Exactly what portion of the African American population is of solely African ancestry is not known. Over the past and more years in the United States, considerable racial mixture has taken place between persons of African descent and those with other racial backgrounds, mainly of white European or American Indian ancestry. Historically, the predominant attitude toward racial group membership in the United States has been that persons having any black African ancestry are considered to be African American. In some parts of the United States, especially in the antebellum South, laws were written to define racial group membership in this way, generally to the detriment of those who were not Caucasian.
From colonial times, African Americans arrived in large numbers as slaves and lived primarily on plantations in the South.
In slave and free blacks together comprised about one-fifth of the U. As the nation split between Southern slave and Northern free… Names and labels As Americans of African descent reached each new plateau in their struggle for equality, they reevaluated their identity. The slaveholder labels of black and negro Spanish for black were offensive, so they chose the euphemism coloured when they were freed.
Capitalized, Negro became acceptable during the migration to the North for factory jobs. Afro-American was adopted by civil rights activists to underline pride in their ancestral homeland, but black—the symbol of power and revolution—proved more popular.
All these terms are still reflected in the names of dozens of organizations. In the 21st century the terms black and African American both were widely used. The early history of blacks in the Americas Africans assisted the Spanish and the Portuguese during their early exploration of the Americas.
In the 16th century some black explorers settled in the Mississippi valley and in the areas that became South Carolina and New Mexico. The uninterrupted history of blacks in the United States began inwhen 20 Africans were landed in the English colony of Virginia. These individuals were not slaves but indentured servants—persons bound to an employer for a limited number of years—as were many of the settlers of European descent whites.
By the s large numbers of Africans were being brought to the English colonies.
In blacks numbered almostand made up nearly one-fifth of the population of the United States. Attempts to hold black servants beyond the normal term of indenture culminated in the legal establishment of black chattel slavery in Virginia in and in all the English colonies by Black people were easily distinguished by their skin colour the result of evolutionary pressures favouring the presence in the skin of a dark pigment called melanin in populations in equatorial climates from the rest of the populace, making them highly visible targets for enslavement.
Enslaved blacks were put to work clearing and cultivating the farmlands of the New World. Of an estimated 10 million Africans brought to the Americas by the slave tradeaboutcame to the territory of what is now the United States.
The overwhelming majority were taken from the area of western Africa stretching from present-day Senegal to Angola, where political and social organization as well as art, music, and dance were highly advanced.
With the increasing profitability of slavery and the slave trade, some Africans themselves sold captives to the European traders. The captured Africans were generally marched in chains to the coast and crowded into the holds of slave ships for the dreaded Middle Passage across the Atlantic Oceanusually to the West Indies.
Shock, disease, and suicide were responsible for the deaths of at least one-sixth during the crossing.
Page 1 of 8.African American History Timeline: - The first African American indentured servants arrive in the American colonies. Less than a decade later, the first slaves are brought into New Amsterdam (later, New York City).
By , every colony has slaves. African-American history is the part of American history that looks at the African-Americans or Black Americans in the United States.
Although previously marginalized, African-American history has gained ground in school and university curricula and gained wider scholarly attention since the late 20th century.
African American History Timeline: - The first African American indentured servants arrive in the American colonies.
Less than a decade later, the first slaves are brought into New Amsterdam (later, New York. Discover the people and events that shaped African American history, from slavery and abolitionism to the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights Movement.
African Americans, one of the largest of the many ethnic groups in the United States. African Americans are mainly of African ancestry, but many have nonblack ancestors as well. African Americans are mainly of African ancestry, but many have nonblack ancestors as well.
"A History of the African American People" makes available more than a generation of scholarship written by some of the most distinguished historians in America. Their work examines the social and communal institutions that have sustained African Americans 3/5(1).