English Across the Curriculum

African Americans


African Americans are citizens of the United States with ancestors who came from Africa. Their forefathers were brought to American colonies as slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries. About 40 million African Americans, 13% of the total population, live in the USA today.

In the past African Americans have been known by many names. They were called Negroes, Blacks and Coloureds. In the last 30 years the term African Americans has officially been used.

About half of them live in the southern states of the USA, the rest in large cities of the East, Midwest and West.

Percent of African American Population by State
Ghislain Montvernay [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons