The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world-predominantly to the Americas, and also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe. The term has been historically applied in particular to the descendants of the Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas by way of the Atlantic slave trade, with the largest population in Brazil (see Afro-Brazilian). In modern times, it is also applied to Africans who have emigrated from the continent in order to seek education, employment and better living for themselves and their children.
People from Sub-Saharan Africa, including many Africans, number at least 800 million in Africa and over 140 million in the Western Hemisphere, representing around 14% of the world’s population. It is believed that this diaspora has the potential to revitalize Africa. Primarily, many academics. NGOs, and websites such as Social Entrepreneurs of the African Diaspora view social entrepreneurship as a tool to be used by the African diaspora to improve themselves and their continent.
Much of the African diaspora was dispersed throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas during the Atlantic and Arab Slave Trades. Beginning in the 9th century, Arabs took African slaves from the western and eastern portions of the continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East and eastern Asia. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured African slaves from West Africa and brought them to Europe and later to the Americas. Both the Arab and Atlantic slave trades ended in the 19th century.
From the very onset of Spanish activity in the Americas, black Africans were present both as voluntary expeditionaries and as involuntary laborers. Juan Garrido was one such black conquistador. He crossed the Atlantic as a freedman in the 1510s and participated in the siege of Tenochtitlan. Emigration from Sub-equatorial Africa has been the primary reason for the modern diaspora. People have left the subcontinent because of warfare and social disruption in numerous countries over the years, and also to seek better , economic opportunities. Scholars estimate the current population of recent African immigrants to the United States alone is over 600,000, some of whom are Black Africans from the Sub-equatorial region.
Countries with the largest recorded numbers of immigrants to the U.S. are Nigeria. Ghana, Sierra Leone and mostly West African countries. Some immigrants have come from Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, and Cameroon. Immigrants typically congregate in major urban areas, moving to suburban areas over time. There are significant populations of recent African immigrants in many other countries around the world, including the UK and France, both nations that had colonies in Africa.