African Americans  

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This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co., shows the transformation from white to "black".
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This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co., shows the transformation from white to "black".

"John McWhorter wrote that the Black Lives Matter movement had "done the nation a service" by bringing national attention to police killings of unarmed African Americans, and he encouraged it to expand its focus to include "black-on-black crime"." --Sholem Stein

"Buffalo Gals" (c. 1840), covered by Malcolm McLaren on his 1983 album Duck Rock, which mixed up influences from Africa and America, including hip-hop.
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"Buffalo Gals" (c. 1840), covered by Malcolm McLaren on his 1983 album Duck Rock, which mixed up influences from Africa and America, including hip-hop.

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

African Americans, also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans, are citizens or residents of the United States who have total or partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa.

African-American history starts in the 16th century with 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 inferiors. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of 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.

The Great Migrations

Prior to the 20th century, the African American population was primarily rural. The Great Migration of African-Americans created the first large, urban black communities in the American North. It is conservatively estimated that 400,000 left the South during the two-year period of 1916-1918 to take advantage of a labor shortage created in the wake of the First World War. The 20th century cultures of many of the United States' modern cities were forged in this period.

In 1910, the African American population of Detroit was 6,000. By the start of the Great Depression in 1929, this figure had risen to 120,000.

In 1900 Chicago had a total population of 1,698,575. By 1920 the population had increased by more than 1 million residents. During the second wave of the Great Migration (from 1940–1960), the African American population in the city grew from 278,000 to 813,000. The South Side of Chicago was considered the black capital of America.

The massive number of African Americans to Ohio, in particularly to Cleveland, greatly changed the demographics of the state and Cleveland. Prior to the Great Migration, an estimated 1.1 - 1.6% of Cleveland’s population was African American. In 1920, 4.3% of Cleveland’s population was African American. The number of African Americans in Cleveland continued to rise over the next twenty years of the Great Migration. Other cities, such as St. Louis, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City, also experienced surges in their African-American populations.

In the South, the departure of hundreds of thousands of African Americans caused the black percentage of the population in most Southern states to decrease. For example, in Mississippi, blacks decreased from about 56% of the population in 1910 to about 37% by 1970 and in South Carolina, blacks decreased from about 55% of the population in 1910 to about 30% by 1970.

By the end of the Second Great Migration, African Americans had become an urbanized population. More than 80 percent lived in cities. Fifty-three percent remained in the Southern United States, while 40 percent lived in the Northeast and North Central states and 7 percent in the West.

African American culture




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "African Americans" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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