African Americans


Black Americans Black Americans are those persons in the United States who trace their ancestry to members of the Negroid race in Africa. They have at various times in United States history been referred to as African, coloured, Negro, Afro-American, and African-American, as well as black. The black population of the United States has grown from three-quarters of a million in 1790 to nearly 30 million in 1990. As a percentage of the total population, blacks declined from 19.3 in 1790 to 9.7 in 1930. A modest percentage increase has occurred since that time. Over the past 300 and more years in the United States, considerable racial mixture has taken place between persons of African descent ...

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having any black African ancestry are considered to be black. 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. It is important to note, however, that ancestry and physical characteristics are only part of what has set black Americans apart as a distinct group. The concept of race, as it applies to the black minority in the United States, is as much a social and political concept as a biological one. Blacks Under Slavery: 1600-1865 The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slave, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. Africans first arrived in the area that became the United States in 1619, when a handful of captives were sold by the captain of a Dutch man-of-war to settlers at JAMESTOWN. Others were brought in ...

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by slavery continued thereafter. Prior to the American Revolution, slavery existed in all the colonies. The ideals of the Revolution and the limited profitability of slavery in the North resulted in its abandonment in northern states during the last quarter of the 18th century. At the same time the strength of slavery increased in the South, with the continuing demand for cheap labour by the tobacco growers and cotton farmers of the Southern states. By 1850, 92 percent of all American blacks were concentrated in the South, and of this group approximately 95 percent were slaves. Under the plantation system gang labour was the typical form of employment. Overseers were harsh as a ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/11/2007 06:04:48 AM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2516
Pages: 10

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