African American Articles

African Americans

Also known as Black Americans and American Negroes, the African Americans are citizens and residents of US. They are the largest minority of the US and after the whites, the largest of the racial groups. They have originated from Africa's black population. Most of the African Americans are descendents of Africans who were captives in the slavery era and survived in the boundary of the now United States. Some of them are either immigrants or descendents of immigrants from other countries of Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America.

The Africans arrived in America first in 1528. The first African to come to the US in Texas was Esteban de Dorantes who was a Moroccan. There was a trade of the African people with their enslavement with forced labor. Despite a subordinate status, the African Americans developed as a strong community, learning to speak English. Some of them embraced Christianity, merging their faith with the whites.

African American history starts from the servitude of these people in American colonies, progressing to the election of Barrack Obama, an African American as the 44th and the present president. During this long phase of history, the African Americans faced many events and issues, some resolved some ongoing. Some of these issues were slavery, reconstruction and development of the community, military conflicts of U.S and participation in them, Civil Rights Movement and racial segregation.

The historical roots of African Americans go to the beginning of the nineteenth century. This was a time of debates and political movements of the free blacks of the North for reuniting with African heritage. Discussions were made about classifying the 'mixed- race' population with their identity raising questions about the significance of classification of races on the basis of pigmentation. The race designation of 'African Americans' depicts a historical lineage, establishing an identity with roots of cultural as well as ethno geographic origins rather than on the basis of pigmentation.

The group classification that was made by the white people who are in majority was playing a major role in justifying injustices such as slavery, denial of the basic human rights and restraining of social opportunities. These practices oppressed and subordinated the African Americans. The skin color of the Africans in slavery along with their physical features was considered to be ugly and repulsive. The blacks were treated as inferior to whites and discriminated against. This was the reason due to which the African Americans gave attention to group designations. The classification as African Americans is important in reflecting a social group transformation along with reality of group identity, social opportunities, political orientation and a normal standard and lifestyle.

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