Talk:African-American history

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for African-American history:
  • Cleanup grammar and wording.
  • Go through provided external links and other sources and create inline citations.
  • Find additional references for remaining unreferenced information.
  • Organize and expand sections to show clear linear breaks.
    • Create sections on post civil rights.
    • Expand sections on Black soldiers in Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and Korea
    • Organize Civil rights section to include points on key types of events, Education, Transportation, Voting, Lynchings.
  • Add current issues facing the African American population.
  • Anything else you can think of to add.

The Middle Passage[edit]

Africa before the Atlantic Slave Trade — Preceding unsigned comment added by ChiefCooper (talkcontribs) 05:03, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Before the Atlantic Slave Trade there was already slavery going on in Africa. The countries in Africa would buy, sell, and trade slaves with each other and with Europeans because saw it as one society taking over another, there was no unified African identity. The people of Mali and Benin did not identify themselves as Africans any more than the people of France or Portugal identified themselves as Europeans.Thus Africans felt no moral distaste for the practice of capturing and selling slaves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ChiefCooper (talkcontribs) 05:18, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Emancipation and Reconstruction[edit]

There is a Block Quote at the end of the Emancipation and reconstruction section, according to the wikipedia guidelines there really should not be block quote unless it is something really important, otherwise it should be paraphrased. Do you guys think this should be paraphrased or should it stay as a block quote? --Wilson317 (talk) 13:35, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

I was reading the Emancipation and Reconstruction section of the page and saw that the part about post-civil war identity needing a citation. After doing further research I could not find anything that proves that statement to be true, however I have found a few articles that could change the original post. Does anyone else agree that the process of identity did not accelerate post-civil war? Trmegenh20 (talk) 15:16, 6 December 2012 (UTC)[1]

New article: African-American Civil Rights Movement (1865–1895)[edit]

Folks, I created a new sub-article on the history and was looking for general feedback. The article is African-American Civil Rights Movement (1865–1895) and is intended as a complement to the similar articles covering the 20th century. Right now the article is little more than a stub and, before I go further, I wanted to ensure that there was consensus on its appropriateness (i.e. am I the first one to think of creating the article or is there some reason it was avoided?). The articles I have seen in WP that deal with this period mostly talk about the attacks on black power but don't talk about the gains in civil rights made to any great degree (mind you, most of those gains were erased around the turn of the century). There were, in fact, some important leaders and some major accomplishments during this period.

Anyway, please feel free to comment in that article's talk page on the article's appropriateness, scope, etc.


This is an interesting idea - how did you define the years covered by the period? There were so many changes that African Americans and white supporters initiated immediately after the war. Maybe part of the issue is that this was a period when rights were both granted (by amendments) and later taken away (by Southern whites political actions and intimidation) - the later movement was to restore the ability of African Americans to exercise their constitutional rights as citizens and to end legal segregation. I'll go look at it.Parkwells (talk) 00:33, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

--Mcorazao (talk) 15:51, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if you are aware (or watching this page) but as soon as the WP:MOS issue (covered by an Arbcom moratorium) is resolved someone need to address an issue in title names. There is no reason at all that there be anything but a space between African and American (African American History) as well as "African American Civil Rights Movement (1865–1895)". That article failed a move request to the more common name and I did not follow all the reasoning. The title issue could have been solved with "African American Civil Rights Movement (US)" to avoid ambiguity but I guess a made up name is better than none right? This is just my opinion and two cents but the hyphen (or dash depending on the out-come) is unwarranted, unnecessary, and even misleading. Otr500 (talk) 14:40, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


"African-American" when used as an adjective is supposed to be hyphenated, as it is a compound adjective, as in "an African-American doctor". When it is a noun - "He is an African American." - it is not hyphenated.

The First African Slaves[edit]

Actually, the first African slaves brought to what is now the U.S were taken to a short lived 16th century Spanish colony in what is now South Carolina. When management of the colony deteriorated, the Africans rebelled and escaped. The colonialists returned to Spain and the Africans remained behind, some speculate that they sought refuge with Native Americans. Later on in the 16th century, Africans were taken to the St. Augustine colony in Florida. The slaves brought to Virginia in 1619 were only the first African slaves brought to *British* North America. See wikipedia page 'African American'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

'Knowledge of black history'[edit]

I'm editing this section. To say that Americans are "very well-informed about black history" because they can name a few famous black Americans is to make a very poorly-informed statement. (talk) 07:43, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Haitian Revolution[edit]

I want to add either a sentence or a paragraph on the importance of the Haitian Revolution in the US for African slaves as there was law against bringing Haitians as slaves over to the US because they had a "strange sense of desire for freedom". I was wondering if anyone know where this could be appropriately placed. --Iluvfassy (talk) 14:13, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the user above and believe more about the rebellions it led to in the U.S. should be mentioned, as well. Does anyone know where these would best fit? I assumed under The Antebellum Period, between The Black Community and The Dred Scott Decision. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wexler38 (talkcontribs) 15:22, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

I wrote a small article talking about what I mentioned right above. I'd really like to have any kind of feedback! Wexler38 (talk) 15:34, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Antebellum Period[edit]

Hi everyone! I am new to this forum, but I am college student who is currently taking an African American history course. Our final objectives is to see where we might be able to benefit wikipedia's page of African American history. I was wondering what anyone would think about making a small reference to Harper's Ferry or Bleeding Kansas in the Antebellum section. Possibly link them to the section about the topic if it exists? Let me know what you guys think... I am quite new to this — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kamiller1107 (talkcontribs) 15:44, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Hey I just wanted to let everyone know the reason why I changed the date from 1790s to 1800s. I changed it because the AME church was founded in the early 1800s not the early 1790s. I also linked James Forten and Richard Allen into the Paragraph because they were fundamental to creation and development of the Black community and the Black Church — Preceding unsigned comment added by GDiaz93 (talkcontribs) 13:55, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Hey, I was originally going to post about Bleeding Kansas or Harper's Ferry but decided to change the edit to the focus of the Christiana Riot in Lancaster County, PA. It is up and linked to the Lancaster County, PA wiki page with a focus on the Christiana Incident section located on that particular page. Kamiller1107 (talk) 15:03, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Introduction to Slavery[edit]

I want to start by adding the hyperlink to the Underground Railroad page. I was thinking of simply changing “They could be sold, or freed, and a few ran away” to “They could be sold, or freed, a few ran away; some using the Underground Railroad to reach freedom.” Does this look right? drcalzar2012 (talk) 09:13 05 December, 2012 (UTC)

. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ChiefCooper (talkcontribs) 13:10, 6 December 2012 (UTC) ChiefCooper (talk) 13:16, 6 December 2012 (UTC)== Introduction Section ==

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I was interested in possibly adding a small section or a completely new section to the page. I wanted to incorporate a section explaining the middle passage, in particular, how Africans were treated in Africa, how they were sold to the Europeans by their leaders, and their conditions during their journey. I am aware that there are other Wikipedia pages that talk about the middle passage and transatlantic slave trade, so in addition, while writing this newly section I would link those pages for additional information. This is something that the current introduction lacks and I feel that adding this section is important and should be included in the African American history page. Let me know what you think. Should this be a new section or a small paragraph under the introduction?

Thanks, (Kjclarks (talk)) —Preceding undated comment added 20:38, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

One major addition I would make to this entry is adding some background on the Middle Passage. From this entry I did not read anything about the trip from Africa to America which is essential to the African American experience. This Wikipedia entry begins with the first slaves in America but there is no background on how they got there. There is a section previous to this one named African Origins that gives a breakdown of where the slaves are from in Africa. The book The Struggle For Freedom discusses the Atlantic Slave Trade and the Middle Passage. The authors of the book do not give the same breakdown but they give the background of how the slave trade was started and where slaves were traded — Preceding unsigned comment added by ChiefCooper (talkcontribs) 13:15, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Freedmen's bureau[edit]

The Freedmen's bereau was an important part of the early reconstruction that was not even mentioned. A link to a page on the bereau needed to added. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Say022 (talkcontribs) 14:15, 4 December 2012 (UTC)


The second sentence seems inaccurate: "Most African Americans are the descendants of captive Africans held in the United States from 1619 to 1865." Since the US didn't exist in 1619, should we change it to say something like "...the United States and the mainly British colonies that preceded it"? St.Expeditus (talk) 06:46, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Very true. I amended the phrase - hopefully it's not too clumsy. LTC (Ret.) David J. Cormier (talk) 22:16, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

black vs. Black[edit]

Is there a MOS page anywhere that says which capitalization we should use? I'm seeing very little standard here, with it being capitalized sometimes, but other times not. For example, "In 1790, there were more than 59,000 free Blacks in the United States" versus "In Virginia the number of free blacks increased from 10,000"; those are sequential paragraphs in the same section. EVula // talk // // 20:10, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

"black" (not capitalized) is the most common spelling. But to be politically correct, the word should not be used as a noun, only as an adjective. The best term to use in the context above would likely be "free persons of color," or if you specifically mean just peoples of African ancestry, then "free African Americans." The US Census did not differentiate between races at that time, and anyone who was not "white" was designated as "colored." Nicole Sharp (talk) 21:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

African-American vs. African American[edit]

Was also wondering about the title. When I took African American history at university, I was told that "African American" should not be hyphenated even when used as an adjective (since "African American" is a holistic label, similar to e.g. "South American history," also not hyphenated in Standard American English). Unless someone objects, I would say that the title should be changed to "African American history." Nicole Sharp (talk) 21:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Du Bois, W.E.B. "The Souls of Black Folk". Retrieved 6 December 2012.