Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Immigration
Image of a Native American man
Image of an African man
Image of a German man
Image of an Irish man
Image of a Scandinavian lady
Image of an Italian lady
Image of a Japanese boy
Image of a Mexican woman
Image of a Chinese boy
Image of a Cuban man
Image of a  Polish man
Picture of globe - clicking produces a Flash animated map showing the pattern of African immigration
Picture of clock - click to view global immigration timeline
Immigration Introduction
Image of US map - piece 1 Home Vocabulary Potluck Interviews Resources Conclusion
Image of US map - piece 2

Introduction

The story of African immigration is unique among immigrant groups, just as the African experience in America has been uniquely central to the course of American life.

Unlike other immigrants, most Africans came to North America against their will, caught up in a brutal system of human exploitation. The treatment they and their descendents endured in the United States was of a harshness seldom surpassed in recent history, and their role in U.S. society was contested with a ferocity that nearly tore the nation apart.

The centuries-long battle African Americans waged for freedom, for dignity, and for full participation in American society utterly transformed the nation, and shaped the world we live in today. Today, there is no aspect of life in the United States that has not been touched by the African American experience; there is no institution, custom, or daily practice that has not been influenced or remade by the efforts of African American thinkers, workers, artists, activists, and organizers.

Now, more than 35 million Americans claim African ancestry, and the number of African immigrants to the U.S. increases every year. The story of African immigration is a long one, but its newest chapters are still being written today.



Next Page

2005
2000
1995
1990
1985
1980
1975
1970
1965
1960
1955
1950
1945
1940
1935
1930
1925
1920
1915
1910
1905
1900
1895
1890
1885
1880
1875
1870
1865
1860
1855
1850
1845
1840
1835
1830
1825
1820
1815
1810
1805
1800
1795
1790
1785
1780
1775
1770