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African American History

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Most African Americans are descended from Africans who were brought directly from Africa to America and became slaves. The future slaves were originally captured in African wars or raids and transported in the Atlantic slave trade. African Americans are descended from various ethnic groups, mostly from ethnic groups that lived in Western and Central Africa, including the Sahel. A smaller number of African Americans are descended from ethnic groups that lived in Eastern and Southeastern Africa. The major ethnic groups that the enslaved Africans belonged to included the Hausa, Bakongo, Igbo, Mandé, Wolof, Akan, Fon, Yoruba, and Makua, among many others. Although these different groups varied in customs, religious theology and language, what they had in common was a way of life which was different from that of the Europeans. Originally, a majority of the future slaves came from these villages and societies, however, once they were sent to the Americas and enslaved, these different peoples had European standards and beliefs forced upon them, causing them to do away with tribal differences and forge a new history and culture that was a creolization of their common past, present, and European culture . Slaves who belonged to specific African ethnic groups were more sought after and became more dominant in numbers than slaves who belonged to other African ethnic groups in certain regions of what later became the United States.

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