African American, African American, or African American are designations for US citizens of West African and Sub-Saharan African descent. These designations only started to be used in the 1980s, when the black consciousness movement started to adopt a policy of unity of the entire African diaspora.
Another designation considered politically correct is that of the black color (in English, black). The term nigger was the term used before the 1960s, with a pejorative connotation.
In the 2010 census, nearly 40 million Americans reported being black, African American, or black Hispanic.
Most African Americans are descendants of slaves who were brought from Africa to North America and the Caribbean between 1609 and 1807 during the slave trade, most of whom arrived in the 18th century. Most were from West and Central Africa. A minority is of recent origin, being immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The first record of the presence of Africans in British America dates back to the year 1619, as unpaid workers in Jamestown ( Virginia). As many English colonists were dying due to the adverse conditions to which they were subjected, the importation of African workers gradually increased. For many years, Africans were legally in a similar position to poor English settlers, as many English settlers had to work for free in exchange for passage to America. Africans raised families, married other Africans, and sometimes mingled with Indians and Englishmen. A racial conception of slavery did not fully develop until the 18th century. By 1775, Africans made up 20% of the population of the Thirteen Colonies, making them the second largest ethnic group after the English. By the 1860s, there were 3.5 million slaves in the United States and 500,000 free African Americans. In 1863, during the American Civil War, then-President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves would be free.
African Americans created congregations for them, such as schools, communities, and civic associations, so they would have their own space to escape white control and oversight. After the Civil War there was a period of progress for African Americans, but in the 1890s Southern states enacted the Jim Crow Laws to enforce racial segregation. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, discriminatory laws and racial violence began to swarm in the United States. Such discriminatory acts included racial segregation, with spaces reserved only for whites and others only for blacks, suppression of voting and other rights generally, denial of economic opportunities or resources at the national level, and acts of private and of racial violence were ignored or even encouraged by government authorities. The period was marked by intolerance and the organization of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. From the 1940s onwards, African-Americans organized to fight for their rights, leading to important figures such as Martin Luther King. Racial discrimination by law was only definitively abolished in 1965, through the "Voting Rights Act", which prohibited the suppression of black people's votes.
Who is African American?
With the advent of discriminatory laws, it was necessary to define who was black in the United States. The "One-drop rule" was applied, which stated that anyone with any type of African ancestry, even if very small, was considered black. The state of Tennessee adopted the "one drop rule" in 1910, followed by Louisiana. Then Texas and Arkansas in 1911, Mississippi in 1917,