Distinguishing Between African & African American

The world is full of diverse colors, cultures, and ethnicities, which can sometimes lead to confusion between similar groups. African and African American are two ethnicities that are often mistaken for one another.

African refers to the ethnicity of natives or inhabitants of Africa or individuals of African descent. The African continent is home to many ethnicities, each with their own unique cultural attributes. In West Africa, Niger-Congo languages are prominent, while Central and Southern Africa are predominantly populated by speakers of Bantu, Nilo-Saharan, and Ubangian languages. The Horn of Africa is home to Afro-Asiatic language speakers, and North Africa is populated by Egyptians, Berbers, and others. Africa is also home to Indian, European, Arab, Asian, and other ethnicities due to colonization and migratory events.

African American, also known as Afro-Americans or Black Americans, are residents or citizens of the United States with ancestry rooted in Sub-Saharan Africa. They are the second-largest ethnic and racial minority in the United States, with most being of Central and West African descent and descendants of enslaved blacks from colonial times. The term African American can also refer to individuals from Caribbean, African, Central American, and South American nations and their descendants.

Key Takeaways

  • Africans are inhabitants or natives of Africa, while African Americans are residents or citizens of the United States with African ancestry.
  • African Americans are descendants of enslaved blacks from colonial times, while Africans have lived in freedom.
  • African Americans mostly speak English, while Africans speak a variety of languages such as Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, and Ubangian languages.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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