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African Immigrants

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine


African Immigrants

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
From the early 1600s until the end of the Civil War in 1865, Africans were taken out of Africa, against their will and transported to America. These Africans were bought and sold, as slaves, by Americans to work on cotton and sugar plantations, as well as on smaller farms. By 1860 there were more than four million African slaves in the United States. In 1863 President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This was a presidential order that freed all slaves in America. In 1865, after the end of the Civil War, the U.S. Congress added the 13^th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment outlawed slavery in the United States and freed the existing slaves.

The next large wave of African immigration to America would not start until 1970. Between 1970 and 2000, more than 350,000 Africans immigrated to the United States. These immigrants came from different African countries, but most came for the same three reasons. Africans immigrated to escape civil wars, famine and the rule of harsh governments.

Africans from Somalia began to arrive in the United States in the early 1990s. These immigrants left and came to America to escape an extremely violent civil war. The United States granted these immigrants Temporary Protected Status, which meant they could live and work in America until it was safe for them to return home. This group of immigrants was extremely poor when they arrived in America. Church and civic groups stepped in to help them acclimate to life in America. They helped with food, clothing and housing as well as information needed to begin a new life in a foreign country.

Immigrants have also come from Nigeria, Ethiopia and other African countries. Ethiopians came to escape severe drought and famine. Nigerians immigrated to the United States to escape harsh government rule and civil wars.

African immigrants do not tend to live in segregated communities as many immigrants have done in the past. These most recent immigrants work hard to assimilate into American life. They live in cities, towns and suburbs all across America. Education is important to them. Many hope to become educated in America and eventually return to their homelands to help rebuild them.

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