

1970 22.6 million 11.1% 20% – –

1980 26.5 million 11.7% 17% – –

1990 30.0 million 12.1% 13% – –

2000 34.6 million 12.3% 15% – –

2010 38.9 million 12.6% 12% – –

By 1990, the African-American population reached about 30 million and represented 12% of the U.S. population, roughly the same proportion as in 1900.

At the time of the 2000 Census , 54.8% of African Americans
Americans
lived in the South . In that year, 17.6% of African Americans
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
Americans
identified as Hispanic
Hispanic
or 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 Americans
Americans
trace 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
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
Hispanic
and non-Hispanic Americans
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
Americans
, the census bureau also announced in 2014 that it may establish an additional new ethnic category for populations from the Middle East
Middle East
, North Africa
North Africa
and the Arab world .

U.S. CITIES

Further information: List of U.S. cities with large African-American populations and List of U.S. metropolitan areas with large African-American populations

Almost 58% of African Americans
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
Americans
in its metropolitan area, representing about 18 percent of the total metropolitan population.

After 100 years of African- Americans
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 the 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, Mississippi (79.4%), Miami Gardens, Florida (76.3%), Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland
(63%), Birmingham, Alabama (62.5%), Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
(61%), New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana
(60%), Montgomery, Alabama (56.6%), Flint, Michigan (56.6%), Savannah, Georgia (55.0%), Augusta, Georgia (54.7%), Atlanta, Georgia (54%, see African Americans
Americans
in Atlanta
Atlanta
), Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio
(53.3%), Newark, New Jersey (52.35%), Washington, D.C. (50.7%), Richmond, Virginia (50.6%), Mobile, Alabama (50.6%), Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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 County in Maryland
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
Missouri
City in Texas. Queens
Queens
County, New York is the only county with a population of 65,000 or more where African Americans
Americans
have a higher median household income than White Americans.

Seatack, Virginia is currently the oldest African-American community in the United States. It survives today with a vibrant and active civic community.

EDUCATION

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson
is director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium .

By 2012, African Americans
Americans
had advanced greatly in education attainment. They still lagged overall compared to white or Asian Americans
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
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 desegregation orders.

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
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
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 Americans
Americans
have 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
Florida
where a 62% of white males graduated high school. Examining specific school districts paints an even more complex picture. In the Detroit
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 points.

In Chicago, 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.

ECONOMIC STATUS

The US homeownership rate according to race.

Economically, African Americans
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% of African Americans
Americans
owned their homes, compared to 67% of all Americans. The poverty rate among African Americans
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.

African Americans
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
Americans
and non-Hispanic whites.

Twenty-five percent of blacks had white-collar occupations (management, professional, and related fields) in 2000, compared with 33.6% of Americans
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
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 educational level.

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
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-, European- and Hispanic
Hispanic
American counterparts with at least some college education.

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 , African Americans
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 other industries.

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
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 the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment figures. Nationwide, the October 2008 unemployment rate for African Americans
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 Queens
Queens
, 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 Queens
Queens
was 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.

HEALTH

Further information: Race and health in the United States § African- Americans
Americans

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 Americans
Americans
.

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
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 from the 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 by blacks."

AIDS
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
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/ AIDS
AIDS
infection, 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 HIV/ AIDS
AIDS
in the city is "closer to five percent".

SEXUALITY

According to a Gallup survey conducted from June to September 2012, 4.6 percent of Black or African Americans
Americans
self identify as LGBT
LGBT
; this is greater than the estimated 3.4 percent of American adults that self identify as LGBT
LGBT
in the total population.

RELIGION

Main articles: Black church , African-American Muslims , and Black Hebrew Israelites
Israelites
Religious affiliation of African Americans
Americans
Mount Zion United Methodist
Methodist
Church is the oldest African-American congregation in Washington, D.C. Masjid Malcolm Shabazz in Harlem, New York City

The majority of African Americans
Americans
are Protestant
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
Americans
were allowed to create a unique form of Christianity
Christianity
that was culturally influenced by African spiritual traditions.

According to a 2007 survey, more than half of the African-American population are part of the historically black churches. The largest Protestant
Protestant
denomination among African Americans
Americans
are the Baptists
Baptists
, 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
Methodist
Episcopal Church and the African Methodist
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
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.

Some African Americans
Americans
follow Islam
Islam
. Historically, between 15 and 30% of enslaved Africans brought to the Americas were Muslims , but most of these Africans were converted to Christianity
Christianity
during the era of American slavery. During the twentieth century, some African Americans
Americans
converted to Islam, mainly through the influence of black nationalist groups that preached with distinctive Islamic practices; including the Moorish Science Temple of America , and the largest organization, the Nation of Islam , founded in the 1930s, which attracted at least 20,000 people by 1963, prominent members included activist Malcolm X
Malcolm X
and boxer Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X
is considered the first person to start the movement among African Americans
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
Elijah Muhammad
took control of the Nation after his father's death and guided the majority of its members to orthodox Islam
Islam
. However, a few members rejected these changes, in particular Louis Farrakhan
Louis Farrakhan
, who revived the Nation of Islam in 1978 based on its original teachings.

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 of Islam
Islam
led by Louis Farrakhan
Louis Farrakhan
has a membership ranging from 20,000–50,000 members.

There are relatively few African-American Jews
Jews
; estimates of their number range from 20,000 to 200,000. Most of these Jews
Jews
are part of mainstream groups such as the Reform , Conservative , or Orthodox branches of Judaism
Judaism
; although there are significant numbers of people who are part of non-mainstream Jewish groups, largely the Black Hebrew Israelites
Israelites
, whose beliefs include the claim that African Americans are descended from the Biblical Israelites
Israelites
.

Confirmed atheists are less than one half of one-percent, similar to numbers for Hispanics .

BUSINESS

African Americans
Americans
have a long and diverse history of business ownership . Although the first African-American business is unknown, slaves captured from West Africa
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 American advancement.

LANGUAGE

Main article: 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 English of Great Britain
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.

GENETICS

GENOME-WIDE STUDIES

Genetic clustering of 128 African Americans, by Zakharaia et al. (2009). Each vertical bar represents individual.

Recent surveys of African Americans
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
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 and 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
Americans
was formed through historic admixture between West/Central Africans (more frequently females) and Europeans (more frequently males). Consequently, the 365 African Americans
Americans
in 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
Americans
is most similar to that in present-day speakers from the non-Bantu branches of the Niger-Congo (Niger-Kordofanian) family.

Correspondingly, Montinaro et al. (2014) observed that around 50% of the overall ancestry of African Americans
Americans
traces back to the Niger-Congo-speaking Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria
Nigeria
and southern Benin , reflecting the centrality of this West Africa
West Africa
region in the Atlantic Slave Trade. The next most frequent ancestral component found among African Americans
Americans
was derived from Great Britain
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
Americans
are a multiracial people. According to DNA analysis led in 2006 by Penn State geneticist Mark D. Shriver , around 58 percent of African Americans
Americans
have at least 12.5% European ancestry (equivalent to one European great-grandparent and his/her forebears), 19.6 percent of African Americans
Americans
have at least 25% European ancestry (equivalent to one European grandparent and his/her forebears), and 1 percent of African Americans
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
Americans
also have at least 12.5% Native American ancestry (equivalent to one Native American great-grandparent and his/her forebears).

Y-DNA

According to a Y-DNA study by Sims et al. (2007), the majority (~60%) of African Americans
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
Americans
is the R1b clade, which around 15% of African Americans
Americans
carry. This lineage is most common today among Northwestern European males. The remaining African Americans
Americans
mainly belong to the paternal haplogroup I (~7%), which is also frequent in Northwestern Europe.

MTDNA

According to an mtDNA study by Salas et al. (2005), the maternal lineages of African Americans
Americans
are most similar to haplogroups that are today especially common in West Africa
West Africa
(>55%), followed closely by West- Central Africa
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.

African Americans
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". Likewise, 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 include Langston Hughes , James Baldwin , Richard Wright , Zora Neale Hurston , Ralph Ellison , Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison , and Maya Angelou .

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
Louisiana
in 1854 and went to France, where he spent ten years working with the Champollions deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics from the Rosetta Stone
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 Nautilus.

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 system.

TERMINOLOGY

GENERAL

This parade float displayed the word "Afro-American" in 1911.

The term _African American_ carries important political overtones. Earlier terms used to describe Americans
Americans
of African ancestry referred more to skin color than to ancestry, and were conferred upon the group by colonists and Americans
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
Michelle Obama
was the First Lady
First Lady
of the United States; she and her husband, President Barack Obama, are the first African Americans
Americans
to hold these positions.

In the 1980s, the term _African American_ was advanced on the model of, for example, German-American or 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
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.

Many African Americans
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 African Americans
Americans
are unable to trace their ancestry to a specific African nation; hence, the entire continent serves as a geographic marker.

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.

IDENTITY

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
Americans
as black people born in the United States. From the ICC perspective, African Americans
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
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.

ADMIXTURE

See also: Miscegenation § United States , Multiracial American , and One-drop rule

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
Harvard University
historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote in 2009 that "African Americans
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
Americans
, although they did not necessarily retain social, cultural or linguistic ties to Native peoples. There are also increasing intermarriages and offspring between non- Hispanic
Hispanic
blacks and Hispanics of any race, especially between Puerto Ricans and African Americans
Americans
(American-born blacks). According to author M.M. Drymon, many African Americans
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
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
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
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
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
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 "friend".

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.

NOTABLE PEOPLE

For a more comprehensive list, see Lists of African Americans .

SEE ALSO

_ This "see also " section MAY CONTAIN AN EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF SUGGESTIONS. Please ensure that only the most relevant links are given, that they are not red links , and that any links are not already in this article. (July 2016)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_

* African American portal

* African American art * African-American business history * African-American Civil Rights Movement (1865–95) * African-American Civil Rights Movement (1896–1954) * Timeline of the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68)

* African-American literature * African-American middle class * African-American music * African-American names * African American National Biography Project * African-American neighborhood * African-American upper class * African American Vernacular English * Afrophobia * Anglo-African term * Back-to-Africa movement * Black feminism * Black History Month * Black Lives Matter * Black Loyalist * Military history of African Americans * National Museum of African American History and Culture * Scientific racism
Scientific racism
* Stereotypes of African Americans
Americans

DIASPORA:

* African Americans in France * African Americans
Americans
in Ghana * African immigration to the United States * Afro-American peoples of the Americas * Black Canadians * Black Indians in the United States * Black Hispanic and Latino Americans * Igbo Americans
Americans
* Yoruba Americans
Americans

LISTS:

* 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 in 2000 * List of U.S. metropolitan areas with large African-American populations * 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 * Terminology
Terminology
: Colored
Colored
, Creole peoples , Negro
Negro
, Nigger , Nigga

NOTES

* ^ DNA studies of African- Americans
Americans
have determined that they primarily descend from various Niger-Congo -speaking West/Central African ethnic groups: Akan (including the Ashanti and Fante subgroups), Balanta , Bamileke , Bamun , Bariba , Biafara , Bran , Chokwe , Dagomba , Edo , Ewe , Fon , Fula , Ga , Gurma
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 .

REFERENCES

* ^ "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 31, 2012. * ^ 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 0-8166-1337-0 . * ^ "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 Nigerian; and Afro-Caribbean entries, such as Haitian and Jamaican." * ^ African Americans
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
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
Hispanic
or Latino: 2000". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved January 20, 2011. * ^ Gomez, Michael A: _Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South_, p. 29. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 1998 * ^ Rucker, Walter C. (2006). _The river flows on: Black resistance, culture, and identity formation in early America_. LSU Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-8071-3109-1 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Gates, Henry Louis Jr (2009). In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans
Americans
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* ^ Tottie, Gunnel (2002). _An Introduction to American English_. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p. 200. ISBN 0-631-19792-3 . * ^ Anderson, Talmadge; James Stewart (2007). _Introduction to African American Studies_. Baltimore: Black Classics Press. p. 3. ISBN 1-58073-039-6 . * ^ Chris Good (March 26, 2010). "They Put \'Negro\' on There?". _ The Atlantic
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FURTHER READING

* Altman, Susan. _The Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage_. ISBN 0-8160-4125-3 . * Finkelman, Paul, ed. _Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass_ (3 vol Oxford University Press, 2006). * Finkelman, Paul, ed. _Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century_ (5 vol. Oxford University Press, USA, 2009). * John Hope Franklin , Alfred Moss, _From Slavery
Slavery
to Freedom. A History of African Americans_, McGraw-Hill Education 2001, standard work, first edition in 1947. * Gates, Henry L. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (eds), _African American Lives_, Oxford University Press, 2004—more than 600 biographies. * Darlene Clark Hine , Rosalyn Terborg-Penn , Elsa Barkley Brown (eds), _Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia_, Paperback Edition, Indiana University Press 2005. * Kranz, Rachel. _African-American Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs' (Infobase Publishing, 2004)._ * Salzman, Jack, ed. _Encyclopedia of Afro-American culture and history_, New York, New York : Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1996. * Stewart, Earl L. (1998). _African American Music: An Introduction_. ISBN 0-02-860294-3 . * Southern, Eileen (1997). _The Music of Black Americans: A History_ (3rd ed.). W. W. Norton & Company . ISBN 0-393-97141-4 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

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