North Africans in the United States
|335,895 (2010 US Census)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|New Jersey · New York · California · Washington DC · Texas|
|American English · Arabic · Coptic · French · Berber ·|
|Coptic Orthodox Church · Sunni Islam · Judaism and Roman Catholicism|
|Related ethnic groups|
The presence of North Africans in the United States is recorded since the 16th century. Even then, some of the early explorers who accompanied the Spanish on their expeditions in the United States were North Africans, a group that also contributed to the settlement of some Spanish colonies of that country. Most of the North Africans are a mix and match of North Africa natives (descending mostly of Berber tribes and native Egyptians) and descendants of conquerors and Arabs immigrants (from Arabian Peninsula) people. Most North African have now, the Muslim religion. Currently, the North African population in the United States exceeds 800,000 people. Its largest populations are found in the eastern United States. North Africans Americans can be of Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptians, Sahrawi, Mauritanian and northern Sudanese origin. They are also sometimes included in that group the Canarians, that by the geography situation of the Canary Islands in the North Africa, and the partly North African ancestry of his population (the Canarian are a mixture of North African of Berber origin and Europeans) are also considered North Africans (although politically are Europeans, and linguistically, being Spanish, Hispanics). Most North African Americans are considered to be Arab Americans as well. Although according the 2000 census there 3,217 North African American, the number of people that indicated some North African specific origin exceeded with many this figure (the Marocco American, per example were more of 37.000 people in the same census). Currently, there more of 800,000 North African American between the differents North African American ethnics groups of 2008.
The first centuries of the North African American´s history is related with the Spanish colonial period from the South of current United States. Moroccan presence in the United States was rare until the mid-twentieth century. The first North Africa who came to the current United States was probably the Azemmouri or Estevanico´s slave, a Muslim Moroccan pilot boat of Berber origin, who participated in the Pánfilo de Narváez's ill-fated expedition to colonize Florida and the Gulf Coast in 1527. Only Azemmouri and three of his comrades survived during the eleven-year- long of journey, of 5,000 mile, from Florida to the West Coast, ending the tour in Texas. So, in 1534, them crossed the southern from United States until Arizona, being also, more later, one of four men who accompanied Marcos de Niza as a guide in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola, preceding Coronado.He was also the first explorer who entered an Indian village.
Later, in 1566, forty years before Jamestown, the Spanish founded the colony of Santa Elena, la Florida. The colony grew for over twenty years until it was invaded by the British in 1587. Many of the Santa Elena colonists were Moriscos and Jews. Ethnically, many of the Santa Elena colonists were Muslims of Berber origin and Sephardic Jews, recruited by the Portuguese Captain Joao Pardo in the thick Galician mountains of northern Portugal in 1567, i.e. less than a year before the climax of the Inquisition against Muslims. When Santa Elena fell, its inhabitants-including the converted Jews and Muslims-escaped into the mountains of North Carolina. And there survived, often marrying Native American, and then joining a second group that came to American shores, ironically in 1587, the same year that Santa Elena fell.
However, until the second half of the 20th century, most of the North African people who emigrated to the United States came, actually, from the Canary Islands, that politically belong to Spain. They came to some the Spanish colonies of South from United States with the objective to found and repopulate regions for Spain. In 1539, Hernando de Soto recruited some expeditionaries in this archipelago to explore La Florida, and in 1569 embarked another group of Canarian farmers (known in the Americas as Isleños) with this destination. During the 18th century other groups of Canarian people arrived to the present United States, and became established in several zones of the South of this country. Thus, in 1731 arrived 16 Canarian families to San Antonio (Texas), between 1757 to 1780, arrived more of 984 Canarian families to Florida (that, although they promoted the agriculture of this state, the most of the settlers of Florida emigrated to Cuba when Florida was sold to the UK in 1763, well as when, after being recovered by Spain, was ceded to the United States in 1819) and between 1778 and 1783 emigrated more of 2,000 Canarians to Louisiana. Thus, more than 3,000 canaries emigrated to the Spanish colonies in North America during the 18th century.
However they are Spanish politically. The continentals North Africans only began to emigrate to United States in significant numbers since the 1960s, most of them were Egyptian (that fled of his country when be developed a popular revolt and the change of system that it caused). Until this moment the continental North Africans that arrived to United States were very few, not reaching to 100 people in the first half of the 19th century. Many of emigrates North Africans were Jews during the first half of the 20th century. Many Moroccans, Algerians and Tunisians also began to arrive significantly in the 1970s.  While that the Sudanese not started arriving in significant numbers until the 1980s, in his majority to escape the civil war in his country.
The most of North African emigrate by economic reasons, religious persecutions, for get a better education in foreign universities or as political refugee fleeing or the Civil and political wars. All them were also the reasons of the emigration North African to United States.
North African Americans include Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, Mauritanian, Egyptian and Sudanese immigrants to the United States. The largest such communities live in New Jersey, New York, California, Washington DC and Texas. In California, most North Africans are established in around from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. In Texas, the communities are, mainly, in Dallas, Austin and Houston. There also important North African settlements in Michigan (specially in Detroit), Nebraska (Omaha), Florida (in cities as Miami, Orlando or Jacksonville), Illinois (Chicago) and Virginia (in cities as Alexandria). Also there Isleño communities in Texas, Louisiana and in Florida. While in the first two states, most of the Isleños are descended from Canarian settlers; in the third are recent immigrants and their descendants.
The ancestries of North African Americans are the next:
- Egyptian American: 190,078 (2010 census. In 2008 them were estimated in 800,000 - 2,000,000)
- Moroccan American: 82,073 (2010 Census)
- Isleño American: 45,000 - 75,000 (2000 statistics)
- Sudanese American: 42,249 (2010 Census)
- Libyan American: 9,000 (2010 Census)
- Algerian American: 8,752 (2000 Census)
- Tunisian American: 4,735 (2000 Census)
- Mauritanian American: 992 (2000 Census)
Culture and language
Most of North African Americans are Coptic Orthodox Christians (of Egyptian origin), Muslims (due to the Arabs conquest of the North of Africa in 7th century) and Catholic (Isleños). Although there is also a small minority of people with the Berber culture that according to the census of 2000, they were a 1327 people in the U.S. As well as also Jewish minorities originating mainly from Morocco and Egypt. Most of the Muslim are Sunnis.
Linguistically, the majority of North Africans in United States speak English, Arabic, Coptic, French (Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians and Mauritanians), Berber, Italian (Libyans) and Spanish (some Isleños).
While the Arabic language is shared by most North African people – although in their particular dialects such as Moroccan Arabic or Tunisian Arabic-, French and Italian are also often used among North Africans from the states that were colonies of France and Italy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Berber also is spoken mainly by many Moroccan (in fact, in Morocco, the people who speak Berber is, according various estimates, between 45% and 60% of the population) and Algerian (in Algeria represent between the 25% and the 45% of population) in United States. The majority of the Isleños speak English, but there still some people that speak a Canarian Spanish of the 18th century. The more recent Canarian immigrants; as they are Spanish, they speak Spanish.
Although some organizations created by North African Americans are directed to the Muslim community general (as Association of American Muslims, created by Egyptian groups), there also associations directed specifically to the North African community of United States. This is the case of the Maghreb Association of North America (MANA), an organization created by Moroccan and Algerian Americans in Chicago and that have as goal help new immigrants from North Africa to adapt to American life and maintain, also the basic principles that consists of Islam, particularly the basic principles of the Sunni branch. This organization is particularly directed to North African immigrants because they have not been associated closely with the Muslim people of Middle East. Therefore the North African come together as a unique community. In the mosque, the organization has taught to English language, a develop better skills job, the importance of Sirat al-Mustaqim and moderation, among other things. This organization also has taught to women to balance paid work with household chores. Another important organization is The Amazigh Cultural Association in America (ACAA), a non-profit organization established in the New Jersey state. This organization's goal is to promote the Amazigh (Berber) language and culture in the United States.
However, many organizations are also directed to specific groups as are the Egyptian American Businessmen's Association (in the Greenwich city, Connecticut), Algerian American Association of Houston, Egyptian American Physicians' Association, Egyptian American Professionals' Society (in Westchester County, New York), Friends of Morocco, Algerian American Association of Northern California, the New Sudan-American Hope (NSAH, founded in 1999 by a group of Sudanese from Rochester, Minnesota, to help Sudanese refugees in aspect such as language and skill), etc...
- Egyptian Americans by Mona Mikhail
- Se confirma la presencia de musulmanes hispanos en la América precolombina (in Spanish: It confirms the presence of Hispanic Muslims in pre-Columbian America)
- Martínez Laínez, Fernando; Canales, Carlos (2009). Banderas Lejanas: la Exploración, Conquista y Defensa por España del Territorio de los Actuales Estados Unidos (In Spanish: Far Flags: Exploration, conquest and Defence by Spain of the Territory of the United States Current). EDAF. ISBN 978-84-414-2119-6
- Hernández González, Manuel. La emigración canaria a América (Canary emigration to Americas). Pages 43 (about the Canarian emigration of Texas and Florida), page 51(about the Canarian emigration to Louisiana). First Edition January, 2007
- Evertculture:Morocco American. Posted by Elizabeth Shostak
- Olivia Miller (November 26, 2008). "A Countries and Their Cultures: Algerian Americans". Countries and their cultures. Retrieved May 22–26, 2010.
- Health and Health-Related Factors of Sudanese
- "Total ancestry categories tallied for people with one or more ancestry categories reported 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "B04003. TOTAL ANCESTRY REPORTED". 2008 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- Stephen R. Porter (December 26, 2005). "Algerians.". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
- New Sudan American Hope. Retrieved november 30, 2011, to 0:43 pm.