History

Afro-Americans arrived in the Americas as explorers and enslaved africans. The first Africans were found living among native americans on the Florida coast.These first Africans are believed to be shipwrecked Africans. When the Spanish explorers came to America, they also brought some of the first Africans to what would become America. Subsequently, the British settlers brought some of the first Africans from Angola, and would later found the original thirteen colonies. We don't know much about the colonial recreational activities of our ancestors. We do know, they brought with them their traditional sports such as  wrestling, acrobatics, stick fighting, archery,martial arts and horseracing.But, the nature of American slavery wouldn't allow Afro-Americans to preserve and pass on these traditions nor document other games or sports enjoyed by our ancestors.
Due to the vast area that encompassed the slave trade, our African ancestors came from at least 15 current countries from west-central Africa to Mozambique and Madagascar. It's estimated the bulk of our enslaved ancestors came from three modern countries : Congo, Angola, and Nigeria..Our ancestors are direct descendants of the major kingdoms of West Africa such as :  Ancient Ghana,Mali,Songhai,Kanem-Bornu,Benin,Hausa, and the Congo. The major ethnic groups are : Ibo , Hausa, Yoruba,Fulani,Ashantee, Bakongo,Mandinka,and Kru.

According to historians Linda Heywood and John Thornton, we know that the first "20 and odd" Africans imported into Virginia in 1619 came from Angola. In fact, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, of the 388,000 Africans who landed in the various ports in North America over the entire course of the slave trade, 24 percent, or about 93,000 of them, came from Angola. In other words, an African American has about a one in four chance of being descended from these Central Africans.

Studies of contemporary documents reveal seven regions from which Africans were sold or taken during the Atlantic slave trade. These regions were
Senegambia, encompassing the coast from the ⦁    Senegal River to the ⦁    Casamance River, where captives as far away as the Upper and Middle ⦁    Niger River Valley were sold;
⦁    The ⦁    Sierra Leone region included territory from the ⦁    Casamance to the ⦁    Assini River in the modern countries of ⦁    Guinea-Bissau, ⦁    Guinea, ⦁    Sierra Leone, ⦁    Liberia and ⦁    Côte d'Ivoire;
⦁    The ⦁    Gold Coast region consisted of mainly modern ⦁    Ghana;
⦁    The ⦁    Bight of Benin region stretched from the ⦁    Volta River to the ⦁    Benue River in modern ⦁    Togo, ⦁    Benin and southwestern ⦁    Nigeria;
⦁    The ⦁    Bight of Biafra extended from southeastern ⦁    Nigeria through ⦁    Cameroon into ⦁    Gabon;
⦁    West Central Africa, the largest region, included the ⦁    Congo and ⦁    Angola; and
⦁    The region of Mozambique-Madagascar included the modern countries of ⦁    Mozambique, parts of ⦁    Tanzania and ⦁    Madagascar.⦁    [2]

Origins and Percentages of African Americans imported into British North America and Louisiana (1700–1820) [3]
Region    Percentage
West Central Africa    26.1%
Bight of Biafra    24.4%
Sierra Leone    15.8%
Senegambia    14.5%
Gold Coast    13.1%
Bight of Benin    4.3%
Mozambique-Madagascar    1.8%




1.    Gomez, Michael A: Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South, p. 27. Chapel Hill, 1998
^ Gomez, Michael A: Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South, p. 29. Chapel Hill, 1998
(sources for 2 and 3 quotes above)



Direct links to African Heritage
[This is a sample of Africans enslaved and brought to the US. The list is from the site North American Slave Narratives.]



1.    BOYREREAU BRINCH –native of the kingdom of Bow-Woo
2.    SELIM AGA – native of Tegla (between Darfur and Abyssinia)
3..    Prince Abdul Rahahhman – native of Timbuctoo (royal family)
4..    James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw – native of Bournou (royal family)
5..    John Jea – native of Old Calabar
6..    John Joseph – native Ashantee of western Africa
7..    Nicholas Said – native of Bournou
8..    Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua – native of Zoogoo
9.    Zamba – native of Congo
10.    Prince Annamaboe – native of Fantin [Fantee]
11.    Griswold - father King of Barbo tribe
12.  John Brown - father Eboe
 13. Ottobah Cugaono – native fantee
 14. Samuel Hall-father native of Liberia
 15. Elleanor Eldridge – father from the Congo
 16.Olaudah Equiano – native of Benin (Eboe)
 17.Omar bin Said- native of Futa Jallon
 18.Thomas Johnson – Golas from Liberia
 19. John Joseph – native Ashantee
 20. Venture Smith – native Guinea
 21. Jacob Stroyer – parents of Sierra Leone


African -Americans heritage by Country




KIM COLES - Senegal
WHOOPI GOLDBERG - Sierra Leone, Liberia
TARAJI P. HENSON - Cameroon
REGINA KING - Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau
ALFRE WOODARD - Cameroon
DON CHEADLE - Cameroon
MORGAN FREEMAN -Niger
SAMUEL L. JACKSON -Gabon
SPIKE LEE -Niger , Cameroon
FOREST WHITAKER -Ghana, Cameroon
ANTHONY ANDERSON -Bioko Island, Cameroon
DICK GREGORY- Nigeria
WYATT CENAC -Nigeria
WANDA SYKES - Bioko Island, Cameroon
CHRIS TUCKER - Cameroon, Angola
JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT - Nigeria
TOM JOYNER - Sierra Leone
JOE MADISON - Mozambique, Sierra Leone
ROBIN ROBERTS - Liberia