African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the Black racial groups of Africa. The term may also be used to only those individuals who are descended from enslaved Africans. As a compound adjective the term is usually hyphenated as African-American, Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are of West and Central African descent and are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of 73. 2–80. 9% West African, 18–24% European, according to US Census Bureau data, African immigrants generally do not self-identify as African American. The overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities, immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not also self-identify with the term. After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, believed to be inferior to white people, they were treated as second-class citizens. The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, in 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States. The first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, the ill-fated colony was almost immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic, the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence they had come. The first recorded Africans in British North America were 20 and odd negroes who came to Jamestown, as English settlers died from harsh conditions, more and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. Typically, young men or women would sign a contract of indenture in exchange for transportation to the New World, the landowner received 50 acres of land from the state for each servant purchased from a ships captain. An indentured servant would work for years without wages. The status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery, servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Africans could legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom and they raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of slavery when they sentenced John Punch. One of Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black slaves, John Casor
Slaves processing tobacco in 17th-century Virginia
The First Slave Auction at New Amsterdam in 1655, by Howard Pyle
Reproduction of a handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1769.