The Transatlantic Slave Trade
The Development of the Trade
Capture and Enslavement
Traders and Trade
The Middle Passage
Africans in America
Ethnicities in the United States
The Suppression of the Slave Trade
Impact of the Slave Trade on Africa
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The largest number of Africans in the lowlands (34 percent) came from Bantu-speaking regions of west-central Africa. Twenty percent were transported from Senegambia, while the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone each accounted for about 15 percent of the total number. Others came from the Bight of Biafra and the Windward Coast.

Origins of Enslaved Africans Shipped to North AmericaThe Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-RomOrigins of Enslaved Africans Shipped to North America from The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-Rom by David Eltis, Stephen Behrendt, David Richardson and Herbert Klein

The enslaved population of Virginia/Maryland was composed mostly of Africans from the Bight of Biafra, some 39 percent. Senegambia accounted for 21 percent of the Africans in this region. Another 17 percent were of Bantu origin, and 10 percent were originally from the Gold Coast.

Therefore, nearly 90 percent of the Africans in these two major regions came from only four zones in Africa. Most came from the west-central area of Angola and Congo where languages - Kikongo, Kimbundu and culture (often referred to as Bantu) were closely related. Many more ended up in the tidewater than in the lowlands, but they comprised nearly a third of all migrants in both sectors.

The Senegambians were much more prominent in North America than in South America and the Caribbean. Senegambia was strongly influenced by Islam, to a greater degree than any other coastal region where enslaved Africans originated. More Muslims were enslaved in North America - except for Brazil - than anywhere else in the New World. Their presence was especially pronounced in Louisiana, to which many Manding people - almost all males - had been transported. This state also had a large presence of non-Muslim Bambara from Mali.

The Muslim Community     , Chapter 3Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the AmericasThe Muslim Community , Chapter 3 from Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas by Sylviane A. Diouf

The Upper South had a considerable population of people from the Bight of Biafra, as did lowland South Carolina and Georgia. In all probability, a large number of the many Africans whose origins are not known actually came from this area. These Igbo and Ibibio people would develop a distinct subculture. Women made up a relatively high number among those groups. They gave birth to a new generation, ensuring some transmission of their cultural values and beliefs.

Men and women from Sierra Leone and the adjacent Windward Coast were heavily concentrated in the low country, and most were involved in cultivating rice.

Noticeably absent from North America's African population were substantial numbers of people from the Slave Coast ( Togo, Benin, and western Nigeria). Contrary to Brazil and Cuba, the United States received very few Yoruba.

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The Suppression of the Slave Trade >