The earliest black settlement in America, unknown to many, began in the 16th century with some black explorers who journeyed through the Southwest during the 1530s and settled in the Mississippi valley and along the region that later became New Mexico and South Carolina.
During the Portuguese and the Spanish exploration of the Americas, Africans played a vital role in assisting them but not as slaves but as an indentured apprentice.
About 20-25 Africans arrived in the English colony at Virginia in 1619 and had worked under an employer under agreed years just as the European settlers. Black Chattel slavery was established with plans to discontinue the indentured agreement and keep the blacks under them. First in Virginia in 1661 and later escalated through the whole English colonies in 1750 and the transatlantic slave trade in the 16th century that the slaves were forcefully shipped off from Africa to go work in the New World under their new owners. Their melanin-skinned body made them easy prey and was seen by the New World as an inferior race with an archaic culture.
To date, African America has now become one of the most populous racial groups in the United States of America; however, not every black shared a black ancestor due to population admixture, according to a genetic study.
By 1790, the blacks’ population reached 1/5th of the United States‘ population, with over 800,000 scattered all over.
Presently over 3 million African Americans are settling in New York, more than 2 million in Chicago, while Houston, Detroit, Louisiana, and Philadelphia are populated with over 1.5 million blacks. California State has 13.83% Black America, and Florida, 17% of blacks.
Civil rights activists invented the name ‘Afro – America to view the pride in their ancestral home, but ‘Black‘ still became the most popular because it symbolizes power and revolution. However, Jesse Jackson pointed out that it’s better African American, in the sense that it’s not all about skin color.
With the help of Africans in the 1770s, both free and slaves, the English colonists were able to fight successfully for American independence by defeating the Brits in the American Revolution. They helped Bernardo de Galvez secure Baton Rouge from the Brits, rallied against the British outposts in Alabama, and Pensacola after assuring a low price-cut to buy one’s freedom and granting freedom to any seriously injured black.
He recruited more slaves into the military, which his successor, Fransisco Luis, did more, bringing African Americans closer to equality with the whites.
To create a conducive environment for them, they established health, education, and financial institutions for themselves, which helped those in the Southern States survive after the Jim Crow law in the 1890s, enforce racial segregation disenfranchisement. All thanks to Anthony Overton and Mary Bethune to provide the black communities with social hubs, business firms, churches, schools, etc.
Civil rights movements started getting heard after a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, Emmett Till, was accused of wolf-whistling a white lady in Money, Mississippi. Emmett was lynched in 1955, with one of his eyes plucked out. He was severely beaten and had a bullet shot on his head. As a result of the protest, Rosa Parks went against Jim Crow’s law by not standing up from her seat for a white person on a Montgomery bus
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