The African diaspora consists of the worldwide collection of communities descended from native sub-Saharan Africans or people from sub-Saharan Africa, predominantly in the Americas. The diaspora has continued for millennia, but historically,[when?] ethnographers, historians, politicians and writers have used the term particularly to refer to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries, with their largest populations in Brazil, the United States and Haiti. Some[quantify] scholars identify "four circulatory phases" of this migration out of Africa. The phrase African diaspora gradually entered common usage at the turn of the 21st century. The term diaspora originates from the Greek διασπορά (diaspora, literally "scattering") which gained popularity in English in reference to the Jewish diaspora before being more broadly applied to other populations.
Less commonly, the term has been used in scholarship to refer to more recent emigration from sub-Saharan Africa. The African Union (AU) defines the African diaspora as consisting: "of people of native African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union". Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union".
Dispersal through slave trade
Much of the African diaspora became dispersed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia during the Atlantic and Arab slave trades. Beginning in the 8th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the African continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African slaves from West Africa and brought them to the Americas and to Europe. The Atlantic Slave Trade ended in the 19th century, and the Arab Slave Trade ended in the middle of the 20th century (although pockets of slavery still exist into the 21st century, such as the Haratin in Mauritania). The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history. The economic effect on the African continent proved devastating, as generations of young people were taken from their communities and societies were disrupted. Some communities formed by descendants of African slaves in the Americas, Europe, and Asia have survived to the present day. In other cases, blacks intermarried with non-blacks, and their descendants blended into the local population.
In the Americas, the confluence of multiple ethnic groups from around the world contributed to multi-ethnic societies. In Central and South America, most people are descended from European, Amerindian, and African ancestry. In Brazil, where in 1888 nearly half the population descended from African slaves, the variation of physical characteristics extends across a broad range. In the United States, there was historically a greater European colonial population in relation to African slaves, especially in the Northern Tier. There was considerable racial intermarriage in colonial Virginia, and other forms of racial mixing during the slavery and post-Civil War years. Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws passed after the 1863–1877 Reconstruction era in the South in the late-19th century, plus waves of vastly increased immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, maintained much distinction between racial groups. In the early-20th century, to institutionalize racial segregation, most southern states adopted the "one drop rule", which defined and recorded anyone with any discernible African ancestry as "black", even those of obvious majority-white or of majority-Native-American ancestry. One of the results of this implementation was the loss of records of Native-identified groups, who were classified only as black because of being mixed-race.
Dispersal through voluntary migration
See Emigration from Africa for a general treatment of voluntary population movements since the late 20th century.
From the very onset of Spanish exploration and colonial activities in the Americas, Africans participated both as voluntary expeditionaries and as slave laborers. Juan Garrido was such an African conquistador. He crossed the Atlantic as a freedman in the 1510s and participated in the siege of Tenochtitlan. Africans had been present in Asia and Europe long before Columbus's travels. Beginning in the late 20th century, Africans began to emigrate to Europe and the Americas in increasing numbers, constituting new African diaspora communities not directly connected with the slave trade.
Concepts and definitions
The African Union defined the African diaspora as "[consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union." Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union."
Between 1500 and 1900, approximately four million enslaved Africans were transported to island plantations in the Indian Ocean, about eight million were shipped to Mediterranean-area countries, and about eleven million survived the Middle Passage to the New World. Their descendants are now found around the globe, but because of intermarriage they are not necessarily readily identifiable.
Social and political
Many scholars have challenged conventional views of the African diaspora as a mere dispersion of black people. For them, it is a movement of liberation that opposes the implications of racialization. Their position assumes that Africans and their descendants abroad struggle to reclaim power over their lives through voluntary migration, cultural production and political conceptions and practices. It also implies the presence of cultures of resistance with similar objectives throughout the global diaspora. Thinkers like W. E. B. Dubois and more recently Robin Kelley, for example, have argued that black politics of survival reveal more about the meaning of the African diaspora than labels of ethnicity and race, and degrees of skin hue. From this view, the daily struggle against what they call the "world-historical processes" of racial colonization, capitalism, and Western domination defines blacks' links to Africa.
African diaspora and modernity
In the last decades, studies on the African diaspora have shown an interest in the roles that blacks played in bringing about modernity. This trend also opposes the traditional eurocentric perspective that has dominated history books showing Africans and its diasporans as primitive victims of slavery, and without historical agency. According to historian Patrick Manning, blacks toiled at the center of forces that created the modern world. Paul Gilroy describes the suppression of blackness due to imagined and created ideals of nations as "cultural insiderism." Cultural insiderism is used by nations to separate deserving and undeserving groups and requires a "sense of ethnic difference" as mentioned in his book The Black Atlantic. Recognizing their contributions offers a comprehensive appreciation of global history.
Richard Iton's view of diaspora
The late cultural and political theorist Richard Iton suggested that diaspora be understood as a "culture of dislocation." For Iton, the traditional approach to the African diaspora focuses on the ruptures associated with the Atlantic slave trade and Middle Passage, notions of dispersal, and "the cycle of retaining, redeeming, refusing, and retrieving 'Africa.'":199 This conventional framework for analyzing the diaspora is dangerous, according to Iton, because it presumes that diaspora exists outside of Africa, thus simultaneously disowning and desiring Africa. Further, Iton suggests a new starting principle for the use of diaspora: "the impossibility of settlement that correlates throughout the modern period with the cluster of disturbances that trouble not only the physically dispersed but those moved without traveling.":199–200 Iton adds that this impossibility of settlement—this "modern matrix of strange spaces—outside the state but within the empire,"—renders notions of black citizenship fanciful, and in fact, "undesirable." Iton argues that we citizenship, a state of statelessness thereby deconstructing colonial sites and narratives in an effort to "de-link geography and power," putting "all space into play" (emphasis added):199–200 For Iton, diaspora's potential is represented by a "rediscursive albeit agonistic field of play that might denaturalize the hegemonic representations of modernity as unencumbered and self-generating and bring into clear view its repressed, colonial subscript".:201
In the eighth chapter of her book Rihanna Barbados World-Gurl in Global Popular Culture Heather Russell describes diasporic citizenship as an identity where you “simultaneously negotiate the entailments of civic responsibility, public discourse, nostalgia, nationhood, belonging and migration, transnational cultural affiliations and shifting/fluid subject positionalities across material and symbolic boundaries” Musical artists are prime figures to be appraised with this theory due to their acclaim bringing them public discourse and their music bringing cultural affiliations. As such, for musicians who reach this level of transnational stardom and music production, they have to balance their relationship to their identity and their home with the transnational populations they engage with through their music, performance and public image.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a global superstar whose music transcends national borders and as such is a perfect case for the diaspora citizen framework. She is one of the few black women to achieve this level of global success and gain diasporic citizenship that forces her to balance her identities with her relationship to her diverse viewership. While Rihanna is by no means the first artist, or even the first black female artist to reach this level of stardom, unlike her peers her diasporic citizenship is characterized by her Caribbean identity. In her book, Russel further describes Rihanna's diasporic citizenship by saying:
“Rihanna must navigate inevitably conflicting, contesting and reinforcing sites of national and transnational belongings. In other words, she is a Barbadian citizen shining in a US-global sphere within which most citizens can hardly find Barbados on the map. She is a hugely commercially successful artist operating in a popular-cultural market dictated by US global musical tastes. At the same time, Rihanna is Barbados's honorary ambassador of youth and culture and has signed a multi-year deal to promote Barbados for the Barbados Tourism Authority. Moreover, local discussions surrounding Barbadian national pride, Victorian notions of female propriety and Christian ideas about decency which Rihanna's emergence and ascendancy have provoked, continue to capture the Barbadian public's imaginations and dominate the opinions expressed in their newspaper columns and call-in programmes”
The diaspora citizen theory allows us to better understand the complexities associated with stars like Rihanna whose cultural influence has transcended national borders and created a complex relationship between the artist and the various cultural regions they are associated with.
Populations and estimated distribution
African diaspora populations include but are not limited to:
- African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Latin Americans, Black Canadians – descendants of enslaved West Africans brought to the United States, the Caribbean, and South America during the Atlantic slave trade.
- Zanj – descendants of Zanj slaves whose ancestors were brought to the Near East and other parts of Asia during the Arab slave trade.
- Siddis – descendants of Zanj slaves whose ancestors were brought to the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan and India). Also referred to as the Makrani in Pakistan.
|Continent or region||Country population||Afro-descendants|| African and African-mixed population|
|Haiti||10,646,714||95%||10,114,378 + 532,335|
|Dominican Republic||10,090,000||84% (72.9% Mixed + 11% Black)||1,109,900 + 7,365,700|
|Cuba||11,116,396||35.9%||1,003,825 + 2,956,961|
|Jamaica||2,812,090||92.1%||2,663,614 + 176,417|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1,215,527||34.2%||415,710|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||118,432||85%||100,667|
|US Virgin Islands||108,210||80%||86,243|
|Dominica||71,293||96% (87% Black + 9% Mixed)||61,882 + 9,411|
|Antigua and Barbuda||78,000||95%||63,000|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||39,619||98%||38,827|
|British Virgin Islands||24,004||83%||19,923|
|Turks and Caicos islands|
|Colombia||45,925,397||10.6% (inc. mulattoes, palenqueros and other groups)||4,944,400|
|France||62,752,136||8% (inc. overseas territories)||Approximately 3.3–5.5 millions (5–8% of the French population); it is illegal for the French State to collect data on ethnicity and race.|
|United Kingdom||60,609,153||3% (inc. partial)||2,015,400|
|Hong Kong||7,200,000||<1%||< 20,000|
Largest African diaspora populations
|Brazil||55,900,000||including multiracial people, 6.84% (black) + 20.6% (mulatto pardos)|
|United States||46,350,467||including people citing both black and another race|
|Dominican Republic||7,985,991||Including multiracial population, 11% (black) + 72.9% (Multiracial / Mulatto)|
|France||Approximately 5.5 millions (8% of the French population);|
|United Kingdom||2,497,373||including mixed people (White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African)|
|Trinidad and Tobago||607,472|
|Puerto Rico||395,444|| (est. 2020)|
Autosomal genetic studies and the African contribution to Brazil
African ancestry has contributed to the formation of Brazil, along with European and Amerindian ancestries.
A 2015 autosomal genetic study, which also analysed data of 25 studies of 38 different Brazilian populations concluded that: European ancestry accounts for 62% of the heritage of the population, followed by the African (21%) and the Native American (17%). The European contribution is highest in Southern Brazil (77%), the African highest in Northeast Brazil (27%) and the Native American is the highest in Northern Brazil (32%).
An autosomal study from 2013, with nearly 1300 samples from all of the Brazilian regions, found a pedigree of European ancestry combined with African and Native American contributions. "Following an increasing North to South gradient, European ancestry was the most prevalent in all urban populations (with values up to 74%). The populations in the North consisted of a significant proportion of Native American ancestry that was about two times higher than the African contribution. Conversely, in the Northeast, Center-West and Southeast, African ancestry was the second most prevalent. At an intrapopulation level, all urban populations were highly mixed, stemming from the large mixed ancestry population rather than a heterogenous distribution of groups of individuals with single ethnic ancestry. "
A 2011 autosomal DNA study, with nearly 1000 samples from all over the country ("whites", "pardos" and "blacks"), found out a major European contribution, followed by a high African contribution and an important Native American component. "In all regions studied, the European ancestry was predominant, with proportions ranging from 60.6% in the Northeast to 77.7% in the South". The 2011 autosomal study samples came from blood donors (the lowest classes constitute the great majority of blood donors in Brazil ), and also public health institutions personnel and health students. The study showed that Brazilians from different regions are more homogenous than previously thought by some based on the census alone. "Brazilian homogeneity is, therefore, a lot greater between Brazilian regions than within Brazilians region".
|Northeast of Brazil||60%||29%||9%|
According to an autosomal DNA study from 2010, "a new portrayal of each ethnicity contribution to the DNA of Brazilians, obtained with samples from the five regions of the country, has indicated that, on average, European ancestors are responsible for nearly 80% of the genetic heritage of the population. The variation between the regions is small, with the possible exception of the South, where the European contribution reaches nearly 90%. The results, published by the scientific magazine American Journal of Human Biology by a team of the Catholic University of Brasília, show that, in Brazil, physical indicators such as skin colour, colour of the eyes and colour of the hair have little to do with the genetic ancestry of each person, which has been shown in previous studies (regardless of census classification). "Ancestry informative SNPs can be useful to estimate individual and population biogeographical ancestry. Brazilian population is characterized by a genetic background of three parental populations (European, African, and Brazilian Native Amerindians) with a wide degree and diverse patterns of admixture. In this work we analyzed the information content of 28 ancestry-informative SNPs into multiplexed panels using three parental population sources (African, Amerindian, and European) to infer the genetic admixture in an urban sample of the five Brazilian geopolitical regions. The SNPs assigned apart the parental populations from each other and thus can be applied for ancestry estimation in a three hybrid admixed population. Data was used to infer genetic ancestry in Brazilians with an admixture model. Pairwise estimates of F(st) among the five Brazilian geopolitical regions suggested little genetic differentiation only between the South and the remaining regions. Estimates of ancestry results are consistent with the heterogeneous genetic profile of Brazilian population, with a major contribution of European ancestry (0.771) followed by African (0.143) and Amerindian contributions (0.085). The described multiplexed SNP panels can be useful tool for bioanthropological studies but it can be mainly valuable to control for spurious results in genetic association studies in admixed populations". It is important to note that "the samples came from free of charge paternity test takers, thus as the researchers made it explicit: "the paternity tests were free of charge, the population samples involved people of variable socioeconomic strata, although likely to be leaning slightly towards the "pardo" group".
An autosomal DNA study from 2009 found a similar profile "all the Brazilian samples (regions) lie more closely to the European group than to the African populations or to the Mestizos from Mexico".
According to another autosomal DNA study from 2008, by the University of Brasília (UnB), European ancestry dominates in the whole of Brazil (in all regions), accounting for 66% of the heritage of the population, followed by the African contribution (25%) and the Native American (9%).
- African Americans – There are an estimated 43 million people of black African descent in the United States.
- Afro-South Americans – There are an estimated 100 million people of African descent living in Latin America, including 67 million in South America, making up 28% of Brazil's population, if including multiracial mulatto pardo Brazilians. Many also have European and Amerindian ancestry, and are also known as pardo, or mixed race. Brazilians who identify as "black" are mixed to a significant degree, and many of them have a majority of European DNA. There are also sizeable African-descended populations in Cuba, Haiti, Colombia and Dominican Republic, often with ancestry of other major ethnic groups.
- Afro-Caribbeans – The population in the Caribbean is approximately 23 million. Significant numbers of African-descended people include Haiti – 8 million, Dominican Republic – 7.9 million, and Jamaica – 2.7 million,
The archipelagos and islands of the Caribbean were the first sites of African dispersal in the western Atlantic during the post-Columbian era. Specifically, in 1492, Pedro Alonso Niño, a black Spanish seafarer, piloted one of Columbus's ships. He returned in 1499, but did not settle. In the early 16th century, more Africans began to enter the population of the Spanish Caribbean colonies, sometimes as freedmen, but most often as enslaved servants and workers. Demand for African labour increased in the Caribbean because of the massive deaths among the Taíno and other indigenous populations, resulting primarily from Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, as well as conflict with the Spanish, and harsh working conditions. By the mid-16th century, slave trade from Africa to the Caribbean was so profitable that the Englishmen Francis Drake and John Hawkins engaged in piracy and violated Spanish colonial laws, in order to forcibly transport approximately 1500 enslaved people from Sierra Leone to Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic).
During the 17th and 18th centuries, European colonialism in the Caribbean became increasingly reliant on plantation slavery, so that, by the end of the 18th century, on many islands, enslaved Afro-Caribbeans far outnumbered their European masters. A total of 1,840,000 slaves arrived at other British colonies, chiefly the West Indies in the Caribbean.
Beginning in the late 18th century, harsh conditions, constant inter-imperial warfare, and growing human rights goals resulted in the Haitian Revolution in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, led by Toussaint L'Ouverture and Jean Jacques Dessalines. In 1804, Haiti, with what had been an overwhelmingly black slave population and leadership, became the second nation in the Americas to win independence from a European state and create a republic. Continuous waves of rebellion, such as the Baptist War led by Sam Sharpe in Jamaica, created the conditions for the incremental abolition of slavery in the region, with Great Britain abolishing it in 1838. Cuba (under the Spanish Crown) was the last island to emancipate its slaves.
During the 20th century, Afro-Caribbean people began to assert their cultural, economic and political rights on the world stage. The Jamaican Marcus Garvey formed the UNIA movement in the United States, continuing with Aimé Césaire's négritude movement, which was intended to create a pan-African movement across national lines. From the 1960s, the former slave populations in the Caribbean began to win their independence from British colonial rule. They were pre-eminent in creating new cultural forms such as calypso, reggae music, and rastafarianism within the Caribbean. Beyond the region, a new Afro-Caribbean diaspora, including such figures as Stokely Carmichael and DJ Kool Herc in the United States, was influential in the creation of the black power and hip hop movements. Influential political theorists such as Walter Rodney, Frantz Fanon and Stuart Hall contributed to anti-colonial theory and movements in Africa, as well as cultural developments in Europe.
Several migration waves to the Americas, as well as relocations within the Americas, have brought people of African descent to North America. According to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the first African populations came to North America in the 16th century via Mexico and the Caribbean to the Spanish colonies of Florida, Texas and other parts of the South. Out of the 12 million people from Africa who were shipped to the Americas during the transatlantic slave trade, 645,000 were shipped to the British colonies on the North American mainland and the United States. In 2000, African Americans comprised 12.1 percent of the total population in the United States, constituting the largest racial minority group. The African-American population is concentrated in the southern states and urban areas.
In the establishment of the African diaspora, the transatlantic slave trade is often considered the defining element, but people of African descent have engaged in eleven other migration movements involving North America since the 16th century, many being voluntary migrations, although undertaken in exploitative and hostile environments.
In the 1860s, people from sub-Saharan Africa, mainly from West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands, started to arrive in a voluntary immigration wave to seek employment as whalers in Massachusetts. This migration continued until restrictive laws were enacted in 1921 that in effect closed the door on non-Europeans. By that time, men of African ancestry were already a majority in New England’s whaling industry, with African Americans working as sailors, blacksmiths, shipbuilders, officers, and owners. The internationalism of whaling crews, including the character Daggoo, an African harpooneer, is recorded in the 1851 novel Moby-Dick. They eventually took their trade to California.
Today 1.7 million people in the United States are descended from voluntary immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, most of whom arrived in the late twentieth century. African immigrants represent 6 percent of all immigrants to the United States and almost 5 percent of the African-American community nationwide. About 57 percent immigrated between 1990 and 2000. Immigrants born in Africa constitute 1.6 percent of the black population. People of the African immigrant diaspora are the most educated population group in the United States—50 percent have bachelor's or advanced degrees, compared to 23 percent of native-born Americans. The largest African immigrant communities in the United States are in New York, followed by California, Texas, and Maryland.
Due to the legacy of slavery in British America, the average African American has a significant European component to his DNA. According to a study conducted in 2011, the African American DNA consists on average of 73.2% West African, 24% European and 0.8% Native American DNA. The European ancestry of African Americans is largely patrilineal with an estimated 19% of African American ancestors being European males, and 5% being European females. The mixing event occurred before 1860, and likely took place during the British colonial period in the Southern United States.
The states with the highest percentages of people of African descent are Mississippi (36%), and Louisiana (33%). While not a state, the population of the District of Columbia is more than 50% black. Recent African immigrants represent a minority of blacks nationwide. The U.S. Bureau of the Census categorizes the population by race based on self-identification. The census surveys have no provision for a "multiracial" or "biracial" self-identity, but since 2000, respondents may check off more than one box and claim multiple ethnicity that way.
Much of the earliest black presence in Canada came from the newly independent United States after the American Revolution; the British resettled African Americans (known as Black Loyalists) primarily in Nova Scotia. These were primarily former slaves who had escaped to British lines for promised freedom during the Revolution.
Later during the antebellum years, other individual African Americans escaped to Canada, mostly to locations in Southwestern Ontario, via the Underground Railroad, a system supported by both blacks and whites to assist fugitive slaves. After achieving independence, northern states in the U.S. had begun to abolish slavery as early as 1793, but slavery was not abolished in the South until 1865, following the American Civil War.
Black immigration to Canada in the twentieth century consisted mostly of Caribbean descent. As a result of the prominence of Caribbean immigration, the term "African Canadian", while sometimes used to refer to the minority of Canadian blacks who have direct African or African-American heritage, is not normally used to denote black Canadians. Blacks of Caribbean origin are usually denoted as "West Indian Canadian", "Caribbean Canadian" or more rarely "Afro-Caribbean Canadian", but there remains no widely used alternative to "Black Canadian" which is considered inclusive of the African, Afro-Caribbean, and African-American black communities in Canada.
Central America and South America
At an intermediate level, in South America and in the former plantations in and around the Indian Ocean, descendants of enslaved people are a bit harder to define because many people are mixed in demographic proportion to the original slave population. In places that imported relatively few slaves (like Chile), few if any are considered "black" today. In places that imported many enslaved people (like Brazil or Dominican Republic), the number is larger, though most identify themselves as being of mixed, rather than strictly African, ancestry. Behind America, Brazil has the largest population of black diasporic people outside of Africa. However, in places like Brazil and the Dominican Republic, blackness is performed in more taboo ways than it is in, say, the United States. The idea behind Trey Ellis Cultural Mulatto comes into play as there are blurred lines between what is considered as black.
In Colombia, the African slaves were first brought to work in the gold mines of the Department of Antioquia. After this was no longer a profitable business, these slaves slowly moved to the Pacific coast, where they have remained unmixed with the white or Indian population until today. The whole Department of Chocó remains a black area. Mixture with white population happened mainly in the Caribbean coast, which is a mestizo area until today. There was also a greater mixture in the south-western departments of Cauca and Valle del Cauca. In these mestizo areas the African culture has had a great influence.
Some European countries make it illegal to collect demographic census information based on ethnicity or ancestry (e.g. France), but some others do query along racial lines (e.g. the UK). Of 42 countries surveyed by a European Commission against Racism and Intolerance study in 2007, it was found that 29 collected official statistics on country of birth, 37 on citizenship, 24 on religion, 26 on language, 6 on country of birth of parents, and 22 on nationality or ethnicity.
Estimates of 2 to 3 million of African descent, although one quarter of the Afro-French population live in overseas territories. This number is difficult to estimate because the French census does not use race as a category for ideological reasons.
There are an estimated 500,000 black people in the Netherlands and the Dutch Antilles. They mainly live in the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Saint Martin, the latter of which is also partly French-controlled. Many Afro-Dutch people reside in the Netherlands.
As of 2005, there were approximately 500,000 Afro-Germans (not including those of mixed ethnicity). This number is difficult to estimate because the German census does not use race as a category.
Some blacks of unknown origin once inhabited southern Abkhazia; today, they have been assimilated into the Abkhaz population.
The first blacks in Russia were the result of the slave trade of the Ottoman Empire and their descendants still live on the coasts of the Black Sea. Czar Peter the Great was advised by his friend Lefort to bring in Africans to Russia for hard labor. Alexander Pushkin's great grandfather was the African princeling Abram Petrovich Gannibal, who became Peter's protégé, was educated as a military engineer in France, and eventually became general-en-chef, responsible for the building of sea forts and canals in Russia.
During the 1930s fifteen Black American families moved to the Soviet Union as agricultural experts. As African states became independent in the 1960s, the Soviet Union offered their citizens the chance to study in Russia; over 40 years, 400,000 African students came, and some settled there.
Afro Turks are people of Zanj (Bantu) descent in Turkey. Like the Afro-Abkhazians, they trace their origin to the Ottoman slave trade. Beginning several centuries ago, a number of Africans, usually via Zanzibar as Zanj and from places such as Niger, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Kenya and Sudan, came to the Ottoman Empire settled by the Dalaman, Menderes and Gediz valleys, Manavgat, and Çukurova. African quarters of 19th-century İzmir, including Sabırtaşı, Dolapkuyu, Tamaşalık, İkiçeşmelik, and Ballıkuyu, are mentioned in contemporary records.
Indian and Pacific Oceans
There are a number of communities in South Asia that are descended from African slaves, traders or soldiers. These communities are the Siddi, Sheedi, Makrani and Sri Lanka Kaffirs. In some cases, they became very prominent, such as Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut, Hoshu Sheedi or the rulers of Janjira State. The Mauritian creole people are the descendants of African slaves similar to those in the Americas.
Some Pan-Africanists also consider other peoples as diasporic African peoples. These groups include, among others, Negritos, such as in the case of the peoples of the Malay Peninsula (Orang Asli); New Guinea (Papuans); Andamanese; certain peoples of the Indian subcontinent, and the aboriginal peoples of Melanesia and Micronesia. Most of these claims are rejected by mainstream ethnologists as pseudoscience and pseudoanthropology, as part of ideologically motivated Afrocentrist irredentism, touted primarily among some extremist elements in the United States who do not reflect on the mainstream African-American community. Mainstream anthropologists determine that the Andamanese and others are part of a network of authothonous ethnic groups present in South Asia that trace their genetic ancestry to a migratory sequence that culminated in the Australian Aboriginals rather than from Africa directly. Genetic testing has shown the Andamani to belong to the Y-Chromosome Haplogroup D-M174, which is in common with Australian Aboriginals and the Ainu people of Japan rather than the actual African diaspora.
Aksumite settlers in Himyar
The Kingdom of Aksum was an ancient empire in what is now northern Ethiopia. There were four invasions and subsequent settlements of Aksumites in Himyar, located across the Red Sea in modern-day Yemen. These invasions and settlements led to one of the first large-scale African diasporas in the ancient world.
In 517 AD, the Himyarite king Ma’adikarib was overthrown by Dhu Nuwas, a Jewish leader who began persecuting Christians and confiscating trade goods between Aksum and the Byzantine Empire, both of which were Christian nations. A man identified as Bishop Thomas journeyed to Aksum to report on the persecution of Christians in Himyar to the Aksumite Kingdom. As a result, the Aksumite king Ahayawa invaded Himyar. Dhu Nuwas fled this first invasion, and at least 580 Aksumite soldiers remained in Himyar. Himyarites who opposed Aksumite settlement united under Dhu Nuwas, and the formerly expelled king traveled back to kill the Aksumite soldiers and continue the oppression of Christians, forcing some settlers back into Aksum.
In response to Dhu Nuwas’s Christian persecution, the new Aksumite king Kaleb first sent a group of Himyarite refugees in his Aksumite kingdom back into Himyar to stir up underground resistance against Dhu Nuwas. These discontented Himyarites then united under nobleman Sumyafa Ashwa. Kaleb successfully invaded Himyar with an Aksumite army in 525 and installed Sumyafa Ashwa to rule.  More Aksumite soldiers remained in Himyar to claim land. The Byzantine ruler Justinian learned of this development and sent an ambassador, Julianus, to ally Aksum and Himyar with the Byzantine Empire against Persia. The overtures made by the Byzantine Empire to influence Himyar demonstrate that the Aksumite settlers in Himyar, due to their sustained residence and political organization, constituted a “stable community in exile,” which historian Carlton Wilson deems a necessary condition to classify a settlement as a diaspora. Justinian had two wishes for this proposed alliance: first, for Aksum to purchase and distribute Indian silk to the Byzantine Empire to undermine Persia economically, and second, for Aksum-ruled Himyar to invade Persia, led by the general Caisus. Both of these plans failed, as Persia’s proximity to India made the interruption of their silk trade impossible, and neither Himyar nor Aksum saw value in attacking an adversary that was both stronger and far too distant. Caisus was also responsible for killing a relative of Sumyafa Ashwa’s, making Aksumites unwilling to go into battle under him.
A third invasion was prompted by a rebellion of Aksumite soldiers between 532 and 535, led by the former slave and Aksumite commander Abreha, against Sumyafa Ashwa. Kaleb sent 3,000 soldiers to quell this rebellion, led by one of his relatives, but these soldiers joined Abreha’s rebellion upon arrival and killed Kaleb’s relative. Kaleb sent reinforcements in another attempt to end the rebellion, but his soldiers were defeated and forced to turn around. Following Kaleb’s death, Abreha paid tribute to Aksum to reinforce Himyar’s independence. The new Himyarite nation consisted of several thousand Aksumite emigrants, serving as one of the earliest examples of a large-scale movement of tropical Africans outside of the continent. Just a century later, Aksum’s relationship to this southwestern part of the Arabian peninsula would be pivotal to the introduction of Islam at Mecca and Yathrib (Medina), as evidenced by the naming of Bilal, an Ethiopian, as the first muezzin, and the flight of some of Muhammad's earliest followers from Mecca to Askum.
Music and the African diaspora
Although fragmented and separated by land and water, the African Diaspora maintains connection through the use of music. This link between the various sects of the African Diaspora is termed by Paul Gilroy as The Black Atlantic. The Black Atlantic is possible because black people have a shared history rooted in oppression that is displayed in Black genres such as rap and reggae. The linkages within the black diaspora formulated through music allows consumers of music and artists to pull from different cultures to combine and create a conglomerate of experiences that reaches across the world.
Spending Power in the African diaspora
African Diasporan spending power is estimated to be in excess of $2 Trillion USD
- African Australians
- African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter
- African immigration to Europe
- Afro-Latin Americans
- Black-brown unity
- Emigration from Africa
- List of topics related to the African diaspora
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- Olaniyan, Tejumola; Sweet, James H (2010). The African Diaspora and the Disciplines. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-35464-8.
- Olliz-Boyd, Antonio (2010). The Latin American Identity and the African Diaspora: Ethnogenesis in Context. Cambria Press. ISBN 978-1-60497-704-2.
- Wisdom, Tettey; Puplampu, Korbla P (2005). The African Diaspora in Canada: negotiating identity & belonging. University of Calgary Press. ISBN 978-1-55238-175-5.
- "The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World", Omar H. Ali, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- The History of Black People in Britain
- "Museum of the African Diaspora", Online exhibits and other resources from the San Francisco-based museum.
- The African Diaspora Policy Centre (ADPC)
- The Last African Slaves