African Americans

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African American is the term used to describe the ethnic background of Americans with African ancestry. Many African Americans are descended from Africans brought to America as slaves beginning four centuries ago.


Black people were originally brought to America to serve as slaves in southeastern states where large-scale agriculture was predominant. During the Civil War, the slaves in states in "open rebellion" were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Freedom, however, did not necessarily bring an improvement in conditions, as the system of sharecropping instituted after the end of the war left many ex-slaves in a continuing cycle of poverty. In large part as a result, many African Americans migrated in the early twentieth century to the northeastern and midwestern states, where they could find wage-paying jobs.


The majority of African Americans are members of Christian congregations, with Baptist, Pentecostal, and Methodist affiliations being among the most common.[Citation Needed] About a quarter of American Muslims are African American.[1]

Famous African Americans


  1. The Pluralism Project at Harvard University[1] "23.8% of American Muslims are African American according to American Muslim Council's Zogby poll of August 2000."

See Also