Black people is a term used in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification or of ethnicity, to describe persons who are perceived to be dark-skinned compared to other populations. As such, the meaning of the expression varies widely both between and within societies, and depends significantly on context. For many other individuals, communities and countries, "black" is also perceived as a derogatory, outdated, reductive or otherwise unrepresentative label, and as a result is neither used nor defined.
Different societies apply differing criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and these social constructs have also changed over time. In a number of countries, societal variables affect classification as much as skin color, and the social criteria for "blackness" vary. In the United Kingdom, "black" was historically equivalent with "person of color", a general term for non-European peoples. In South Africa and Latin America, mixed-race people are generally not classified as "black". In other regions such as Australasia, settlers applied the term "black" or it was used by local populations with different histories and ancestral backgrounds.
The Romans interacted with and later conquered parts of Mauretania, an early state that covered modern Morocco, western Algeria, and the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla during the classical period. The people of the region were noted in Classical literature as Mauri, which was subsequently rendered as Moors in English.
Numerous communities of dark-skinned peoples are present in North Africa, some dating from prehistoric communities. Others are the ancestry of the historical Trans-Saharan trade in peoples and/or, and after the Arab invasions of North Africa in the 7th century, ancestors of slaves from the Arab Slave Trade in North Africa.
According to Carlos Moore, resident scholar at Brazil's University of the State of Bahia, in the 21st century Afro-multiracials in the Arab world, including Arabs in North Africa, self-identify in ways that resemble multi-racials in Latin America. He claims that black-looking Arabs, much like black-looking Latin Americans, consider themselves white because they have some distant white ancestry.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had a mother who was a dark-skinned Nubian Sudanese woman and a father who was a lighter-skinned Egyptian. In response to an advertisement for an acting position, as a young man he said, "I am not white but I am not exactly black either. My blackness is tending to reddish".
Due to the patriarchal nature of Arab society, Arab men, including during the slave trade in North Africa, enslaved more black women than men. They used more black female slaves in domestic service and agriculture than males. The men interpreted the Qur'an to permit sexual relations between a male master and his female slave outside of marriage (see Ma malakat aymanukum and sex), leading to many mixed-race children. When an enslaved woman became pregnant with her Arab master's child, she was considered as umm walad or "mother of a child", a status that granted her privileged rights. The child was given rights of inheritance to the father's property, so mixed-race children could share in any wealth of the father. Because the society was patrilineal, the children took their fathers' social status at birth and were born free.
Some succeeded their fathers as rulers, such as Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, who ruled Morocco from 1578 to 1608. He was not technically considered as a mixed-race child of a slave; his mother was Fulani and a concubine of his father.
In early 1991, non-Arabs of the Zaghawa tribe of Sudan attested that they were victims of an intensifying Arab apartheid campaign, segregating Arabs and non-Arabs (specifically, people of Nilotic ancestry). Sudanese Arabs, who controlled the government, were widely referred to as practicing apartheid against Sudan's non-Arab citizens. The government was accused of "deftly manipulat(ing) Arab solidarity" to carry out policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
American University economist George Ayittey accused the Arab government of Sudan of practicing acts of racism against black citizens. According to Ayittey, "In Sudan... the Arabs monopolized power and excluded blacks – Arab apartheid." Many African commentators joined Ayittey in accusing Sudan of practising Arab apartheid.
In the Sahara, the native Tuareg Berber populations kept "Negro" slaves. Most of these captives were of Nilotic extraction, and were either purchased by the Tuareg nobles from slave markets in the Western Sudan or taken during raids. Their origin is denoted via the Ahaggar Berber word Ibenheren (sing. Ébenher), which alludes to slaves that only speak a Nilo-Saharan language. These slaves were also sometimes known by the borrowed Songhay term Bella.
Similarly, the Sahrawi autochthones of the Western Sahara observed a class system consisting of high castes and low castes. Outside of these traditional tribal boundaries were "Negro" slaves, who were drawn from the surrounding areas.
In parts of the Horn of Africa, the local Afroasiatic (Hamitic-Semitic) speaking populations have long adhered to a construct similar to that of the Sahara, Nile and Maghreb. In Ethiopia and Somalia, the slave classes mainly consisted of individuals of Nilotic and Bantu origin who were collectively known as Shanqella and Adone (both denoting "Negro"). These captives and others of analogous morphology were distinguished as tsalim barya in contrast with the Afroasiatic-speaking nobles or saba qayh ("red men"). The earliest representation of this tradition dates from a seventh or eighth century BC inscription belonging to the Kingdom of Damat.
In South Africa, the period of colonization resulted in many unions and marriages between European men and Bantu and Khoisan women from various tribes, resulting in mixed-race children. As the European settlers acquired control of territory, they generally pushed the mixed-race and Bantu and Khoisan populations into second-class status. During the first half of the 20th century, the Afrikaaner-dominated government classified the population according to four main racial groups: Black, White, Asian (mostly Indian), and Coloured. The Coloured group included people of mixed Bantu, Khoisan, and European descent (with some Malay ancestry, especially in the Western Cape). The Coloured definition occupied an intermediary political position between the Black and White definitions in South Africa. It imposed a system of legal racial segregation, a complex of laws known as apartheid.
The apartheid bureaucracy devised complex (and often arbitrary) criteria in the Population Registration Act of 1945 to determine who belonged in which group. Minor officials administered tests to enforce the classifications. When it was unclear from a person's physical appearance whether the individual should be considered Coloured or Black, the "pencil test" was used. A pencil was inserted into a person's hair to determine if the hair was kinky enough to hold the pencil, rather than having it pass through, as it would with smoother hair. If so, the person was classified as Black. Such classifications sometimes divided families.
Sandra Laing is a South African woman who was classified as Coloured by authorities during the apartheid era, due to her skin colour and hair texture, although her parents could prove at least three generations of European ancestors. At age 10, she was expelled from her all-white school. The officials' decisions based on her anomalous appearance disrupted her family and adult life. She was the subject of the 2008 biographical dramatic film Skin, which won numerous awards.
During the apartheid era, those classed as "Coloured" were oppressed and discriminated against. But, they had limited rights and overall had slightly better socioeconomic conditions than those classed as "Black". The government required that Blacks and Coloureds live in areas separate from Whites, creating large townships located away from the cities as areas for Blacks.
In the post-apartheid era, the Constitution of South Africa has declared the country to be a "Non-racial democracy". In an effort to redress past injustices, the ANC government has introduced laws in support of affirmative action policies for Blacks; under these they define "Black" people to include "Africans", "Coloureds" and "Asians". Some affirmative action policies favor "Africans" over "Coloureds" in terms of qualifying for certain benefits. Some South Africans categorized as "African Black" say that "Coloureds" did not suffer as much as they did during apartheid. "Coloured" South Africans are known to discuss their dilemma by saying, "we were not white enough under apartheid, and we are not black enough under the ANC (African National Congress)".
In 2008, the High Court in South Africa ruled that Chinese South Africans who were residents during the apartheid era (and their descendants) are to be reclassified as "Black people," solely for the purposes of accessing affirmative action benefits, because they were also "disadvantaged" by racial discrimination. Chinese people who arrived in the country after the end of apartheid do not qualify for such benefits.
Other than by appearance, "Coloureds" can usually be distinguished from "Blacks" by language. Most speak Afrikaans or English as a first language, as opposed to Bantu languages such as Zulu or Xhosa. They also tend to have more European-sounding names than Bantu names.
Historians estimate that between the advent of Islam in 650 CE and the abolition of slavery in the Arabian Peninsula in the mid-20th century, 10 to 18 million Black Africans (known as the Zanj) were enslaved by Arab slave traders and transported to the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries. This number far exceeded the number of slaves who were taken to the Americas. Several factors affected the visibility of descendants of this diaspora in 21st-century Arab societies: The traders shipped more female slaves than males, as there was a demand for them to serve as concubines in harems in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries. Male slaves were castrated in order to serve as harem guards. The death toll of Black African slaves from forced labor was high. The mixed-race children of female slaves and Arab owners were assimilated into the Arab owners' families under the patrilineal kinship system. As a result, few distinctive Afro-Arab communities have survived in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries.
Distinctive and self-identified black communities have been reported in countries such as Iraq, with a reported 1.2 million black people, and they attest to a history of discrimination. These descendants of the Zanj have sought minority status from the government, which would reserve some seats in Parliament for representatives of their population. According to Alamin M. Mazrui et al., generally in the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries, most of these communities identify as both black and Arab.
Afro-Iranians are people of black African ancestry residing in Iran. During the Qajar dynasty, many wealthy households imported black African women and children as slaves to perform domestic work. This slave labor was drawn exclusively from the Zanj, who were Bantu-speaking peoples that lived along the African Great Lakes, in an area roughly comprising modern-day Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi.
About 150,000 East African and black people live in Israel, amounting to just over 2% of the nation's population. The vast majority of these, some 120,000, are Beta Israel, most of whom are recent immigrants who came during the 1980s and 1990s from Ethiopia. In addition, Israel is home to over 5,000 members of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem movement that are ancestry of African Americans who emigrated to Israel in the 20th century, and who reside mainly in a distinct neighborhood in the Negev town of Dimona. Unknown numbers of black converts to Judaism reside in Israel, most of them converts from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
Additionally, there are around 60,000 non-Jewish African immigrants in Israel, some of whom have sought asylum. Most of the migrants are from communities in Sudan and Eritrea, particularly the Niger-Congo-speaking Nuba groups of the southern Nuba Mountains; some are illegal immigrants.
Beginning several centuries ago, during the period of the Ottoman Empire, tens of thousands of Zanj captives were brought by slave traders to plantations and agricultural areas situated between Antalya and Istanbul in present-day Turkey. Some of their ancestry remained in situ, and many migrated to larger cities and towns. Other black slaves were transported to Crete, from where they or their descendants later reached the İzmir area through the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923, or indirectly from Ayvalık in pursuit of work.
The Siddi are an ethnic group inhabiting India and Pakistan whose members are descendants from the Bantu peoples. In the Makran strip of the Sindh and Balochistan provinces in southwestern Pakistan, these Bantu descendants are known as the Makrani. There was a brief "Black Power" movement in Sindh in the 1960s and many Siddi are proud of and celebrate their African ancestry.
Negritos are believed to have been the first inhabitants of Southeast Asia. Once inhabiting Taiwan, Vietnam, and various other parts of Asia, they are now confined primarily to Thailand, the Malay Archipelago, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Negrito means "little black people" in Spanish (negrito is the Spanish diminutive of negro, i.e., "little black person"); it is what the Spaniards called the aborigines that they encountered in the Philippines. The term Negrito itself has come under criticism in countries like Malaysia, where it is now interchangeable with the more acceptable Semang, although this term actually refers to a specific group.
Negritos in the Philippines, and Southeast Asia in general, face lots of discrimination. Usually, they are marginalized and live in poverty, unable to find employment that will take them.
As of 2013, there were approximately 800,000 Afro-Germans (not including those of mixed ethnicity). This number is difficult to estimate because the German census does not use race as a category.
Afro-Dutch are residents of the Netherlands who are of Black African or Afro-Caribbean ancestry. They tend to be from the former and present Dutch overseas territories of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Suriname. The Netherlands also has sizable Cape Verdean and other African communities.
The term "Moors" has been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims, especially those of Arab or Berber ancestry, whether living in North Africa or Iberia. Moors were not a distinct or self-defined people. Medieval and early modern Europeans applied the name to Muslim Arabs, Berbers, Black Africans and Europeans alike.
Isidore of Seville, writing in the 7th century, claimed that the Latin word Maurus was derived from the Greek mauron, μαύρον, which is the Greek word for black. Indeed, by the time Isidore of Seville came to write his Etymologies, the word Maurus or "Moor" had become an adjective in Latin, "for the Greeks call black, mauron". "In Isidore's day, Moors were black by definition..."
Afro-Spaniards are Spanish nationals of West/Central African ancestry. They today mainly come from Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Additionally, many Afro-Spaniards born in Spain are from the former Spanish colony Equatorial Guinea. Today, there are an estimated 683,000 Afro-Spaniards in Spain.
According to the Office for National Statistics, at the 2001 census there were over a million black people in the United Kingdom; 1% of the total population described themselves as "Black Caribbean", 0.8% as "Black African", and 0.2% as "Black other". Britain encouraged the immigration of workers from the Caribbean after World War II; the first symbolic movement was those who came on the ship the Empire Windrush. The preferred official umbrella term is "black and minority ethnic" (BME), but sometimes the term "black" is used on its own, to express unified opposition to racism, as in the Southall Black Sisters, which started with a mainly British Asian constituency, and the National Black Police Association, which has a membership of "African, African-Caribbean and Asian origin".
As African states became independent in the 1960s, the Soviet Union offered many of their citizens the chance to study in Russia. Over a period of 40 years, about 400,000 African students from various countries moved to Russia to pursue higher studies, including many Black Africans. This extended beyond the Soviet Union to many countries of the Eastern bloc.
Due to the slave trade in the Ottoman Empire that had flourished in the Balkans, the coastal town of Ulcinj in Montenegro had its own black community. As a consequence of the slave trade and privateer activity, it is told how until 1878 in Ulcinj 100 black people lived. The Ottoman Army also deployed an estimated 30,000 Black African troops and cavalrymen to its expedition in Hungary during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18.
Indigenous Australians have been referred to as "black people" in Australia since the early days of European settlement. While originally related to skin colour, the term is used today to indicate Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry in general and can refer to people of any skin pigmentation.
Being identified as either "black" or "white" in Australia during the 19th and early 20th centuries was critical in one's employment and social prospects. Various state-based Aboriginal Protection Boards were established which had virtually complete control over the lives of Indigenous Australians – where they lived, their employment, marriage, education and included the power to separate children from their parents. Aborigines were not allowed to vote and were often confined to reserves and forced into low paid or effectively slave labour. The social position of mixed-race or "half-caste" individuals varied over time. A 1913 report by Baldwin Spencer states that:
the half-castes belong neither to the aboriginal nor to the whites, yet, on the whole, they have more leaning towards the former; ... One thing is certain and that is that the white population as a whole will never mix with half-castes... the best and kindest thing is to place them on reserves along with the natives, train them in the same schools and encourage them to marry amongst themselves.
After the First World War, however, it became apparent that the number of mixed-race people was growing at a faster rate than the white population, and by 1930 fear of the "half-caste menace" undermining the White Australia ideal from within was being taken as a serious concern. Cecil Cook, the Northern Territory Protector of Natives, noted that:
generally by the fifth and invariably by the sixth generation, all native characteristics of the Australian Aborigine are eradicated. The problem of our half-castes will quickly be eliminated by the complete disappearance of the black race, and the swift submergence of their progeny in the white.
The official policy became one of biological and cultural assimilation: "Eliminate the full-blood and permit the white admixture to half-castes and eventually the race will become white". This led to different treatment for "black" and "half-caste" individuals, with lighter-skinned individuals targeted for removal from their families to be raised as "white" people, restricted from speaking their native language and practising traditional customs, a process now known as the Stolen Generation.
The second half of the 20th century to the present has seen a gradual shift towards improved human rights for Aboriginal people. In a 1967 referendum over 90% of the Australian population voted to end constitutional discrimination and to include Aborigines in the national census. During this period many Aboriginal activists began to embrace the term "black" and use their ancestry as a source of pride. Activist Bob Maza said:
I only hope that when I die I can say I'm black and it's beautiful to be black. It is this sense of pride which we are trying to give back to the aborigine [sic] today.
In 1978 Aboriginal writer Kevin Gilbert received the National Book Council award for his book Living Black: Blacks Talk to Kevin Gilbert, a collection of Aboriginal people's stories, and in 1998 was awarded (but refused to accept) the Human Rights Award for Literature for Inside Black Australia, a poetry anthology and exhibition of Aboriginal photography. In contrast to previous definitions based solely on the degree of Aboriginal ancestry, in 1990 the Government changed the legal definition of Aboriginal to include any:
person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he [or she] lives
This nationwide acceptance and recognition of Aboriginal people led to a significant increase in the number of people self-identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. The reappropriation of the term "black" with a positive and more inclusive meaning has resulted in its widespread use in mainstream Australian culture, including public media outlets, government agencies, and private companies. In 2012, a number of high-profile cases highlighted the legal and community attitude that identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is not dependent on skin colour, with a well-known boxer Anthony Mundine being widely criticised for questioning the "blackness" of another boxer and journalist Andrew Bolt being successfully sued for publishing discriminatory comments about Aboriginals with light skin.
John Caesar, nicknamed "Black Caesar", a convict and bushranger with parents born in an unknown area in Africa, was one of the first people of recent Black African ancestry to arrive in Australia.
At the 2006 Census, 248,605 residents declared that they were born in Africa. This figure pertains to all immigrants to Australia who were born in nations in Africa regardless of race, and includes White Africans.
Black Canadians is a designation used for people of Black African ancestry, who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The majority of Black Canadians are of Caribbean origin, though the population also consists of African American immigrants and their descendants (including Black Nova Scotians), as well as many African immigrants.
Black Canadians often draw a distinction between those of Afro-Caribbean ancestry and those of other African roots. The term African Canadian is occasionally used by some Black Canadians who trace their heritage to the first slaves brought by British and French colonists to the North American mainland. Promised freedom by the British during the American Revolutionary War, thousands of Black Loyalists were resettled by the Crown in Canada afterward, such as Thomas Peters. In addition, an estimated ten to thirty thousand fugitive slaves reached freedom in Canada from the Southern United States during the antebellum years, aided by people along the Underground Railroad.
Many Black people of Caribbean origin in Canada reject the term African Canadian as an elision of the uniquely Caribbean aspects of their heritage, and instead identify as Caribbean Canadian. Unlike in the United States, where African American has become a widely used term, in Canada controversies associated with distinguishing African or Caribbean heritage have resulted in the term "Black Canadian" being widely accepted there.
There were eight principal areas used by Europeans to buy and ship slaves to the Western Hemisphere. The number of enslaved people sold to the New World varied throughout the slave trade. As for the distribution of slaves from regions of activity, certain areas produced far more enslaved people than others. Between 1650 and 1900, 10.24 million enslaved West Africans arrived in the Americas from the following regions in the following proportions:
The variants neger and negar, derive from the Spanish and Portuguese word negro (black), and from the now-pejorative French nègre (negro). Etymologically, negro, noir, nègre, and nigger ultimately derive from nigrum, the stem of the Latin niger (black) (pronounced [ˈniɡer] which, in every other grammatical case, grammatical gender, and grammatical number besides nominative masculine singular, is nigr-, the r is trilled).
By the 1900s, nigger had become a pejorative word in the United States. In its stead, the term colored became the mainstream alternative to negro and its derived terms. After the civil rights movement, the terms colored and negro gave way to "black". Negro had superseded colored as the most polite word for African Americans at a time when black was considered more offensive. This term was accepted as normal, including by people classified as Negroes, until the later Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s. One well-known example is the identification by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. of his own race as "Negro" in his famous speech of 1963, I Have a Dream. During the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, some African-American leaders in the United States, notably Malcolm X, objected to the word Negro because they associated it with the long history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination that treated African Americans as second-class citizens, or worse. Malcolm X preferred Black to Negro, but later gradually abandoned that as well for Afro-American after leaving the Nation of Islam.
Since the late 1960s, various other terms for African Americans have been more widespread in popular usage. Aside from Black American, these include Afro-American (in use from the late 1960s to 1990) and African American (used in the United States to refer to Black Americans, people often referred to in the past as American Negroes).
In the first 200 years that black people were in the United States, they primarily identified themselves by their specific ethnic group (closely allied to language) and not by skin color. Individuals identified themselves, for example, as Ashanti, Igbo, Bakongo, or Wolof. However, when the first captives were brought to the Americas, they were often combined with other groups from West Africa, and individual ethnic affiliations were not generally acknowledged by English colonists. In areas of the Upper South, different ethnic groups were brought together. This is significant as the captives came from a vast geographic region: the West African coastline stretching from Senegal to Angola and in some cases from the south-east coast such as Mozambique. A new African-American identity and culture was born that incorporated elements of the various ethnic groups and of European cultural heritage, resulting in fusions such as the Black church and African-American English. This new identity was based on provenance and slave status rather than membership in any one ethnic group.
By contrast, slave records from Louisiana show that the French and Spanish colonists recorded more complete identities of the West Africans, including ethnicities and given tribal names.
The US racial or ethnic classification "black" refers to people with all possible kinds of skin pigmentation, from the darkest through to the very lightest skin colors, including albinos, if they are believed by others to have African ancestry (in any discernible percentage). There are also certain cultural traits associated with being "African American", a term used effectively as a synonym for "black person" within the United States.
In March 1807, Great Britain, which largely controlled the Atlantic, declared the transatlantic slave trade illegal, as did the United States. (The latter prohibition took effect 1 January 1808, the earliest date on which Congress had the power to do so after protecting the slave trade under Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution.)
By that time, the majority of black people in the United States were native-born, so the use of the term "African" became problematic. Though initially a source of pride, many blacks feared that the use of African as an identity would be a hindrance to their fight for full citizenship in the US. They also felt that it would give ammunition to those who were advocating repatriating black people back to Africa. In 1835, black leaders called upon Black Americans to remove the title of "African" from their institutions and replace it with "Negro" or "Colored American". A few institutions chose to keep their historic names, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. African Americans popularly used the terms "Negro" or "colored" for themselves until the late 1960s.
The term black was used throughout but not frequently since it carried a certain stigma. In his 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. uses the terms negro fifteen times and black four times. Each time he uses black it is in parallel construction with white; for example, "black men and white men".
With the successes of the civil rights movement, a new term was needed to break from the past and help shed the reminders of legalized discrimination. In place of Negro, activists promoted the use of black as standing for racial pride, militancy, and power. Some of the turning points included the use of the term "Black Power" by Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael) and the popular singer James Brown's song "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud".
In 1988, the civil rights leader Jesse Jackson urged Americans to use instead the term "African American" because it had a historical cultural base and was a construction similar to terms used by European descendants, such as German American, Italian American, etc. Since then, African American and black have often had parallel status. However, controversy continues over which if any of the two terms is more appropriate. Maulana Karenga argues that the term African-American is more appropriate because it accurately articulates their geographical and historical origin. Others have argued that "black" is a better term because "African" suggests foreignness, although Black Americans helped found the United States. Still others believe that the term black is inaccurate because African Americans have a variety of skin tones. Some surveys suggest that the majority of Black Americans have no preference for "African American" or "Black", although they have a slight preference for "black" in personal settings and "African American" in more formal settings.
In the U.S. census race definitions, Black and African Americans are citizens and residents of the United States with origins in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the grouping includes individuals who self-identify as African American, as well as persons who emigrated from nations in the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. The grouping is thus based on geography, and may contradict or misrepresent an individual's self-identification since not all immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa are "Black". The Census Bureau also notes that these classifications are socio-political constructs and should not be interpreted as scientific or anthropological.
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.
Recent surveys of African Americans using a genetic testing service have found varied ancestries which show different tendencies by region and sex of ancestors. These studies found that on average, African Americans have 73.2–80.9% West African, 18–24% European, and 0.8–0.9% Native American genetic heritage, with large variation between individuals.
From the late 19th century, the South used a colloquial term, the one-drop rule, to classify as black a person of any known African ancestry. This practice of hypodescent was not put into law until the early 20th century. Legally the definition varied from state to state. Racial definition was more flexible in the 18th and 19th centuries before the American Civil War. For instance, President Thomas Jefferson held persons who were legally white (less than 25% black) according to Virginia law at the time, but, because they were born to slave mothers, they were born into slavery, according to the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, which Virginia adopted into law in 1662.
Outside the U.S., some other countries have adopted the one-drop rule, but the definition of who is black and the extent to which the one-drop "rule" applies varies greatly from country to country.
The one-drop rule may have originated as a means of increasing the number of black slaves and was maintained as an attempt to keep the white race pure. One of the results of the one-drop rule was the uniting of the African-American community. Some of the most prominent abolitionists and civil-rights activists of the 19th century were multiracial, such as Frederick Douglass, Robert Purvis and James Mercer Langston. They advocated equality for all.
The concept of blackness in the United States has been described as the degree to which one associates themselves with mainstream African-American culture, politics, and values. To a certain extent, this concept is not so much about race but more about political orientation, culture and behavior. Blackness can be contrasted with "acting white", where black Americans are said to behave with assumed characteristics of stereotypical white Americans with regard to fashion, dialect, taste in music, and possibly, from the perspective of a significant number of black youth, academic achievement.
Due to the often political and cultural contours of blackness in the United States, the notion of blackness can also be extended to non-black people. Toni Morrison once described Bill Clinton as the first black President of the United States, because, as she put it, he displayed "almost every trope of blackness". Christopher Hitchens was offended by the notion of Clinton as the first black president, noting, "Mr Clinton, according to Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, is our first black President, the first to come from the broken home, the alcoholic mother, the under-the-bridge shadows of our ranking systems. Thus, we may have lost the mystical power to divine diabolism, but we can still divine blackness by the following symptoms: broken homes, alcoholic mothers, under-the-bridge habits and (presumable from the rest of [Arthur] Miller's senescent musings) the tendency to sexual predation and to shameless perjury about same." Some black activists were also offended, claiming that Clinton used his knowledge of black culture to exploit black people for political gain as no other president had before, while not serving black interests. They cite the lack of action during the Rwandan Genocide and his welfare reform, which Larry Roberts said had led to the worst child poverty since the 1960s. Others cited that the number of black people in jail increased during his administration.
The question of blackness also arose in the Democrat Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Commentators have questioned whether Obama, who was elected the first president with black ancestry, is "black enough", contending that his background is not typical because his mother was white American, and his father was a black Kenyan immigrant. Obama chose to identify as black and African-American.
In July 2012, Ancestry.com reported on historic and DNA research by its staff that discovered that Obama is likely a descendant through his mother of John Punch, considered by some historians to be the first African slave in the Virginia colony. An indentured servant, he was "bound for life" in 1640 after trying to escape. The story of him and his descendants is that of multi-racial America since it appeared he and his sons married or had unions with white women, likely indentured servants and working-class like them. Their multi-racial children were free because they were born to free English women. Over time, Obama's line of the Bunch family (as they became known) were property owners and continued to "marry white"; they became part of white society, likely by the early to mid-18th century.
Race mixing in the United States took place between free colored people, Native Americans and European Americans. In Virginia, negro former slaves who had maintained their freedom married Native American women.
200,000 slaves were shipped from West Africa to Mexico by Spanish conquistadors. The history of these Afro-Mexicans was hidden until 2016. Racism against them and dark skin generally in Mexico and most of Latin America is prevalent.
The first Afro-Dominican slaves were shipped to the Dominican Republic by Spanish conquistadors during the Transatlantic slave trade.
Spanish conquistadors shipped slaves from West Africa to Puerto Rico. Afro-Puerto Ricans in part trace descent to this colonization of the island.
Approximately 12 million people were shipped from Africa to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade from 1492 to 1888. Of these, 11.5 million of those shipped to South America and the Caribbean. Brazil was the largest importer in the Americas, with 5.5 million African slaves imported, followed by the British Caribbean with 2.76 million, the Spanish Caribbean and Spanish Mainland with 1.59 million Africans, and the French Caribbean with 1.32 million. Today their descendants number approximately 150 million in South America and the Caribbean. In addition to skin color, other physical characteristics such as facial features and hair texture are often variously used in classifying peoples as black in South America and the Caribbean. In South America and the Caribbean, classification as black is also closely tied to social status and socioeconomic variables, especially in light of social conceptions of "blanqueamiento" (racial whitening) and related concepts.
The concept of race in Brazil is complex. A Brazilian child was never automatically identified with the racial type of one or both of his or her parents, nor were there only two categories to choose from. Between an individual of unmixed West African ancestry and a very light mulatto individual, more than a dozen racial categories were acknowledged, based on various combinations of hair color, hair texture, eye color, and skin color. These types grade into each other like the colors of the spectrum, and no one category stands significantly isolated from the rest. In Brazil, people are classified by appearance, not heredity.
Scholars disagree over the effects of social status on racial classifications in Brazil. It is generally believed that achieving upward mobility and education results in individuals being classified as a category of lighter skin. The popular claim is that in Brazil, poor whites are considered black and wealthy blacks are considered white. Some scholars disagree, arguing that "whitening" of one's social status may be open to people of mixed race, a large part of the population known as pardo, but a person perceived as preto (black) will continue to be classified as black regardless of wealth or social status.
|Brazilian Population, by Race, from 1872 to 1991 (Census Data)|
|Ethnic group||White||Black||Brown||Yellow (Asian)||Undeclared||Total|
From the years 1500 to 1850, an estimated 3.5 million captives were forcibly shipped from West/Central Africa to Brazil. The territory received the highest number of slaves of any country in the Americas. Scholars estimate that more than half of the Brazilian population is at least in part descended from these individuals. Brazil has the largest population of Afro-ancestry outside Africa. In contrast to the US, during the slavery period and after, the Portuguese colonial government in Brazil and the later Brazilian government did not pass formal anti-miscegenation or segregation laws. As in other Latin American countries, intermarriage was prevalent during the colonial period and continued afterward. In addition, people of mixed race (pardo) often tended to marry white spouses, and their descendants became accepted as white. As a result, some of the European descended population also has West African or Amerindian blood. According to the last census of the 20th century, in which Brazilians could choose from five color/ethnic categories with which they identified, 54% of individuals identified as white, 6.2% identified as black, and 39.5% identified as pardo (brown) — a broad multi-racial category, including tri-racial persons.
In the 19th century, a philosophy of racial whitening emerged in Brazil, related to the assimilation of mixed-race people into the white population through intermarriage. Until recently the government did not keep data on race. However, statisticians estimate that in 1835, roughly 50% of the population was preto (black; most were enslaved), a further 20% was pardo (brown), and 25% white, with the remainder Amerindian. Some classified as pardo were tri-racial.
By the 2000 census, demographic changes including the end to slavery, immigration from Europe and Asia, assimilation of multiracial persons, and other factors resulted in a population in which 6.2% of the population identified as black, 40% as pardo, and 55% as white. Essentially most of the black population was absorbed into the multi-racial category by intermixing. A 2007 genetic study found that at least 29% of the middle-class, white Brazilian population had some recent (since 1822 and the end of the colonial period) African ancestry.
Because of the acceptance of miscegenation, Brazil has avoided the binary polarization of society into black and white. In addition, it abolished slavery without a civil war. The bitter and sometimes violent racial tensions that have divided the US are notably absent in Brazil. According to the 2010 census, 6.7% of Brazilians said they were black, compared with 6.2% in 2000, and 43.1% said they were racially mixed, up from 38.5%. In 2010, Elio Ferreira de Araujo, Brazil's minister for racial equality, attributed the increases to growing pride among his country's black and indigenous communities.
The philosophy of the racial democracy in Brazil has drawn some criticism, based on economic issues. Brazil has one of the largest gaps in income distribution in the world. The richest 10% of the population earn 28 times the average income of the bottom 40%. The richest 10 percent is almost exclusively white or predominantly European in ancestry. One-third of the population lives under the poverty line, with blacks and other people of color accounting for 70 percent of the poor.
In 2015 United States, African Americans, including multiracial people, earned 76.8% as much as white people. By contrast, black and mixed race Brazilians earned on average 58% as much as whites in 2014. Some have posited that the facts of lower socioeconomic status for people of color suggest that Brazil practices a kind of one-drop rule, or discrimination against people who are not visibly European in ancestry. The gap in income between blacks and other non-whites is relatively small compared to the large gap between whites and all people of color. Other social factors, such as illiteracy and education levels, show the same patterns of disadvantage for people of color.
Some commentators observe that the United States practice of segregation and white supremacy in the South, and discrimination in many areas outside that region, forced many African Americans to unite in the civil rights struggle, whereas the fluid nature of race in Brazil has divided individuals of African descent between those with more or less ancestry and helped sustain an image of the country as an example of post-colonial harmony. This has hindered the development of a common identity among black Brazilians.
Though Brazilians of at least partial African heritage make up a large percentage of the population, few blacks have been elected as politicians. The city of Salvador, Bahia, for instance, is 80% people of color, but voters have not elected a mayor of color. Journalists like to say that US cities with black majorities, such as Detroit and New Orleans, have not elected white mayors since after the civil rights movement, when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 protected the franchise for minorities, and blacks in the South regained the power to vote for the first time since the turn of the 20th century. New Orleans elected its first black mayor in the 1970s. New Orleans elected a white mayor after the widescale disruption and damage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Patterns of discrimination against non-whites have led some academic and other activists to advocate for use of the Portuguese term negro to encompass all African-descended people, in order to stimulate a "black" consciousness and identity. This proposal has been criticized since the term pardo is considered to include a wide range of multiracial people, such as caboclos (mestizos), assimilated Amerindians and tri-racials, not only people of partial African and European descent. Trying to identify this entire group as "black" would be a false imposition of a different identity from outside the culture and deny people their other, equally valid, ancestries and cultures.
Afro-Colombians are the second largest African diaspora population in Latin America after Afro-Brazilians.
Most Black Venezuelans came directly from Africa having been brought as slaves during colonization; others have been descendants of immigrants from the Antilles and Colombia. The blacks were part of the independence movement, and several managed to be heroes. There is a deep-rooted heritage of African culture in Venezuelan culture, as demonstrated in many traditional Venezuelan music and dances, such as the Tambor, a musical genre inherited from the blacks of the colony, or the Llanera music or the Gaita zuliana that both are a fusion of all the three major peoples that contribute to the cultural heritage. Also the black inheritance is present in the gastronomy.
There are entire communities of blacks in the Barlovento zone, as well as part of the Bolívar state and in other small towns; they also live peaceably among the general population in the rest of Venezuela. Currently blacks represent a relative majority in the Venezuelan population, although many are actually mixed people.
Gorgoryos had already named another concept in Ge'ez[...] (shanqella), which means something like 'negro' in a pejorative sense.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
These negroes are the remnants of the original inhabitants of the fluvial region of Somaliland who were overwhelmed by the wave of Somali conquest.[...] The Dube and Shabeli are often referred to as the Adone
In one sense the word 'Moor' means Mohammedan Berbers and Arabs of North-western Africa, with some Syrians, who conquered most of Spain in the 8th century and dominated the country for hundreds of years.
He is not only the first self-identified African American/person of color to be elected President of the United States—but he is also the first biracial person to hold this office.
This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough". Racial tensions bubbled to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.See also: video
Barack Obama's real problem isn't that he's too white — it's that he's too black.
For Du Bois, blackness is political, it is existential, but above all, it is moral, for in it values abound; these values spring from the fact of being an oppressed.
In fact, Bill Clinton had promoted an even worse variation, that authentic blackness is political...
The ways of defining blackness range from characteristics of skin tones, hair textures, facial features...
In still other instances, persons are counted in reference to equally ambiguous phenotypical variations, particularly skin color, facial features, or hair texture.
Given the larger numbers of persons of African and indigenous descent in Spanish America, the region developed its own form of eugenics with the concepts of blanqueamiento (whitening) ...blanqueamiento was meant to benefit the entire nation with a white image, and not just individual persons of African descent seeking access to the legal rights and privileges of colonial whites.
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.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 U.S. 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.African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, and in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America. After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, and the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens. The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U.S. citizenship to whites only, and only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, and the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States.African immigration to Europe
African immigrants in Europe are either born in Africa or are of African descent but live in Europe.Afro-Arab
Afro-Arabs are people of mixed Arab and African descent as well as groups from Sub-Saharan Africa who have adopted Arab culture. Most Afro-Arabs inhabit North Africa and the Swahili Coast in the African Great Lakes region.Afro-Russian
Afro-Russians are people of African descent or those who are perceived to be dark-skinned compared to other given populations that have migrated to and settled in Russia. The Metis Foundation estimates that there are about 50,000 Afro-Russians.Black British
Black British people are British citizens of either Black British African background, or of Black British African-Caribbean (sometimes called "Afro-Caribbean") background and include people with mixed ancestry from either group. The term developed in the 1950s, referring to the Black British West Indian people from the former Caribbean British colonies in the West Indies (i.e., the New Commonwealth) now referred to as the Windrush Generation, and people from Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and who consider themselves British.
The term black has historically had a number of applications as a racial and political label and may be used in a wider sociopolitical context to encompass a broader range of non-European ethnic minority populations in Britain. This has become a controversial definition. "Black British" is one of various self-designation entries used in official UK ethnicity classifications.
Black residents constituted around 3 per cent of the United Kingdom's population in 2011. The figures have increased from the 1991 census when 1.63% of the population were recorded as Black or Black British to 1.15 million residents in 2001, or 2 per cent of the population, this further increased to just over 1.9 million in 2011. Over 95% of Black British live in England, particularly in England's larger urban areas, with most (over a million) Black British living in Greater London.Black Canadians
Black Canadians is a designation used for people of full or partial Sub-Saharan African descent, who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The majority of Black Canadians are of Caribbean origin, though the population also consists of African-American immigrants and their descendants (including Black Nova Scotians), as well as many native African immigrants.Black Canadians often draw a distinction between those of Afro-Caribbean ancestry and those of other African roots. The term African Canadian is occasionally used by some Black Canadians who trace their heritage to the first slaves brought by British and French colonists to the North American mainland. Promised freedom by the British during the American Revolutionary War, thousands of Black Loyalists were resettled by the Crown in Canada afterward, such as Thomas Peters. In addition, an estimated ten to thirty thousand fugitive slaves reached freedom in Canada from the Southern United States during the antebellum years, aided by people along the Underground Railroad.
Many Black people of Caribbean origin in Canada reject the term African Canadian as an elision of the uniquely Caribbean aspects of their heritage, and instead identify as Caribbean Canadian (French: Canadien des Caraïbes). Unlike in the United States, where African American has become a widely used term, in Canada controversies associated with distinguishing African or Caribbean heritage have resulted in the term Black Canadian being widely accepted there.Black Canadians have contributed to many areas of Canadian culture. Many of the first visible minorities to hold high public offices have been Black, including Michaëlle Jean, Donald Oliver, Stanley G. Grizzle, Rosemary Brown and Lincoln Alexander, in turn opening the door for other minorities. Black Canadians form the third-largest visible minority group in Canada, after South Asian and Chinese Canadians.Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in OctoberBlack people and Mormonism
Over the past two centuries, the relationship between black people and Mormonism has been tumultuous. While at least two black men held the priesthood in the early church, from the mid-1800s until 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) had a policy which prevented most men of black African descent from being ordained to the church's lay priesthood and barred black men and women from access to its holy temples. Under the temple and priesthood restrictions before 1978, most black members of African descent could not be ordained to offices in the Priesthood nor participate in temple ordinances besides baptisms for the dead. For a time in the 1960s and 1970s, they were not allowed to perform baptisms for the dead either. For men and boys at age 12 in the LDS church, priesthood ordination is required to hold leadership roles, perform baptisms, bless the sacrament, and give other blessings. Since black men of African descent could not hold the priesthood, they were excluded from holding leadership roles and performing these rituals. Temple ordinances are necessary for members to receive the endowment and marriage sealings necessary for exaltation, and most black members could not enjoy these privileges during their lifetimes. Church leaders taught that these restrictions were commanded by God. In 1978, the First Presidency and the Twelve, led by church president Spencer W. Kimball, declared they had received a revelation that the time had come to end these restrictions. After this revelation, people of African descent could hold priesthood offices and could be granted temple admittance.
As early as 1908, a church publication stated that blacks could not receive the priesthood because their spirits were less valiant in the pre-existence. Church leaders used this explanation until 1978, when Kimball publicly refuted it; later church leaders have called the explanation a folk belief. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young reasoned that black skin was a result of the Curse of Cain or the Curse of Ham. They used these Biblical curses to justify slavery. Young believed the curse made black people ineligible to vote, marry white people, or hold the priesthood. Successive church presidents continued to use the Biblical curses to justify excluding black men from priesthood ordination and excluding black men and women from the Church's temples. The racist theories that black skin was a curse or mark of inferiority were not officially contradicted until 2013.Young was instrumental in officially legalizing slavery in Utah Territory, teaching that the doctrine of slavery was connected to the priesthood ban. Slavery in Utah ended in 1862 when Congress abolished it. Blacks gained the right to vote in 1867. Young and other church leaders were against interracial marriage. Utah's anti-miscegenation law was repealed in 1963. There has never been a written church policy against interracial marriage. Church publications from 2003 still recommended that young people marry those with similar racial backgrounds. Black people in the LDS Church suffered exclusion and discrimination even after the 1978 revelation, and many still feel the effects of racist attitudes.
In the 1970s, three members were excommunicated for criticizing the LDS Church's racial exclusion policies. Church president Kimball refuted racism in the 1970s, and in 2017 the LDS Church denounced racism and white supremacy.
Though the LDS Church had an open membership policy for all races, they avoided opening missions in areas with large black populations and discouraged people with black ancestry from investigating the church. After the 1978 revelation, the LDS Church actively proselyted to blacks, and black membership greatly increased. Six temples are planned or built in Africa outside of South Africa. In 2008, there were about 1 million black members worldwide.
The priesthood of most other Mormon denominations, such as the Community of Christ, Bickertonite, and Strangite, have always been open to persons of all races.Black people in France
French Black people or Black people in France (French: Noirs de France), are French citizens or residents who are of black African origin.Black supremacy
Black supremacy or black supremacism is a racial supremacist belief which maintains that black people are superior to people of other races. The term has been used by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an American legal advocacy organization, to describe several fringe religious groups in the United States.Golliwog
The golliwog, golliwogg or golly is a fictional character created by Florence Kate Upton that appears in children's books in the late 19th century and usually depicted as a type of rag doll. It was reproduced, both by commercial and hobby toy-makers as a children's toy called the "golliwog", and had great popularity in the UK and Australia into the 1970s. The doll is characterised by black skin, eyes rimmed in white, red lips and frizzy hair. Though home-made golliwogs were sometimes female, the golliwog was generally male. For this reason, in the period following World War II, the golliwog was seen, along with the teddy bear, as a suitable soft toy for a young boy.
The image of the doll has become the subject of controversy. Whilst some people see the doll as an innocuous toy, its is considered as racist, along with pickaninnies, minstrels, mammy figures, and other caricatures of black Africans. The golliwog has been described by the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia as "the least known of the major anti-Black caricatures in the United States". In recent years, changing political attitudes with regard to race have reduced the popularity and sales of golliwogs as toys. Manufacturers who have used golliwogs as a motif (e.g. Robertson's Marmalade in the UK) have either withdrawn them as an icon, or changed the name. In particular, the association of the golliwog with the pejorative term "wog" has resulted in use of alternative names such as "golly" and "golly doll".Nigga
Nigga () is a colloquial term used in African-American Vernacular English that began as an eye dialect form of the word "nigger", an ethnic slur against black people. In some dialects of English, the word is pronounced the same as nigger in non-rhotic speech.Nigger
In the English language, the word nigger is an ethnic slur typically directed at black people. The word originated in the 18th century as an adaptation of the Spanish negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, which means black. It was used derogatorily, and by the mid-20th century, particularly in the United States, its usage became unambiguously pejorative, a racist insult. Accordingly, it began to disappear from popular culture, and its continued inclusion in classic works of literature has sparked controversy. Because the term is considered extremely offensive, it is often referred to by the euphemism "the N-word".Négritude
Négritude is a framework of critique and literary theory, developed mainly by francophone intellectuals, writers, and politicians of the African diaspora during the 1930s. Its initiators included Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor (the first President of Senegal), and Léon Damas of French Guiana. Négritude intellectuals disavowed colonialism, and argued for the importance of a Pan-African racial identity among people of African descent worldwide. The intellectuals employed Marxist political philosophy, in the Black radical tradition. The writers generally used a realist literary style, and some say they were also influenced somewhat by the Surrealist stylistics. In 1932, the manifesto "Murderous Humanitarianism" was signed by prominent Surrealists, including the Martinicans Pierre Yoyotte and J. M. Monnerot.
Négritude inspired a range of other movements, one of these being "Black is beautiful". The Black is Beautiful movement was a cultural movement that began in the 1960s in the United States and was led by African Americans. This movement, which has its origins in Négritude, began in an effort to counteract the racist notion in American culture that features typical of Black people were less attractive or desirable than those of White people.Persecution of black people in Nazi Germany
While Black people in Nazi Germany were never subject to mass extermination as in the cases of Jews, Romani and Slavs, they were still considered by the Nazis to be an inferior race and, along with Romani people, were subject to the Nuremberg Laws under a supplementary decree.Racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States is the separation of racial groups in aspects of daily life in the history of the United States. For most of United States history, segregation maintained the separation of African Americans from whites. The term also applies to the segregation of racial groups from one another, especially the segregation of people of color from whites.
The term refers to the physical separation of racial groups and to the separation of roles within an institution, such as white units being separated from black units in the United States Armed Forces (that were nevertheless led by white officers). Segregation was maintained through the doctrine of providing so-called "separate but equal" facilities that were rarely equal. Signs were used to show non-whites where they could legally walk, talk, drink, rest, or eat.An African-American historian, Marvin Dunn, described segregation in Miami, Florida, about 1950:
My mother shopped there [ Burdine's department store] but she was not allowed to try on clothes or to return clothes. Blacks were not allowed to use the elevator or eat at the lunch counter. All the white stores were similar in this regard. The Greyhound Bus Station had separate waiting rooms and toilets for blacks and whites. Blacks could not eat at the counter in the bus station. The first black police offficers for the city had been hired in 1947…but they could not arrest white people. My parents were registered as Republicans until the 1950s because they were not allowed to join the Democrat Party before 1947.
Racial segregation follows two forms. De jure segregation mandates the separation of races by law, and was the form that segregation took from the founding of the United States until the 1960s, when Congress passed legislation protecting civil rights. These included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act in 1968. In specific areas, however, segregation was barred earlier by the Supreme Court in decisions such as the Brown v. Board of Education decision that overturned school segregation in the United States. De facto segregation, or segregation "in fact", is that which exists without sanction of the law. De facto segregation continues today in areas such as residential segregation and school segregation because of both contemporary behavior and the historical legacy of de jure segregation.Red Summer
The Red Summer refers to the late winter, spring, summer, and early autumn of 1919, which were marked by hundreds of deaths and higher casualties across the United States, as a result of racial riots that occurred in more than three dozen cities and one rural county. In most instances, whites attacked African Americans. In some cases many black people fought back, notably in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The highest number of fatalities occurred in the rural area around Elaine, Arkansas, where an estimated 100–240 black people, and five white people, were killed; Chicago and Washington, D.C. had 38 and 15 deaths, respectively, and many more injured, with extensive property damage in Chicago.The racial riots against blacks resulted from a variety of postwar social tensions related to the demobilization of veterans of World War I, both black and white, and competition for jobs and housing among ethnic white people and black people. In addition, it was a time of labor unrest in which some industrialists used black people as strikebreakers, increasing resentment. The riots were extensively documented in the press, which, along with the federal government, feared Socialist and communist influence on the black civil rights movement following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. They also feared foreign anarchists, who had bombed homes and businesses of prominent business and government leaders.
Civil rights activist and author James Weldon Johnson coined the term "Red Summer"; he had been employed as a field secretary since 1916 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1919, he organized peaceful protests against the racial violence of that summer.Stereotypes of African Americans
Generalizations and stereotypes of African Americans and their culture have evolved within American society dating back to the colonial years of settlement, particularly after slavery became a racial institution that was heritable.
A comprehensive examination of the restrictions imposed upon African-Americans in the United States of America through culture is examined by art historian Guy C. McElroy in the catalog to the exhibit "Facing History: The Black Image in American Art 1710-1940." According to McElroy, the artistic convention of representing African-Americans as less than fully realized humans began with Justus Engelhardt Kühn's colonial era painting Henry Darnall III as a child. Although Kühn's work existed "simultaneously with a radically different tradition in colonial America" as indicated by the work of portraitists such as Charles (or Carolus) Zechel, (see Portrait of a Negro Girl and Portrait of a Negro boy) the market demand for such work reflected the attitudes and economic status of their audience.
From the colonial era through the American Revolution ideas about African-Americans were variously used in propaganda either for or against the issue of slavery. Paintings like John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark (1778) and Samuel Jennings' Liberty Displaying the Arts and Sciences (1792) are early examples of the debate underway at that time as to the role of Black people in America. Watson represents an historical event, while Liberty is indicative of abolitionist sentiments expressed in Philadelphia's post revolutionary intellectual community. Nevertheless, Jennings' painting represents African-Americans as passive, submissive beneficiaries of not only slavery's abolition, but knowledge, which liberty has graciously bestowed upon them.
As a stereotypical caricature "performed by white men disguised in facial paint, minstrelsy relegated black people to sharply defined dehumanizing roles." With the success of T. D. Rice and Daniel Emmet the label of "blacks as buffoons" was created. One of the earliest versions of the "black as buffoon" can be seen in John Lewis Krimmel's Quilting Frolic. The violinist in the 1813 painting, with his tattered and patched clothing, along with a bottle protruding from his coat pocket, appears to be an early model for Rice's Jim Crow character. Krimmel's representation of a "[s]habbily dressed" fiddler and serving girl with "toothy smile" and "oversized red lips" marks him as "...one of the first American artists to utilize physiognomical distortions as a basic element in the depiction of African-Americans."Uncle Tom
Uncle Tom is the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The term "Uncle Tom" is also used as a derogatory epithet for an exceedingly subservient person, particularly when that person is aware of their own lower-class status based on race. The use of the epithet is the result of later works derived from the original novel.