Portal:African American

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African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term typically refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. As a compound adjective, the term is usually hyphenated as African-American.

Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States (after White Americans and Hispanic and Latino Americans). Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, and some also have Native American ancestry. According to US Census Bureau data, African immigrants generally do not self-identify as African American. The overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities (~95%). Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not also self-identify with the term.

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Jonathan C. Gibbs

Many scholars have identified more than 1,500 African American officeholders during the Reconstruction period (1865-1876). All were Republicans. However, Canter Brown, Jr. makes the salient point that, in some states (such as Florida), the highest number of African Americans were elected or appointed to offices after 1876, after Reconstruction.

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Clarence Thomas official SCOTUS portrait.jpg
Credit: Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
Clarence Thomas, Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States appointed by former President George H. W. Bush


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I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968),
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution" (31 March 1968)

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Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes, (February 2, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the Harlem Renaissance saying that "Harlem was in vogue."

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