African American

African American

African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans, and formerly as American Negroes) are citizens or residents of the United States who have total or partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa. The term is not usually used for black residents of other countries in the Americas.

African Americans make up the single largest racial minority in the United States. Most African Americans are of West and Central African descent and are descendants of enslaved blacks within the boundaries of the present United States. However, some immigrants from African, Caribbean, Central American and South American nations, and their descendants, may be identified or self-identify with the term.

African-American history starts in the 16th century with black Africans forcibly taken to Spanish and English colonies in America as slaves. After the United States came into being, black people continued to be enslaved and treated as much inferior. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, racial segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement. In 2008, Barack Obama was the first African-American to be elected president of the United States. The geographical-origin-based term "African American" is commonly used interchangeably with "black American", although skin-color-based terms are sometimes considered disparaging.

Read more about African American:  Demographics, Religion, Contemporary Issues

Famous quotes by african american:

    The writer in me can look as far as an African-American woman and stop. Often that writer looks through the African-American woman. Race is a layer of being, but not a culmination.
    Thylias Moss, African American poet. As quoted in the Wall Street Journal (May 12, 1994)

    I think it’s unfair for people to try to make successful blacks feel guilty for not feeling guilty.... We’re unique in that we’re not supposed to enjoy the things we’ve worked so hard for.
    Patricia Grayson, African American administrator. As quoted in Time magazine, p. 59 (March 13, 1989)

    The treatment of African and African American culture in our education was no different from their treatment in Tarzan movies.
    Ishmael Reed (b. 1938)

    I never feel so conscious of my race as I do when I stand before a class of twenty-five young men and women eager to learn about what it is to be black in America.
    Claire Oberon Garcia, African American college professor. As quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B3 (July 27, 1994)