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Permitted reuse is defined by the authors’ choice of user license. American ethnic groups in the United States. Most African Americans are the descendants of Africans forcibly brought to and held captive in the United States from 1555 to 1865. Blacks from the Caribbean whose ancestors immigrated, or who immigrated to the U. Others who sometimes are referred to as African Americans, and who may identify themselves as such in US government censuses, include relatively recent Black immigrants from Africa, South America and elsewhere.
Most African Americans are descended from Africans brought directly from Africa as slaves. A smaller number came from eastern and southeastern Africa. Although these different groups varied in customs, religious theology and language, what they had in common was a way a life that was different from the Europeans. Slaves from specific African ethnic groups were more sought after and more dominant in numbers than others in certain regions of what later became the United States.
Studies of contemporary documents reveal seven regions from which Africans were sold or taken during the Atlantic slave trade. The largest source of slaves transported across the Atlantic Ocean for the New World was West Africa. Some West Africans were skilled iron workers and were therefore able to make tools that aided in their agricultural labor. While there were many unique tribes with their own customs and religions, by the 10th century many of the tribes had embraced Islam.
Those villages in West Africa that were lucky enough to be in good conditions for growth and success, prospered. They also contributed their success to the slave trade. A few countries in Africa would buy, sell, and trade other enslaved Africans, who were often prisoners of war, with the Europeans. On the ships, the slaves were separated from their family long before they boarded the ships.
Once aboard the ships the captives were then segregated by gender. Under the deck, the slaves were cramped and did not have enough space to walk around freely. Male slaves were generally kept in the ship’s hold, where they experienced the worst of crowding. The captives stationed on the floor beneath low-lying bunks could barely move and spent much of the voyage pinned to the floorboards, which could, over time, wear the skin on their elbows down to the bone.