|(c. 30 million)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Dominican Republic||8.1 million|
|United States||2.88 million|
|Trinidad and Tobago||452,536 |
|U.S. Virgin Islands||79,000|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||38,827|
Jamaican, Trinidadian, Tobagonian, Bahamian, Guyanese, Bajan, Grenadian, Belizean, Saint Kitts, Vincentian, Sranan Tongo
other West African languages
|Related ethnic groups|
|Afro-Central American, Liberian, Americo-Liberian|
Afro-Caribbeans are Caribbean people who trace at least some of their ancestry to West Africa in the period since Christopher Columbus's arrival in the region in 1492. Other names for this ethnicity include African-Caribbean (especially preferred among the United Kingdom branch of the diaspora), Afro-Antillean, or Afro-West Indian. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, European-led triangular trade brought enslaved West African people to work on Caribbean islands, primarily on various sugar plantations and in domestic households. Many Afro-Caribbeans also have non-African ancestry, such as European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American, as there has been extensive intermarriage and unions among the peoples over the centuries.
Although most Afro-Caribbean people today live in French, English, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations, there are also significant diaspora populations throughout the Western world – especially in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Both the home and diaspora populations have produced a number of individuals who have had a notable influence on modern Western, Caribbean, and African societies; they include political activists such as Marcus Garvey and C.L.R. James; writers and theorists such as Aime Cesaire and Frantz Fanon; US military leader and statesman Colin Powell, whose parents were immigrants; and Jamaican musician Bob Marley.
During the post-Columbian era, the archipelagos and islands of the Caribbean were the first sites of African diaspora dispersal in the western Atlantic. Specifically, in 1492, Pedro Alonso Niño, an African-Spanish seafarer, was recorded as piloting 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 arriving as free men of mixed ancestry or as indentured servants, but increasingly as enslaved workers and servants. This increasing demand for African labour in the Caribbean was in part the result of massive depopulation of the native Taino and other indigenous peoples caused by the new infectious diseases, harsh conditions, and warfare brought by European colonists. By the mid-16th century, the slave trade from West Africa to the Caribbean was so profitable that Francis Drake and John Hawkins were prepared to engage in piracy as well as break Spanish colonial laws, in order to forcibly transport approximately 1500 enslaved people from Sierra Leone to San Domingo (modern-day Haiti and Dominican Republic).
During the 17th and 18th centuries, European colonial development in the Caribbean became increasingly reliant on plantation slavery to cultivate and process the lucrative commodity crop of sugarcane. On many islands shortly before the end of the 18th century, the enslaved Afro-Caribbeans greatly outnumbered their European masters. In addition, there developed a class of free people of color, especially in the French islands, where persons of mixed race were given certain rights. On Saint-Domingue, free people of color and slaves rebelled against harsh conditions, and constant inter-imperial warfare. Inspired by French revolutionary sentiments that at one point freed the slaves, Toussaint L'Ouverture and Jean Jacques Dessalines led the Haitian Revolution that gained the independence of Haiti in 1804, the first Afro-Caribbean republic in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1804, Haiti, with its overwhelmingly African population and leadership, became the second nation in the Americas to win independence from a European state. During the 19th century, 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 by various colonial powers. Great Britain abolished slavery in its holdings in 1834. Cuba was the last island to be emancipated, when Spain abolished slavery in its colonies.
During the 20th century, Afro-Caribbean people, who were a majority in many Caribbean societies, began to assert their cultural, economic, and political rights with more vigor on the world stage. Marcus Garvey was among many influential immigrants to the United States from Jamaica, expanding his UNIA movement in New York City and the U.S. Afro-Caribbeans were influential in the Harlem Renaissance as artists and writers. Aimé Césaire developed a négritude movement.
In the 1960s, the West Indian territories won their independence from British colonial rule. They were pre-eminent in creating new cultural forms such as reggae music, calypso and rastafarianism within the Caribbean. Beyond the region, a developing Afro-Caribbean diaspora, including such figures as Stokely Carmichael and DJ Kool Herc, was influential in the development of the Black Power and hip-hop movements in the United States of the 1960s and the following years. African-Caribbean individuals also contributed to cultural developments in Europe, as evidenced by influential theorists such as Frantz Fanon and Stuart Hall.
List of notable African-Caribbean figures
- Lynden Pindling - Bahamian politician, and first Prime minister of the Bahamas
- Hubert Ingraham - Bahamian, politician and lawyer.
- Perry Christie - Bahamian, politician and lawyer.
- Joseph Robert Love - Bahamian-born, medical doctor and Jamaican politician and political activist who influenced Marcus Garvey
- John Compton - Saint Lucia, politician and Lawyer.
- Sir Grantley Adams — Barbados, politician and lawyer; the first and only Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation (1958-1962)
- Jean-Bertrand Aristide — politician, priest and head of state, Haiti
- Dean Barrow — head of government, Belize
- Maurice Bishop — Grenada, revolutionary leader
- Paul Bogle — Jamaica, political activist
- Juan Almeida Bosque — Cuban revolutionary and politician
- Dutty Boukman — Jamaican and Haitian freedom fighter
- Forbes Burnham — Guyana, head of government
- Bussa — Barbados, freedom fighter
- Stokely Carmichael — Trinidad-born, civil rights activist and leader in the US
- Mary Eugenia Charles — Dominican head of government
- Henri Christophe — Haiti, revolutionary, general and head of state
- Jean-Jacques Dessalines — Haiti (est. 1804), revolutionary, general and first head of state of independent Haiti
- Papa Doc Duvalier — dictator of Haiti, 20th century
- Marcus Garvey — Jamaica, politician and writer, founder of UNIA and active in US politics from 1916-1927
- Philip Goldson — Belize, politician
- Sam Hinds — Guyana, head of government
- Toussaint L'Ouverture — Saint-Domingue, revolutionary, general and governor
- Antonio Maceo Grajales — Cuban revolutionary and general
- Michael Manley — Jamaica, politician
- Nanny of the Maroons — Jamaica, freedom fighter
- Samuel Jackman Prescod — Barbados, first elected Afro-Caribbean politician in the House of Assembly
- Sam Sharpe — Jamaica, freedom fighter
- Solitude — Guadeloupe, freedom fighter
- Eric Eustace Williams — Trinidad and Tobago politician, writer and head of government
- Science and philosophy
- W. Arthur Lewis - Saint Lucia, Economist and Nobel Prize Winner
- Pedro Alonso Niño — Afro-Spanish explorer
- Frantz Fanon — Martinique, writer, psychiatrist and freedom fighter
- Stuart Hall — Jamaican philosopher
- C. L. R. James — Trinidad and Tobago activist and writer
- Arlie Petters — Belizean mathematician
- Walter Rodney — Guyanese activist and writer
- Mary Seacole — Jamaican hospital director
- Arts, sports and culture
- Kimbo Slice - Bahamian boxer and MMA fighter
- Shaunae Miller - Bahamian, 400m and 200m runner
- Buddy Hield - Bahamian born, NBA player drafted to the New Orleans Pelicans
- Darren Sammy - Saint Lucia, Cricketer
- Rihanna — Barbados, composer and singer
- Nicki Minaj — Trinidad, rapper and singer
- Sean Paul — Jamaica, rapper
- Carlos Acosta — Cuba, ballet dancer
- John Barnes — Jamaican-born footballer
- Frank Bowling — Guyana-born, painter
- Aimé Césaire — Martinique, fiction writer
- Celia Cruz — Cuba, singer
- Eddy Grant — Guyanese, singer and musician
- Wyclef Jean — Haitian singer, composer and activist
- C. L. R. James — Trinidad, historian, essayist and journalist
- Brian Lara — Trinidad, cricketer
- Earl Lovelace — Trinidad, novelist and writer
- Bob Marley — Jamaican composer, singer and musician
- The Mighty Sparrow — Grenadian/Trinidadian singer and composer
- Eddie Minnis — artist, musician
- Sidney Poitier — Bahamas, Academy Award-winning actor in Hollywood/US
- Sir Vivian Richards — Antigua, cricketer
- Chevalier de Saint-Georges — Guadeloupe, composer
Eddy Grant - Guyana, Singer Song writer
- Bebo Valdés — Cuban musician
- Derek Walcott — Saint Lucia, Poet and Nobel Prize for Literature
- Teddy Riner — Guadeloupe, Judoka
- Kingsley Coman — French Guadloupeen football player
- Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan
- Afro-Costa Ricans
- Afro-Dominican (Dominica)
- Afro-Dominican (Dominican Republic)
- Afro-Kittian and Nevisian
- Afro-Puerto Rican
- Afro-Saint Lucian
- Afro-Trinidadian and Tobagonian
- Belizean Creole people
- Other members of the African diaspora in or from the Caribbean
- Results American Fact Finder (US Census Bureau)
- "Trinidad and Tobago 2011 population and housing census demographic report" (PDF). Central Statistical Office. 30 November 2012. p. 94. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Some Historical Account of Guinea: With an Inquiry into the Rise and Progress of the Slave Trade, p. 48, at Google Books
- Stephen D. Behrendt, David Richardson, and David Eltis, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, Harvard University. Based on "records for 27,233 voyages that set out to obtain slaves for the Americas". Stephen Behrendt (1999). "Transatlantic Slave Trade". Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. New York: Basic Civitas Books. ISBN 0-465-00071-1.
- Martin, Tony. Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggle of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976.
- Nigel C. Gibson, Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination (2003: Oxford, Polity Press)
- Chen, Kuan-Hsing. "The Formation of a Diasporic Intellectual: An interview with Stuart Hall," collected in David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen (eds), Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, New York: Routledge, 1996.
- The dictionary definition of Afro-Caribbean at Wiktionary