Shalom, everyone! The African Diaspora, a term coined in the 1990s, refers to communities throughout the world that have resulted from the movement throughout history of peoples from Africa. These dispersed African communities are found primarily in the Americas (North America, the Caribbean, Central America and South America), Europe, the Middle East, Asia and other regions of the world. Historically, the term “African Diaspora” referred primarily to the descendants of West and Central Africans kidnapped, enslaved and brought to the Americas in the Atlantic Slave Trade. In recent times, however, the term has been expanded to include the descendants of sub-Saharan Africans enslaved and brought to the Middle East and Asia in the Arab Slave Trade; and also to voluntarily immigrants from African countries to other regions of the world.
The African Union defines “African Diaspora” as follows:
“[Consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” Its constitutive act declares that it shall “invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union.”
African Diaspora populations include:
- African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Black Canadians – descendants of West African slaves brought to the United States, the Caribbean, and South America during the Atlantic slave trade, plus later voluntary immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and their descendants.
- Zanj – descendants of Zanj slaves whose ancestors were brought to the Near East and other parts of Asia during the Arab slave trade.
- Siddis – descendants of Zanj slaves whose ancestors were brought to the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan and India). Also referred to as the Makrani in Pakistan.