Afro-American peoples of the Americas
including partial ancestry
|Regions with significant populations|
|Throughout the Americas|
|Brazil||~6.84% black or 14,500,000 + 43.80% if including (multiracial) pardo (mestizo) or 83,540,920 |
|United States||42,020,743 |
|English, Portuguese, Spanish, Haitian Creole, French, Papiamento, Dutch, English creole and many others|
|Christianity, Afro-American religion, Islam|
|Related ethnic groups|
Afro-American peoples of the Americas is used to refer to people born in the Americas who have African ancestors. Most are descendants of people enslaved and transferred from Sub-Saharan Africa (the vast majority of the Gulf of Guinea) to the Americas by Europeans, to work in their colonies, mostly in mines and plantations as slaves, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. At present, they constitute about 18% of the population of the Americas, with the largest concentrations by percentage of population in Haiti (92%), Jamaica (91%), Barbados (90%), Turks and Caicos (90%), Dominica (87%), The Bahamas (85%), Dominican Republic (84%), Saint Lucia (83%), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (66%), Bermuda (55%), Brazil (29%), Cuba (50%), Puerto Rico (46%), Belize (35%), Trinidad and Tobago (34.2%), Panama (21%), United States (16%), Colombia (10.52%), Uruguay (6%), Canada (2.9%), and Venezuela (2.8%).
After the United States achieved independence, came the independence of Haiti, a country populated almost entirely by Afro-Americans, the second American colony to win its independence. After the process of independence, many countries have encouraged European immigration into America, thus reducing the proportion of black and mulatto population throughout the country: Brazil, United States, Dominican Republic, etc. In the Casta system, imposed by the Spanish Empire in their American colonies, the son of black and European was called a mulatto, and the son of black and Amerindian was called zambo, among many other denominations for further mixes.
Afro-American population today
From 21st to November 25 of 1995, the Continental Congress of Black Peoples of the Americas was held. Afro-Americans still face discrimination in most parts of the continent. According to David D.E. Ferrari, vice president of the World Bank for the Region of Latin America and the Caribbean, Afro-Americans have lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, more frequent and more widespread diseases, higher rates of illiteracy and lower income than Americans of different ethnic origin. Women, also the subject of gender discrimination, suffer worse living conditions.
Even in countries like Brazil, with 6.9% of phenotypically Black population and 43.8% of pardo (mestizo), poverty is common. It is nevertheless important to note that the´Pardo category includes all mulattoes, zambos and the result of their intermixing with other groups (which is not sufficiently Subsaharan-looking to be negro and not sufficiently European-looking or Levantine-looking to be branco), but it is independent of African descent, with most White Brazilians having at least one recent African and/or Native American ancestor and Pardos also being caboclos, descendants of Whites and Amerindians, or mestizos. There are more definitions on the differences and social disparity between blacks, "non-white non-blacks" and whites in Brazil in the Black people article section.
According to various studies, the main genetic contribution to Brazilians is European (always above 65%, and an American one found it as high as 77%), and Pardos possess an intermediate degree of African descent when compared to the general White Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian populations (the previous mostly with some detectable non-white ancestor and the latter highly miscegenated) and exhibit a greater Amerindian contribution in areas such as the Amazon Basin and a stronger African contribution in the areas of historical slavery such as Southeastern Brazil and coastal Northeastern cities, nevertheless both are present in all regions, and that physical features did not correlate with detectable ancestry in many instances.
On November 4, 2008, the first afrodescendant U.S. president, Barack Obama, won 52% of the vote, following positive results in states that had traditionally been won by Republican presidents, such as Indiana and Virginia.
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