Black people
Overview
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned
Human skin color
Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish tinge due to blood vessels underneath. Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain...

 phenotype
Phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

, relative to other racial groups.

Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a role so that relatively dark-skinned people can be classified as white
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 if they fulfill other social criteria of whiteness and relatively light-skinned people can be classified as black if they fulfill the social criteria for blackness.

As a biological phenotype being "black" is often associated with the very dark skin color
Human skin color
Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish tinge due to blood vessels underneath. Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain...

s of some people who are classified as 'black'.
Encyclopedia
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned
Human skin color
Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish tinge due to blood vessels underneath. Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain...

 phenotype
Phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

, relative to other racial groups.

Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a role so that relatively dark-skinned people can be classified as white
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 if they fulfill other social criteria of whiteness and relatively light-skinned people can be classified as black if they fulfill the social criteria for blackness.

As a biological phenotype being "black" is often associated with the very dark skin color
Human skin color
Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish tinge due to blood vessels underneath. Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain...

s of some people who are classified as 'black'. But, particularly in the United States, the racial or ethnic classification also 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 to have African ancestry and to exhibit cultural traits associated with being "African-American". The term 'black people' is not an indicator of skin color but of socially based racial classification.

Some definitions of the term include only people of relatively recent Sub Saharan African descent (see African diaspora
African diaspora
The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

). Among the members of this group, dark skin is most often accompanied by the expression of natural afro-hair texture (recent scientific study notes that human skin color diversity is highest in sub-Saharan African populations). Other definitions of the term "black people" extend to other populations characterized by dark skin, sometimes including people indigenous to Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

.

Dark skin

The evolution of dark skin is linked intrinsically to the loss of body hair in humans.
By 1.2 million years ago, all people having descendants today had the same receptor protein of today's Africans; their skin was dark, and the intense sun lowered the chance of survival of those with lighter skin that resulted from mutational variation in the receptor protein. This is significantly earlier than the speciation
Speciation
Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. The biologist Orator F. Cook seems to have been the first to coin the term 'speciation' for the splitting of lineages or 'cladogenesis,' as opposed to 'anagenesis' or 'phyletic evolution' occurring within lineages...

 of Homo sapiens from Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

some 250,000 years ago.

Skin cancer
Skin cancer
Skin neoplasms are skin growths with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma, each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises...

 as a result of ultraviolet light
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 radiation causing mutations in the skin is less common among people with dark skin than it is among those with light skin. Dark skin prevents an essential B vitamin, folate, from being destroyed. In the absence of modern medicine and diet, a person with dark skin in the tropics would live longer, be healthier and more likely to reproduce than a person with light skin. As evidence of this expectation of adverse effects of light skin in the tropics, white
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 Australians have some of the highest rates of skin cancer. Conversely, as dark skin prevents sunlight from penetrating the skin, it hinders the production of vitamin D3
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate ....

. When humans migrated to less sun-intensive regions in the north, low vitamin D3
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate ....

 levels became a problem, and humans with lighter skin were more successful in reproducing. White people of Europe, who have low levels of melanin
Melanin
Melanin is a pigment that is ubiquitous in nature, being found in most organisms . In animals melanin pigments are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. The most common form of biological melanin is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer of dihydroxyindole carboxylic acids, and their reduced forms...

, naturally have an almost colorless skin pigmentation, especially when untanned
Sun tanning
Sun tanning or simply tanning is the process whereby skin color is darkened or tanned. The process is most often a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from artificial sources, such as a tanning bed, but can also be a result of windburn or reflected light...

. This low level of pigmentation allows the blood vessels to become visible, which gives the characteristic pale pink color of white people. The loss of melanin in white people is thought to have been caused by a mutation in one letter out of 3.1 billion letters of DNA.

Hair

The texture of hair
Hair
Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Found exclusively in mammals, hair is one of the defining characteristics of the mammalian class....

 in people of Sub-Saharan African ancestry is noticeably different from that of Eurasian populations. Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 described the peoples of Libya
Ancient Libya
The Latin name Libya referred to the region west of the Nile Valley, generally corresponding to modern Northwest Africa. Climate changes affected the locations of the settlements....

 (the "western Ethiopians") as wooly-haired.

Such "afro-hair
Natural afro-hair
Afro-textured hair is a term used to refer to the natural texture of Black African hair that has not been altered by hot combs, flat irons, or chemicals ....

" texture is denser than its straight counterparts. Due to this, it is often referred to as 'coily', 'thick', 'nappy', 'bushy', or 'woolly'. For several reasons, possibly including its relatively flat cross section (among other factors), this hair type conveys a dry or matte appearance. It is coarse, and its unique shape renders it prone to breakage when combed or brushed.

The specific characteristics of the natural afro-hair form are unique among all mammals. The texture likely predates the evolution of dark skin. It evolved when, as pre-human Australopithecines lost most of their fur to enable perspiration, the need to protect the newly exposed pale skin underneath this body hair was crucial (see in light of Rogers and others., 2004 and Harding and others., 2000). The trait ceased to be essential to survival at the equator upon the evolution of hairless dark skin. Yet it has continued to be expressed vestigially among most Melanesians, Andaman Islanders, and sub-Saharan Africans.

Sub-Saharan

Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

 is a common, if imprecise term that encompasses African countries located south of the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 Desert. It is commonly used to differentiate the region culturally, ecologically, politically and, more controversially, racially, from North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, which has historically been part of the Mediterranean sphere.

Because the indigenous people of this region are primarily dark-skinned, it is alternatively called "Black Africa". Some criticize the use of the term, because, as it has become in many quarters synonymous with Black Africa, people may not realize that there are also indigenous black populations in North Africa. In addition, the Sahara cuts across countries such as Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

, Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

, Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, and South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

, leaving some parts of them in North Africa and some in sub-Saharan Africa.

Owen 'Alik Shahadah
Owen 'Alik Shahadah
Owen 'Alik Shahadah is a director, African writer, and scholar. He is best known for authoring works, which deal with African history, social justice, environmental issues, education and world peace...

 argues that the term sub-Saharan Africa has racist overtones:
Some Black Africans prefer to be culturally distinguished from those who live in the north of the continent.

South Africa

In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 during the apartheid era
History of South Africa in the apartheid era
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority 'non-white' inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained...

, the population was classified into four main racial groups: Black, White, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n
(mostly India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n), and Coloured
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

. The Coloured group included people of mixed Bantu, Khoisan
Khoisan
Khoisan is a unifying name for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and putative linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San and the pastoral Khoi...

, and European
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

 descent (with some Malay
Cape Malays
The Cape Malay community is an ethnic group or community in South Africa. It derives its name from the present-day Western Cape of South Africa and the people originally from Maritime Southeast Asia, mostly Javanese from modern-day Indonesia, a Dutch colony for several centuries, and Dutch...

 ancestry, especially in the Western Cape
Western Cape
The Western Cape is a province in the south west of South Africa. The capital is Cape Town. Prior to 1994, the region that now forms the Western Cape was part of the much larger Cape Province...

). The Coloured definition occupied an intermediary position between the Black and White definitions in South Africa.

The apartheid bureaucracy devised complex (and often arbitrary) criteria in the Population Registration Act
Population Registration Act
The Population Registration Act of 1950 required that each inhabitant of South Africa be classified and registered in accordance with their racial characteristics as part of the system of apartheid. Social rights, political rights, educational opportunities, and economic status were largely...

 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 a person was to be considered Colored or Black, the "pencil test" was employed. This involved inserting a pencil in a person's hair to determine if the hair was kinky enough for the pencil to get stuck.

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'.

In the post-apartheid era, the ANC government's laws in support of their affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

 policies define 'Black' people to include "Africans", "Coloureds" and "Asians". Their affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

 policies have also favored 'Africans' over 'Coloureds'. Some South Africans categorized as 'African Black' openly state that 'Coloureds' did not suffer as much as they did during apartheid. The popular saying by 'Coloured' South Africans to illustrate their dilemma is:
In 2008, the High Court in South Africa ruled that Chinese South Africans who were residents during the apartheid era (and their descendents) 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.

Other than by appearance, 'Coloureds' can usually be distinguished from 'Blacks' by language. Most speak Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 or English as a first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

, as opposed to Bantu languages
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

 such as Zulu
Zulu language
Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority of whom live in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa as well as being understood by over 50% of the population...

 or Xhosa
Xhosa language
Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by approximately 7.9 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Like most Bantu languages, Xhosa is a tonal language, that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said...

. They also tend to have more European-sounding names than Bantu names.

Arab world

Black African and Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

ern peoples have interacted since prehistoric times. Some historians estimate that as many as 14 million black slaves were transported across the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, and Sahara Desert in the Arab slave trade
Arab slave trade
The Arab slave trade was the practice of slavery in the Arab World, mainly Western Asia, North Africa, East Africa and certain parts of Europe during their period of domination by Arab leaders. The trade was focused on the slave markets of the Middle East and North Africa...

 from 650 to 1900 CE. The Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail "the Bloodthirsty" (1672–1727) raised a corps of 150,000 black slaves, called his Black Guard
Black Guard
The Black Guard , also known as "Masters of the Blackness," were the corps of black-African slave-soldiers assembled by the Alaouite sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail...

, who coerced the country into submission.
In more recent times, about 1000 CE, interactions between black people and Arabs resulted in the incorporation of extensive Arabic vocabulary into Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

, which became a useful lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

for merchants. Some of this linguistic exchange occurred as part of the slave trade; the history of Islam and slavery
Islam and Slavery
Islamic views on slavery first developed out of the slavery practices of pre-Islamic Arabia. During the wars between different states/tribes in various parts of the world, prisoners/captives were either killed or enslaved...

 shows that the major juristic schools traditionally accepted the institution of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. As a result, Arab influence spread along the east coast of Africa and to some extent into the interior (see Swahili people
Swahili people
The Swahili people are a Bantu ethnic group and culture found in East Africa, mainly in the coastal regions and the islands of Kenya, Tanzania and north Mozambique. According to JoshuaProject, the Swahili number in at around 1,328,000. The name Swahili is derived from the Arabic word Sawahil,...

). Timbuktu
Timbuktu
Timbuktu , formerly also spelled Timbuctoo, is a town in the West African nation of Mali situated north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali...

 was a trading outpost that linked West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 with Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

, Arab, and Jewish traders throughout the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. As a result of these interactions, some female-mediated gene flow into the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 from Sub-Saharan Africa can be observed in certain populations.

According to Dr. Carlos Moore, resident scholar at Brazil's University of the state of Bahia, Afro-multiracials in the Arab world self-identify in ways that resemble Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. He claims that black-looking Arabs, much like black-looking Latin Americans
Latin Americans
Latin Americans are the citizens of the Latin American countries and dependencies. Latin American countries are multi-ethnic, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Latin Americans don't take their nationality as an ethnicity, but identify themselves with...

, consider themselves white because they have some distant white ancestry.
Moore also claims that a film about Egyptian President
President of Egypt
The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the head of state of Egypt.Under the Constitution of Egypt, the president is also the supreme commander of the armed forces and head of the executive branch of the Egyptian government....

 Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

 had to be canceled when Sadat discovered that an African-American had been cast to play him. In fact, the 1983 television movie Sadat, starring Louis Gossett, Jr.
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Louis Cameron Gossett, Jr. is an American actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman and Fiddler in the 1970s television miniseries Roots...

, was not canceled. The Egyptian government refused to let the drama air in Egypt, partially on the grounds of the casting of Gossett.

Sadat's mother was a dark-skinned Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

ese woman and his father was a lighter-skinned Egyptian
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

. In response to an advertisement for an acting position he remarked, "I am not white but I am not exactly black either. My blackness is tending to reddish".

Fathia Nkrumah
Fathia Nkrumah
Fathia Nkrumah , was an Egyptian and the First Lady of the newly independent Ghana as the wife of the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, its first president....

 was another Egyptian with ties to Black Africa. She was the late wife of Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

ian revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

, whose marriage was seen as helping plant the seeds of cooperation between Egypt and other African countries as they struggled for independence from European colonization. This helped advance the formation of the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

.

Because of the patriarchal nature of Arab society, Arab men enslaved more black women than men, and used more black female slaves than males. The men interpreted the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 to permit sexual relations between a male master and his female slave
Ma malakat aymanukum and sex
In Islamic Divine law , Ma malakat aymanukum is the term for captives of war.-Qur'an:...

 outside of marriage,, leading to many mixed-race children. When an enslaved woman became pregnant with her Arab master's child, she became umm walad or “mother of a child”, a status that granted her privileged rights. The child was allowed to prosper from the wealth of the father and was given rights of inheritance. Because the society was patrilineal, the children took their fathers' status at birth and were born free. Some succeeded their fathers as rulers, as was the case with Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, who ruled Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 from 1578 to 1608. His mother was a Fulani concubine of his father.

Such tolerance, however, was not extended to wholly black persons, even when technically "free." Arabs commonly believed that blacks were slaves. The term "abd
Abd (Arabic)
Abd is an Arabic word meaning one who is totally subordinated; a slave or a servant.Abid is a given name meaning "worshipper". It is based on the Arabic word "Ibadah", i.e. worship...

", "slave," remains a common term for black people in the Middle East, often though not always derogatory.

Turkey

Beginning several centuries ago, a number of sub-Saharan Africans were brought by slave traders during the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 to plantations between Antalya
Antalya Province
Antalya Province is located on the Mediterranean coast of south-west Turkey, between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean sea.Antalya Province is the centre of Turkey's tourism industry, attracting 30% of foreign tourists visiting Turkey. The province of Antalya corresponds to the lands of...

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 in modern-day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. Some of their descendants remain, mixed with the rest of the population in these areas, and many migrated to larger cities. Some came from the island of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 following the population exchange between Greece and Turkey
Population exchange between Greece and Turkey
The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was based upon religious identity, and involved the Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey and the Muslim citizens of Greece...

 in 1923.

Israel

About 150,000 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
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

, most of whom 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, who reside mainly in a distinct neighborhood in the Negev town of Dimona
Dimona
Dimona is an Israeli city in the Negev desert, to the south of Beersheba and west of the Dead Sea above the Arava valley in the Southern District of Israel. Its population at the end of 2007 was 33,600.-History:...

. Unknown numbers of black converts to Judaism reside in Israel, most of them converts from the UK, Canada, and the United States. Thousands of mixed-race individuals with non-black Jewish relatives also live in Israel.

In the Americas

Approximately 12 million Africans were shipped to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

 from 1492 to 1888. Today their descendants number approximately 150 million, most of whom live in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, including Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. Many have a multiracial background of African, Amerindian, European and Asian ancestry. The various regions developed complex social conventions with which their multi-ethnic populations were classified.

United States

In the first 200 years that black people were in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, they commonly referred to themselves as Africans. In Africa, people primarily identified themselves by ethnic group (closely allied to language) and not by skin color. Individuals would be Ashanti, Igbo
Igbo people
Igbo people, also referred to as the Ibo, Ebo, Eboans or Heebo are an ethnic group living chiefly in southeastern Nigeria. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects; today, a majority of them speak English alongside Igbo as a result of British colonialism...

, Bakongo
Kongo people
The Bakongo or the Kongo people , also sometimes referred to as Kongolese or Congolese, is a Bantu ethnic group which lives along the Atlantic coast of Africa from Pointe-Noire to Luanda, Angola...

 or Wolof
Wolof people
The Wolof are an ethnic group found in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania.In Senegal, the Wolof form an ethnic plurality with about 43.3% of the population are Wolofs...

. But when Africans were brought to the Americas, they were forced to give up their ethnic affiliations when they were combined with other groups from Africa. In areas of the Upper South, different ethnic groups were brought together. This is significant as Africans came from a vast geographic region, the West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

n coastline stretching from Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 to Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 and in some cases from the south east coast such as Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. A new 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 Black English. This new identity was based on African ancestry and slave status rather than any one ethnic group.

In March 1807, Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, which largely controlled the Atlantic, declared the trans-atlantic slave trade illegal, as did the United States. (The latter prohibition took effect January 1, 1808, the earliest date on which Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 had the power to do so under Article I, Section 9 of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

.)

By that time, the majority of black people were U.S.-born, so use of the term "African" became problematic. Though initially a source of pride, many blacks feared 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
Negro
The word Negro is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance, whether of African descent or not...

" or "Colored American". A few institutions chose to keep their historic names, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the...

. "Negro" and "colored" remained the popular terms until the late 1960s.

The term black was used throughout but not frequently as it carried a certain stigma.
In his 1963 "I Have a Dream
I Have a Dream
"I Have a Dream" is a 17-minute public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination...

" speech, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 uses the terms Negro 15 times and black 4 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
African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
The African-American Civil Rights Movement refers to the movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring voting rights to them. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1955 and 1968, particularly in the South...

, 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
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

" by Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael
Stokely Carmichael
Kwame Ture , also known as Stokely Carmichael, was a Trinidadian-American black activist active in the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. He rose to prominence first as a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later as the "Honorary Prime Minister" of the Black Panther Party...

) and the release of James Brown's song "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud
Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud
"Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud" is a funk song written and recorded by James Brown in 1968. It is notable both as one of Brown's signature songs and as one of the most popular Black Power anthems of the 1960s. The song was released as a two-part single which held the number-one spot on the...

".

In 1988 Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

 urged Americans to use the term African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 because the term has a historical cultural base. Since then African American and black have essentially a coequal status. Controversy continues over which term is more appropriate. Some such as Maulana Karenga and Owen Alik Shahadah argue African-American is more appropriate because it accurately articulates geography and historical origin. Others have argued that "Black" is a better term because "African" suggests foreignness, despite the long presence of Black people in the US. Still others believe the term black is inaccurate because African Americans have a variety of skin tones. Surveys show 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. Increases in the number of immigrants to the United States from Africa
African immigration to the United States
African immigration to the United States refers to the group of recent immigrants to the United States who are nationals of Africa. The term African in the scope of this article refers to geographical or national origins rather than racial affiliation....

, the Caribbean and Latin America have brought up questions about who uses the term African American. The more recent African immigrants may sometimes view themselves, and be viewed, as culturally distinct from native-born people who are descendants of African slaves.

The U.S. census race definitions
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 says a black is a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "Black, African Am., or Negro," or who provide written entries such as African American, Afro American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

an. However, the Census Bureau notes that these classifications are socio-political constructs and should not be interpreted as scientific or anthropological.

A considerable portion of the U.S. population identified as black also has some Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 or European
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 ancestry. For instance, genetic studies of African American people show an ancestry that is on average 17–18% European.
One drop rule

Since the late nineteenth century, the South used a colloquial term, the one-drop rule
One-drop rule
The one-drop rule is a historical colloquial term in the United States for the social classification as black of individuals with any African ancestry; meaning any person with "one drop of black blood" was considered black...

, to classify as black any known African ancestry. This practice of hypodescent was not put into law until the early twentieth century. Legally the definition varied from state to state, and was more flexible in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries before the American Civil War. For instance, 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 of the US, 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 been maintained as an attempt to keep the white race pure. One of the results of the one drop rule was uniting the African-American community. Some of the most prominent civil rights activists were multiracial, and advocated equality for all.
Blackness

The concept of blackness in the United States has been described as the degree to which one associates themselves with mainstream African American culture
African American culture
African-American culture, also known as black culture, in the United States refers to the cultural contributions of Americans of African descent to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from American culture. The distinct identity of African-American culture is rooted in...

 and values. To a certain extent, this concept is not so much about race but more about culture and behavior. Blackness can be contrasted with "acting white
Acting white
In the United States, acting white is a pejorative term usually applied to African-Americans, which refers to a person's perceived betrayal of their culture by assuming the social expectations of white society. Success in education in particular can be seen as a form of selling out by being...

" where black Americans are said to behave with assumed characteristics of stereotypical white Americans, with regard to fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

, dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

, taste in music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, and possibly, from the perspective of a significant number of Black youth, academic achievement.

The notion of blackness can also be extended to non-black people. Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved...

 once described Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 as the first black president, because of his warm relations with African Americans, his poor upbringing and also because he is a jazz musician. Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Eric Hitchens is an Anglo-American author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, Free Inquiry, and became a media fellow at the...

 was offended by the notion of Clinton as the first black president noting "we can still define blackness by the following symptoms: alcoholic mothers, under-the-bridge habits...the tendency to sexual predation and shameless perjury about the same". Some black activists were also offended, claiming Clinton used his knowledge of black culture to exploit black people like no other president before for political gain, while not serving black interests. They note his lack of action during the Rwanda genocide and his welfare reform
Welfare reform
Welfare reform refers to the process of reforming the framework of social security and welfare provisions, but what is considered reform is a matter of opinion. The term was used in the United States to support the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act...

 which some claim led to the worst child poverty
Child poverty
Child poverty refers to the phenomenon of children living in poverty. This applies to children that come from poor families or orphans being raised with limited, or in some cases absent, state resources. Children that fail to meet the minimum acceptable standard of life for the nation where that...

 since the 1960s along with the fact that the number of black people in jail increased during his administration.

The question of blackness also arose in Democrat Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's 2008 presidential campaign
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

. Commentators have questioned whether Obama, who was elected the first black President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, is black enough, as his mother was white American
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

, and his father was a black Kenyan immigrant. Obama refers to himself interchangeably as black and African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

.

Brazil

The topic of race in Brazil is a complex and diverse one. A Brazilian child was never automatically identified with the racial type of one or both parents, nor were there only two categories to choose from. Between a pure black and a very light mulatto over a dozen racial categories would be recognized in conformity with the 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. That is, race referred to appearance, not heredity.

There is some disagreement among scholars over the effects of social status on racial classifications in Brazil. It is generally believed that upward mobility and education results in reclassification of individuals into lighter skinned categories. 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, but a typically black person will consistently be identified as black regardless of wealth or social status. Multiracial persons can even reappreciate their African heritage and start to declare themselves as Black persons with increasings of social status and education.
Statistics


Brazilian Population, by Race, from 1872 to 1991 (Census Data)
Ethnic group White Black Brown Yellow (Asian) Undeclared Total
1872 3,787,289 1,954,452 4,188,737 - - 9,930,478
1940 26,171,778 6,035,869 8,744,365 242,320 41,983 41,236,315
1991 75,704,927 7,335,136 62,316,064 630,656 534,878 146,521,661
Demographics of Brazil
Year White Pardo Black
1835 24.4% 18.2% 51.4%
2000 53.7% 38.5% 6.2%
2010 48.4% 42.4% 6.7%


From the year 1500 to 1850 an estimated 3.5 million Africans were forcibly shipped to Brazil. It is estimated that more than half of the Brazilian population is at least in part descendants of these Africans. Brazil has the largest population of Afro-descendants outside of Africa. In contrast to the US there were no segregation or anti-miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 laws in Brazil and as a result intermarriage has affected a large majority of the Brazilian population. Even much of the white/Asian population has either African or Amerindian blood. According to the last census of the 20th century 54% identified themselves as white, 6.2% identified themselves as black and 39.5% identified themselves as Pardo
Pardo
In Brazil, Pardo is a race/colour category used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in Brazilian censuses. It is a Portuguese word that encompasses various shades of brown, but is usually translated as "grayish-brown"...

 (brown) — a broad multiracial category.

A philosophy of whitening
Racial whitening
Racial Whitening or "Whitening" is an ideology that was widely accepted in Brazil between 1889 and 1914, as the solution to the "Negro problem." Supporters of the Whitening ideology believed that the Negro race would advance culturally and genetically, or even disappear totally, within several...

 emerged in Brazil in the 19th century. Until recently the government did not keep data on race. However, statisticians estimate that in 1835 half the population was black, one fifth was Pardo (brown) and one fourth white. By 2000 the black population had fallen to only 6.2% and the Pardo had increased to 40% and white to 55%. Essentially most of the black population was absorbed into the multiracial category by intermixing. A recent study found that at least 29% of the middle class white Brazilian population had some recent African ancestry.
Race relations in Brazil

Because of the ideology of miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

, Brazil has avoided the polarization of society into black and white. The bitter and sometimes violent racial tensions that divide the US are notably absent in Brazil. According to the census, 6.7% of Brazilians said they were black, compared with 6.2% in 2000, and 43.1% said they were mixed race, up from 38.5%. According to Brazil's minister for racial equality, Elio Ferreira de Araujo, attributed the change to growing pride among his country's black and indigenous communities.

However, the philosophy of the racial democracy in Brazil has drawn criticism from some quarters. 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. One-third of the population lives under the poverty line, with blacks and other non-whites accounting for 70 percent of the poor.

In the US, black people earn 75% of what white people earn. In Brazil, non-whites earn less than 50% of what whites earn. Some have posited that Brazil does in fact practice the one drop rule when social economic factors are considered. This is because the gap in income between blacks and other non-whites is relatively small compared to the large gap between whites and non-whites. Other factors such as illiteracy and education level show the same patterns.
Unlike in the US where African Americans were united in the civil rights struggle, in Brazil the philosophy of whitening has helped divide blacks from other non-whites and prevented a more active civil rights movement.

Though Brazilians of African heritage make up a large percentage the population there are very few black politicians. The city of Salvador, Bahia
Salvador, Bahia
Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first...

 for instance is 80% Afro-Brazilian but has never had a black mayor. Critics indicate that US cities that have a black majority, such as Detroit and New Orleans, have never had white mayors since first electing black mayors in the 1970s.

Non-white people also have limited media visibility. The Latin American media, in particular the Brazilian media, has been accused of hiding its Black, Indigenous, Multiracial and East Asian population. For example the telenovelas or soaps
Soap opera
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble,...

 are said to be a hotbed of largely light-eyed
Eye color
Eye color is a polygenic phenotypic character and is determined by two distinct factors: the pigmentation of the eye's iris and the frequency-dependence of the scattering of light by the turbid medium in the stroma of the iris....

 white
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

 and light-skinned mulattoes and mestizos (often deemed as white persons in Brazil if achieving the middle class or higher social status) actors. Most rare empowered persons of color represented in Latin American media possess typically Caucasian features due to a mix of racist standards of beauty
Beauty
Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture...

, colourism and lookism
Lookism
Lookism is a term used to refer to discrimination against or prejudice towards others based on their appearance. The term was first coined within the Fat acceptance movement...

. Nevertheless, in the last years, the number of empowered afrodescendants (either economically or by other ways) increased in Brazilian media coverage. Despite Brazil also possessing criminal black man stereotype
Criminal black man stereotype
The criminal black man is an ethnic stereotype in the United States associated with characterizing some African-American men as criminal and dangerous. The figure of the black man as criminal has appeared frequently in popular culture and media...

s, it is considered a huge prejudice and mostly not used in a disordered way by the media, in spite of sometimes common "humouristic" sexist jokes and LGBT stereotyping
LGBT stereotypes
Stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are conventional, formulaic generalizations, opinions, or images about persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Stereotypes and homophobia are a learned outlook, i.e...

  and as such lack of politically correct
Politically Correct
Politically Correct may refer to:*Political correctness, language, ideas, policies, or behaviour seeking to minimize offence to groups of people-See also:*Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, book by James Finn Garner, published in 1994...

ness in native race issues is not a major problem (there are way more stereotypes of Asian people, Europeans or U.S. Americans, for example).

These patterns of discrimination against non-whites have led some to advocate for the use of the Portuguese term 'negro' to encompass non-whites so as to renew a black consciousness and identity, in effect an African descent rule. It generates criticism since Pardo
Pardo
In Brazil, Pardo is a race/colour category used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in Brazilian censuses. It is a Portuguese word that encompasses various shades of brown, but is usually translated as "grayish-brown"...

, or Brown people
Brown people
Brown people or brown race is a political, racial, ethnic, societal, and cultural classification, similar to black people and white people. Like these, it is a metaphor for race based on human skin color, reflecting the fact that there are shades of skin colour intermediate between "Mediterranean" ...

, is intended to include caboclo
Caboclo
A caboclo or caboco is a person of a mixed Brazilian Indian and European ancestry. In Brazil, a caboclo is a specific type of mestiço as is the mulato, a person of a mixed Afro-Brazilian and European ancestry....

s (mestizos), assimilated Amerindians and tri-racials, not only afrodescendants — thus Brazilian of some or no recent African descent, as most White Brazilians, become 60–70% of the population, breaking the argument of possible Brazilian one drop rule since real noticeable mulattoes, cafuzos (zambos) and black persons are a minority and the Brazilian poor represents larger percents in Brazil. As one would expect from an underdeveloped country, there are pockets of poverty in White-majority and Japanese Brazilian-majority areas, rarer in urban developments but common in rural areas. They are even more common among Mestizo-majority areas, and Amerindian communities.

In Asia and Australasia

China

As of August, 2008, The Migration Information Source article noted that "A Nigerian Embassy spokesman estimated that Nigerians possibly make up the largest group of Black Africans in China, with about 2,000 to 3,000 Nigerians in Guangdong in 2006. Most businessmen only stay temporarily."

India and Southeast Asia

The Great Andamanese
Great Andamanese
Great Andamanese is a collective term used to refer to related indigenous peoples who lived throughout most of the Great Andaman archipelago, the main and closely situated group of islands in the Andaman Islands. Numbering between 200 and 700, each of the Great Andamanese peoples maintained a...

 are one of five Negrito
Negrito
The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

 ethnic groups (Adivasi
Adivasi
Adivasi is an umbrella term for a heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups claimed to be the aboriginal population of India. They comprise a substantial indigenous minority of the population of India...

 or tribal) native to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; they are among the first inhabitants of what is now India, arriving over 70,000 years ago. They are facing extinction. The other four ethnic groups are the Jangil
Jangil
The Jangil were one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal. They were formerly distributed through the interior of Rutland Island, and were given the name Rutland Jarawa because it was supposed that they were related to the neighbouring Jarawa...

, Jarawa
Jarawa (Andaman Islands)
The Jarawa are one of the adivasi indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands. Their present numbers are estimated at between 250-350 individuals. Since they have largely shunned interactions with outsiders, many particulars of their society, culture and traditions are poorly understood...

, Onge and Sentinelese. By their external physical appearance (phenotype
Phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

) such people resemble Black Africans with dark skin and sometimes tightly coiled hair. There have been suggestions of a Black African origin. However, in the case of the Andamanese people, a study conducted by the NCBI
National Center for Biotechnology Information
The National Center for Biotechnology Information is part of the United States National Library of Medicine , a branch of the National Institutes of Health. The NCBI is located in Bethesda, Maryland and was founded in 1988 through legislation sponsored by Senator Claude Pepper...

 indicated that the Andamanese people possessed closer affinities with the Southeast Asian population than with the Black African population.

In South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 there are also several communities of Black African descent, such as the Sheedis/Siddis, specifically the Siddis of Karnataka
Siddis of Karnataka
The Siddis of Karnataka are a tribe of African descent that has made Karnataka their home for the last 400 years. There is a 50,000 strong Siddhi population across India, of which more than a third live in Karnataka...

, who descend from Zanj
Zanj
Zanj was a name used by medieval Arab geographers to refer to both a certain portion of the coast of East Africa and its inhabitants, Bantu-speaking peoples called the Zanj...

 (Black African) slaves. In Pakistan, Zanj descendants are known as the Makrani
Makrani
Makrani are the inhabitants of Makran coast of Balochistan in Iran and Pakistan.-Sheedi:Black Africans were enslaved and brought to Balochistan in medieval times. The descendants are called Makrani or Sheedi. The Sheedis are a Negroid people in Pakistan...

.

Other black people of Southeast Asia, collectively known as Negritos, include the Semang
Semang
The Semang are a Negrito ethnic group of the Malay Peninsula. Lowland Semang tribes are also known as Sakai, although this term is considered to be derogatory by the Semang people. They are probably the indigenous peoples of this area. They have been recorded to have lived here since before the...

 peoples of Malaysia, the Mani
Mani people
The Maniq are an ethnic group of Thailand. They are the only Negrito group in Thailand and speak Maniq , a Mon–Khmer language in the Aslian language group...

 of Thailand the Aeta
Aeta
The Aeta , Agta or Ayta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered to be Negritos, who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such as a small stature, small frame, curly to kinky afro-like textured...

 of Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

 and the Ati
Ati (tribe)
The Ati is a Negrito ethnic group in Panay, which is located in the Visayas , the central portion of the Philippine archipelago...

 of Panay
Panay
Panay may refer to*Panay Island*Panay *Panay, Capiz*Panay River*Panay Gulf* USS Panay *Panay incident...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Melanesia

There are several groups of dark-skinned people who live in various parts of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 who sometimes are referred to as black people. They include the Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

, the Melanesians
Melanesians
Melanesians are an ethnic group in Melanesia. The original inhabitants of the group of islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the present-day Papuan-speaking people...

 (now divided into Austronesian-speaking populations and Papuans, and including the great genetic diversity of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

), the Semang
Semang
The Semang are a Negrito ethnic group of the Malay Peninsula. Lowland Semang tribes are also known as Sakai, although this term is considered to be derogatory by the Semang people. They are probably the indigenous peoples of this area. They have been recorded to have lived here since before the...

 people of the Malay peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

, and indigenous first nation Fijians. They are as genetically, anthropologically and culturally related to Africans as all other non-Africans, and because of this is controversial to label them black people in the sense of some relation to the native African peoples and the African diaspora.

In Europe

United Kingdom

According to the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

, as of the 2001 census, there are over a million black people in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

; 1% of the total population describe themselves as "Black Caribbean", 0.8% as "Black African", and 0.2% as "Black other". Britain encouraged the immigration of workers from the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

; the first symbolic movement was those who came on the ship the Empire Windrush. The preferred official umbrella term
Umbrella term
An umbrella term is a word that provides a superset or grouping of concepts that all fall under a single common category. Umbrella term is also called a hypernym. For example, cryptology is an umbrella term that encompasses cryptography and cryptanalysis, among other fields...

 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
Southall Black Sisters
Southall Black Sisters is a non-profit All-Asian organisation based in Southall, West London, UK. This Asian-women's group was established in August 1979 in the aftermath of the death of anti-fascist activist Blair Peach, who had taken part in a demonstration against a National Front rally at...

, which started with a mainly British Asian
British Asian
British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

 constituency.

France

France is an ethnically diverse nation, with about 2.5 – 5 million black people.

Balkans

Due to the Ottoman slave trade
Slavery (Ottoman Empire)
Slavery was an important part of Ottoman society until the Ottoman Empire extinguished slavery of Caucasians in the early 19th century. The practice carried over into Ottoman reign...

 that had flourished in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, the coastal town of Ulcinj
Ulcinj
Ulcinj is a coastal resort town and municipality in Montenegro. The town of Ulcinj has a population of 10,828 of which the majority are Albanians...

 in Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 had its own black community. As a consequence of the slave trade and privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

 activity, a considerable number of Ulcinj inhabitants until 1878 were black. The Ottoman Army
Military of the Ottoman Empire
The history of military of the Ottoman Empire can be divided in five main periods. The foundation era covers the years between 1300 and 1453 , the classical period covers the years between 1451 and 1606 , the reformation period covers the years between 1606 and 1826 ,...

 also sent an estimated 30,000 Black African troops and cavalrymen to its expedition in Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–18.

Eastern Europe

As African states became independent
Decolonization of Africa
The decolonization of Africa followed World War II as colonized peoples agitated for independence and colonial powers withdrew their administrators from Africa.-Background:...

 in the 1960s, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 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
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

.

In Afrocentrism

A controversy over the skin color and ethnic origins of the ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ians was sparked as part of the Afrocentric
Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism is cultural ideology mostly limited to the United States, dedicated to the history of Black people a response to global racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions by revisiting this history with an African cultural and ideological center...

 debate. Afrocentrist
Afrocentrism
Afrocentrism is cultural ideology mostly limited to the United States, dedicated to the history of Black people a response to global racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions by revisiting this history with an African cultural and ideological center...

 scholars such as Cheikh Anta Diop
Cheikh Anta Diop
Cheikh Anta Diop was a historian, anthropologist, physicist, and politician who studied the human race's origins and pre-colonial African culture. He is regarded as an important figure in the development of the Afrocentric viewpoint, in particular for his theory that the ancient Egyptians were...

 contend that ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 was primarily a "black civilization". One source cited in support of their argument is Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, who wrote around 450 B.C. that "Colchians, Ethiopians and Egyptians have thick lips, broad nose, woolly hair and they are burnt of skin." However, Classical scholar Frank Snowden, Jr.
Frank M. Snowden, Jr.
Frank M. Snowden, Jr. , was an American Professor Emeritus of Classics at Howard University, and one of the foremost authorities on blacks in classical antiquity....

 cautions against the reliance on accounts by ancient writers to describe the physical characteristics of other ancient peoples, as they held different connotations from those of modern-day terminology in the West. He also points out that other ancient writers clearly distinguished between Egyptians and Ethiopians.

Keita and Boyce confront this issue in a 1996 article entitled, "The Geographical Origins and Population Relationships of Early Ancient Egyptians". As anthropologists, they point out the danger in relying on ancient interpretation to reveal for us the biological make up of a population. In any case they contend, the relevant data indicates greater similarity between Egyptians and Ethiopians than the former group with the Ancient Greeks.

Ancient Egyptians are often portrayed in modern media as Caucasians
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

. Afrocentrists, in particular, have been critical of this. According to Egyptologists
Egyptology
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

, ancient Egypt was a multicultural society of Middle Eastern, Northeast African, and Saharan influences. Afrocentrists argue that anthropological and archaeological evidence shows that what they term an Africoid element was evident in ancient Egypt, which they argue was predominant in Abydos
Abydos, Egypt
Abydos is one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, and also of the eight Upper Nome, of which it was the capital city. It is located about 11 kilometres west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10' N, near the modern Egyptian towns of el-'Araba el Madfuna and al-Balyana...

 in the First dynasty of Egypt
First dynasty of Egypt
The first dynasty of Ancient Egypt is often combined with the Dynasty II under the group title, Early Dynastic Period of Egypt...

.

See also

  • African-American
  • African diaspora
    African diaspora
    The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

  • African Jews
    African Jews
    Some Jewish communities in Africa are among the oldest in the world, dating back more than 2700 years. African Jews have ethnic and religious diversity and richness. African Jewish communities include:...

  • Afro-Europeans
  • Afro-Asian
  • Afro Asians (African Asians)
    Afro Asians (African Asians)
    Afro-Asians are African communities have been living in India and the Indian subcontinent for several hundred years and have settled in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India....

  • Afro-Latino
    Afro-Latin American
    An Afro-Latin American is a Latin American person of at least partial Black African ancestry; the term may also refer to historical or cultural elements in Latin America thought to emanate from this community...

  • Afro-Trinbagonian

  • Black British
    Black British
    Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

  • Black Canadians
  • Black Hispanic and Latino Americans
  • Black Indians
    Black Indians
    Black Native Americans is a term that refers to people of African-American descent, usually with significant Native American ancestry, who also have strong ties to Native American culture, social, and historical traditions....

  • Black Jews
    Black Jews
    The history of the Jews in the African diaspora is related to the Jewish people's long history in Africa, dating to the Biblical era.As the African diaspora grew, because of the movement of Africans and their descendants throughout the world, African Jews were part of that diaspora. In addition,...

  • Black nationalism
    Black nationalism
    Black nationalism advocates a racial definition of indigenous national identity, as opposed to multiculturalism. There are different indigenous nationalist philosophies but the principles of all African nationalist ideologies are unity, and self-determination or independence from European society...

  • Black Power
    Black Power
    Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

  • Black pride
    Black pride
    Black pride is a slogan indicating pride in being black. Related movements include black nationalism and Afrocentrism.The slogan has been used in the United States by African Americans to celebrate heritage and personal pride. The black pride movement is closely linked with the developments of the...

  • Black separatism
    Black separatism
    Black separatism is a movement to create separate institutions for people of African descent in societies historically dominated by whites, particularly in the United States. Black separatists also often seek a separate homeland...

  • Black supremacy
    Black supremacy
    The term black supremacy is a blanket term for various ideologies which hold that black people are superior to people of other races.-Overview:...


  • Creole peoples
    Creole peoples
    The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

  • List of topics related to the Black Diaspora
  • Mulatto
    Mulatto
    Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

  • Negrito
    Negrito
    The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

    s
  • Stereotypes of black people
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

  • The Minds of Marginalized Black Men
    The Minds of Marginalized Black Men
    The Minds of Marginalized Black Men is a non-fiction book written by Alford A. Young Jr. Young explores the lives of impoverished young black men living in the near New West Side of Chicago in order to get a better understanding of how they view their lives and what they want for their...

    (book)
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