The African Diaspora was officially named the sixth region of Africa in 2003 by the African Union. This recognized the significance of the global African diaspora community and also encouraged their participation in the continent of Africa.
The African diaspora is the worldwide collection of communities descended from native Africans or people from Africa, predominantly in the Americas. The term most commonly refers to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries, with their largest populations in the United States, Brazil, and Haiti. However, the term can also be used to refer to the descendants of North Africans who immigrated to other parts of the world. Some scholars identify the “four circulatory phases” of this migration out of Africa. The phrase African diaspora gradually entered common usage at the turn of the 21st century. The term diaspora originates from the Greek διασπορά which gained popularity in English in reference to the Jewish diaspora before being more broadly applied to other populations.
Much of the African diaspora became dispersed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia during the Atlantic, Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean slave trades. Beginning in the 8th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the African continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African slaves from West Africa and brought them to the Americas and to Europe. The Atlantic slave trade ended in the 19th century. The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history. The economic effect on the African continent proved devastating, as generations of young people were taken from their communities and societies were disrupted. Some communities formed by descendants of African slaves in the Americas, Europe, and Asia have survived to the present day. In other cases, native Africans intermarried with non-native Africans, and their descendants blended into the local population.
In the Americas, the confluence of multiple ethnic groups from around the world contributed to multi-ethnic societies. In Central and South America, most people are descended from European, Amerindian, and African ancestry. In Brazil, where in 1888 nearly half the population descended from African slaves, the variation of physical characteristics extends across a broad range. In the United States, there was historically a greater European colonial population in relation to African slaves, especially in the Northern Tier. There was considerable racial intermarriage in colonial Virginia and other forms of racial mixing during the slavery and post-Civil War years. Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws passed after the 1863–1877 Reconstruction era in the South in the late-19th century, plus waves of vastly increased immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries maintained much distinction between racial groups. In the early-20th century, to institutionalize racial segregation, most southern states adopted the “one-drop rule”, which defined and recorded anyone with any discernible African ancestry as “black”, even those of obvious majority native European or of majority-Native-American ancestry.
Credit – Wikipedia