Culture of Los Angeles
The culture of Los Angeles is rich with arts and ethnically diverse. The greater Los Angeles metro area has several notable art museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum on the Santa Monica mountains overlooking the Pacific, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum and the Norton Simon Museum. In the 1920s and 1930s Will Durant and Ariel Durant, Arnold Schoenberg and other intellectuals were the representatives of culture, in addition to the movie writers and directors; as the city flourished financially in the middle of the 20th century, culture followed. Boosters such as Dorothy Buffum Chandler and other philanthropists raised funds for the establishment of art museums, music centers and theaters. Today, the Southland cultural scene is as complex and varied as any in the world. While the cuisines of many cultures have taken root in Los Angeles, it is the home of the Cobb Salad, invented in the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, the French-Dip sandwich, originated early in the 20th Century by either Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet or Phillippe's—both of which still exist downtown, the ice blended coffee drink by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Original Tommy's Hamburger.
The strength of the city's scene is in "ethnic" dining and it is considered to be one of the most dynamic scenes in the world in terms of range and depth. Los Angeles has an enormous variety of restaurants. In its predominantly African American neighborhoods are soul food restaurants such as Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles. According to Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Los Angeles "remains the United States's preeminent city to eat regional Mexican food."Given its close proximity to Asia and constant flow of Asian immigrants, Asian food has the largest foothold in Los Angeles after Mexican cuisine. Japanese, Chinese and Thai restaurants are common place. Japanese food in particular is a staple of Los Angeles' haute cuisine scene with places like Urasawa in Beverly Hills, Nobu in Malibu and Koi in Hollywood; the city of Torrance, with its huge Asian-American population, seems to have the largest concentration of Asian restaurants while the city of Glendale, has the among highest concentration of Persian restaurants in the country.
California-styled cuisine is considered to be influenced by Asian seafood, as well as by Mediterranean cooking. More prevalent than Asian food is Mexican and other Hispanic cuisines. In 2018, PETA declared Los Angeles to be the "most vegan-friendly city" in the world. See List of museums in Los Angeles There are 841 museums and art galleries in Los Angeles County. In fact, Los Angeles has more museums per capita than any other city in the world; some of the notable museums are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, the Battleship Iowa, the Museum of Contemporary Art. A significant number of art galleries are located on Gallery Row, tens of thousands attend the monthly Downtown Art Walk there. In 1943, a community-run arts association in Pasadena merged with the better funded Pasadena Art Institute and moved into what is now the home of the Pacific Asia Museum. Renamed the Pasadena Art Museum, it organized some of the most adventurous and cutting edge shows of contemporary art in the region, notably, an early Pop art show in 1962, a Marcel Duchamp retrospective in 1963.
Although the city had a long tradition of visual arts supported by private collectors and galleries, Los Angeles did not have a comprehensive museum of art until 1965, when LACMA opened its doors. At about the same time, La Cienega Boulevard became home to many art galleries, most notably Ferus, featuring works by artists who lived in the area, Dwan Gallery, Riko Mizuno Gallery. Although Andy Warhol was New York based, the famous "soup cans" were first exhibited at Ferus. A local exponent of pop art was Ed Ruscha, some of whose work was representational, others consisted of simple slogans or mottoes which were humorous, being so far out of the context where such statements would appear. An example of this is Nice Hot Vegetables Larry Bell, for example, explored the interaction of a sculpture to its environment, demonstrating that the boundaries are not clear. David Hockney, an English immigrant, produced figurative paintings set in idyllic Southern California locales, such as swimming pools in the bright sunlight, belonging to modernist houses.
Although these paintings are representational, they seem to be composed of small color patches, somewhat like collages. Finish Fetish—a style that emphasized gleaming surfaces—and Light and Space—art about perception—were other Ferus-bred styles that allowed L. A. to distinguish itself from the rest of the art world. It was during this period that the contemporary arts scene in Los Angeles began to command the attention of collectors and museum directors internationally; some of the most respected art museums in the world can be found in Los Angeles. They include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Broad, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library art collection and botanical gardens, the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles is known for its expansive collections of contemporary art- the Museum of Contemporary Art has three separate incarnations: the Geffen Contemporary, for larger installation pieces by more renowned artists, the MOCA Downtown, its standard collection, the Pacific Palisades, a large, multi-purpose building in modernist style that houses offices as well as stores and showrooms for contemporary graphic design and interior design.
Other smaller art museums in
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic Americans and Latino Americans are Americans who are descendants of people from Spain and Latin America, respectively. More it includes all Americans who speak the Spanish language natively, who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, whether of full or partial ancestry. For the 2010 United States Census, people counted as "Hispanic" or "Latino" were those who identified as one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the census questionnaire as well as those who indicated that they were "other Spanish, Hispanic or Latino." The national origins classified as Hispanic or Latino by the United States Census Bureau are the following: Argentine, Colombian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Costa Rican, Honduran, Panamanian, Bolivian, Spanish American, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Venezuelan. Brazilian Americans, other Portuguese-speaking Latino groups, non-Spanish speaking Latino groups in the United States are defined as "Latino" by some U. S. government agencies. The Census Bureau uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably."Origin" can be viewed as the ancestry, nationality group, lineage or country of birth of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.
People who identify as Spanish, Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. As one of the only two designated categories of ethnicity in the United States, Hispanics form a pan-ethnicity incorporating a diversity of inter-related cultural and linguistic heritages. Most Hispanic Americans are of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan or Colombian origin; the predominant origin of regional Hispanic populations varies in different locations across the country. Hispanic Americans are the second fastest-growing ethnic group by percentage growth in the United States after Asian Americans. Hispanic/Latinos overall are the second-largest ethnic group in the United States, after non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics have lived within what is now the United States continuously since the founding of St. Augustine by the Spanish in 1565. After Native Americans, Hispanics are the oldest ethnic group to inhabit much of what is today the United States. Many have Native American ancestry. Spain colonized large areas of what is today the American Southwest and West Coast, as well as Florida.
Its holdings included present-day California, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas, all of which were part of the Republic of Mexico from its independence in 1821 until the end of the Mexican–American War in 1848. Conversely, Hispanic immigrants to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area derive from a broad spectrum of Latin American states. A study published in 2015 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, based on 23andMe data from 8,663 self-described Latinos, estimated that Latinos in the United States carried a mean of 65.1% European ancestry, 18.0% Native American ancestry, 6.2% African ancestry. The study found that self-described Latinos from the Southwest those along the Mexican border, had the highest mean levels of Native American ancestry; the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" refer to an ethnicity. Hispanic people may share some commonalities in their language, culture and heritage. According to the Smithsonian Institution, the term "Latino" includes peoples with Portuguese roots, such as Brazilians, as well as those of Spanish-language origin.
In the United States, many Hispanics and Latinos are of both Native American ancestry. Others are predominantly of European ancestry or of Amerindian ancestry. Many Hispanics and Latinos from the Caribbean, as well as other regions of Latin America where African slavery was widespread, may be of sub-Saharan African descent as well; the difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino is confusing to some. The U. S. Census Bureau equates the two terms and defines them as referring to anyone from Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas. After the Mexican–American War concluded in 1848, term Hispanic or Spanish American was used to describe the Hispanos of New Mexico within the American Southwest; the 1970 United States Census controversially broadened the definition to "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race". This is now the common formal and colloquial definition of the term within the United States, outside of New Mexico.
The term Latino has developed a number of definitions. One definition of Latino is "a Latin male in the United States"; this is the oldest and the original definition used in the United States, first used in 1946. This definition encompasses Spanish speakers from both Europe and the Americas. Under this definition, immigrants from Spain and immigrants from Latin America are both Latino; this definition is consistent with the 21st-century usage by the U. S. Census Bureau and OMB, as the two agencies use Latino interchangeably. A definition of Latino is as a condensed form of the term "Latino-Americano", the Spanish word for Latin-American, or someone who comes from Latin America. Under this definition a Mexican American or Puerto Rican, for example, is both a Hispanic and a Latino. A Brazilian American is a Latino by this definition, which includes those of Portuguese-speaking origin from Latin America. However, an immigrant from Spain would be classified as European or White by American sta
Echo Park, Los Angeles
Echo Park is a densely populated neighborhood of over 43,000 residents in Central Los Angeles. It contains one high school and eight other schools, has been home to many notable people; the neighborhood is centered on the lake of the same name. Echo Park is flanked by Elysian Valley to the north and northeast, Elysian Park to the east and Downtown to the southeast, Westlake to the southwest and west, Silver Lake to the northwest. Boundaries are the Golden State Freeway–Glendale Freeway interchange at the north apex, Riverside Drive on the northeast, Elysian Park on the east, Stadium Way and Beaudry Avenue on the southeast, the south apex being Beaudry Avenue and West Second Street and the west limit being an irregular line consisting of Second Street and Beverly Blvd moving upward north along Benton Way and the Glendale Freeway. Within Echo Park are the following: Angelino Heights is most notable for its Victorian era residences, although these are few in number, it lies at an elevation of 502 feet.
Since the 1910s, Elysian Heights, along with Edendale, has been home to many of the counter-culture, political radicals, writers and filmmakers. The children of many progressives attended school there during the'40s and'50s. Historic Filipinotown makes up the southwest portion of Echo Park, it was created by a resolution proposed by then-City Councilmember Eric Garcetti on August 2, 2002. The district is bounded by the Hoover Street on the west to Glendale Boulevard on the east, Temple Street on the north and Beverly Boulevard on the south. Victor Heights lies between Chinatown, Los Angeles, the central part of Echo Park, off Sunset Boulevard near the Pasadena Freeway below Elysian Park. One of its streets is the hilly Figueroa Terrace, where in 1992 a resident named Betty Oyama lived and helped popularized a name for Victor Heights as the "Forgotten Edge," because, as she said, the Police Department couldn't figure out where Victor Heights was exactly. In a feature story about Oyama's successful fight to form a Neighborhood Watch, a Los Angeles Times reporter said of Victor Heights that it was "a mix of new and old housing styles and residents who span the socioeconomic and ethnic spectrums.
New condominium complexes stand next to 1920s-era bungalow houses and old apartment buildings."In 2009 Victor Heights and its hilly streets were described as "a collection of stuccoed apartments and faded bungalows, a place with a lot of old-timers." With its dramatic views of the Los Angeles Civic Center, Victor Heights had a population of "older Italians and Croatians who once dominated the area," along with "newer Asian and Latino immigrants a smattering of hipsters betting that Victor Heights will be the next big thing." The area became known for the flock of peacocks and peahens, with their chicks, who had taken over parts of the district on Everett Street, where they gathered in the morning. Victor Heights is an old area. In 1887 "Choice lots, commanding a splendid view," were being advertised for $1,200. Lesser lots went for $700 to $1,300. All had "Water piped through the street." In 1908 its residents took a fight against disruptive dynamite blasting by the Los Angeles Brick Company in Chavez Ravine to the Los Angeles City Police Commission.
They complained that the explosions were "cracking the plaster on their walls and causing their homes to settle to such an extent that they could not open their doors. The 2000 U. S. census counted 40,455 residents in the 2.4-square-mile neighborhood—an average of 16,868 people per square mile, one of the highest densities in Los Angeles. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 43,832; the median age for residents was 30, about the same as the city norm. Echo Park was considered moderately diverse ethnically; the breakdown was Latinos, 64%. Mexico and El Salvador were the most common places of birth for the 53% of the residents who were born abroad, a figure, considered high compared to the city as a whole; the median household income in 2008 dollars was $37,708, a low figure for Los Angeles, a high percentage of households earned $20,000 or less. The average household size of three people was about the same as the rest of the city. Renters occupied 76% of the housing units, house- or apartment owners the rest.
The percentages of never-married men and women, 46.8% and 38.3% were among the county's highest. The 2000 census found 5,325 families headed by single parents, a high rate for both the city and the county. There were 3.5 %, a low figure for Los Angeles. Census data below for Echo Park is cited from only US Census District 1974.20 and does not include a large portion of what is geographically and culturally considered Echo Park. District boundaries shifted from 2000 to 2010 in most of the other contributing districts, so trends are not reliably reported by the data, it is alleged that Echo Park and Hollywood are among the lowest responding areas to census polls. The 2010 US Census estimates that the neighborhood demographics for tract 1974.20 are as follows: Latinos still form the majority of the community, though the percentage fell from 69.8% in 2000 to 59.5% in 2010. The number of people in the district shrank by 15% to around 3500 people; this represents less than 10% of the number of residents considered to live in Echo Park.
The demographic shift from Latino to White is acknowledged as the overall trend in the area. The Los Angeles Fire Department Station 20 is in the area
National Register of Historic Places listings in Los Angeles
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Los Angeles, California. This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on National Register of Historic Places in Los Angeles, California; the locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below may be seen in an online map. There are more than 500 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county, including 22 National Historic Landmarks. Los Angeles is the location of 249 of these properties and districts, including 12 National Historic Landmarks; the properties and districts elsewhere in the county, including 5 National Historic Landmarks, are listed separately. A single district, the Arroyo Seco Parkway Historic District, is split between Los Angeles and other parts of the county. Another property has been removed; the first site in Los Angeles to be listed was the Rómulo Pico Adobe in the Mission Hills section of the city, listed in November 1966 at the inception of the Register.
Several of the oldest historic sites are located in the Los Angeles Plaza Historical District in Downtown Los Angeles. While most of the sites are office buildings or homes, two are ships, twenty-one are current and former branches of the Los Angeles Public Library. Seven temples or churches are listed. At least five sites are related to rail transportation. Included are four hotels, five theaters, four U. S. post offices, four fire stations. To be listed on the National Register, sites must retain their historic integrity, they must be 50 years old, their listing must be promoted – or at least not opposed – by the current owner, so many important sites in the city are not listed. Included on the list are sites relating to the movie industry such as a former office building of the Warner Bros. studios, but no film lots or film studio buildings are listed. Despite the city's involvement in aviation history, only two sites, Hangar One and Portal of the Folded Wings, appears to relate to that. Only a Victory ship and two coastal battery sites relate to the city's military-industrial history.
The listings are distributed across many neighborhoods of Los Angeles, from San Pedro in the south to the northern reaches of Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley, from the Pacific Palisades on the west to Highland Park on the east. Thirty-eight are located in Downtown Los Angeles. Reflecting the sprawl of Los Angeles, the city's northernmost historic site in Chatsworth is more than 55 miles from its southernmost site in San Pedro; this National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 5, 2019. List of National Historic Landmarks in California National Register of Historic Places listings in California California Historical Landmarks in Los Angeles County, California Given Place Media: City of Los Angeles Map
Media in Los Angeles
The media of Los Angeles are influential and include some of the most important production facilities in the world. As part of the "Creative Capital of the World", it is a major global center for media and entertainment. In addition to being the home of Hollywood, the center of the motion picture industry, the Los Angeles area is the second largest media market in North America. Many of the nation's media conglomerates either have their primary headquarters or their West Coast operations based in the region. Universal Music Group, one of the "Big Four" record labels, is based in the Los Angeles area; the four major American television broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, all have production facilities and offices throughout various areas of Los Angeles. All four, plus major Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision own and operate stations that serve the Los Angeles market; the region has three PBS stations, as well as KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station.
The major daily newspaper is the Los Angeles Times, while La Opinión is the city's major daily Spanish-language paper. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety are significant entertainment industry papers in Los Angeles. There are a wide variety of smaller regional newspapers, alternative weeklies and magazines, including LA Weekly, Los Angeles magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Los Angeles Downtown News. In addition to the English- and Spanish-language papers, numerous local periodicals serve immigrant communities in their native languages, including Korean, Persian and Japanese; the Southern California News Group, a subsidiary of Digital First Media, operates eleven other regional daily newspapers in greater Los Angeles, with all covering four of the five Los Angeles DMA counties. The Los Angeles Daily News, published in the San Fernando Valley community of Woodland Hills, serves as the flagship newspaper of SCNG. Los Angeles arts and nightlife news is covered by a number of local and national online guides like Time Out Los Angeles, Kristin's List, DailyCandy, LAist, Flavorpill.
The city's Hollywood neighborhood is notable as the home of the U. S. film industry, its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people in it. The industry's "Big Five" major film studios are all based around Hollywood. Several other smaller and independent film companies operate in the Los Angeles area; the Big Five major film studios Asbarez The Epoch Times Hoy Investor's Business Daily The Korea Times The Los Angeles Bulletin and Civic Center NEWSource Los Angeles Daily Journal Los Angeles Daily News Los Angeles Times Metropolitan News-Enterprise MyNewsLA La Opinión Rafu Shimpo The Daily Telescope World Journal Argonaut Beverly Press CaribPress The Century City News Cultural News Eastside Sun India Journal The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles L. A. Watts Times LA Weekly Larchmont Chronicle Los Angeles Asian Journal Los Angeles Business Journal Los Angeles Downtown News Los Angeles Free Press The Los Angeles Independent Los Angeles Sentinel Los Angeles Wave - Culver City edition Culver City Star The Westsider Los Angeles Wave - Northeast edition Belvedere Citizen Eagle Rock Sentinel East L.
A. Tribune Eastside Journal Highland Park News Herald & Journal Lincoln Heights Bulletin Mount Washington Star Review El Sereno Star Los Angeles Wave - West edition Angeles Mesa News Central News Wave Inglewood/Hawthorne Wave Southside Journal Southwest Topics Wave Tribune News Mexican American Sun Northeast Sun Pacific Citizen Palisadian-Post Park Labrea News The Angelus The Tolucan Times Valley Vantage Warner Center News Wyvernwood Chronicle The Advocate Angeleno Bel-Air View Brentwood Magazine Brentwood News Discover Hollywood Magazine Entertainment Weekly The Hollywood Reporter The Reader Magazine L. A. Record Los Angeles Los Angeles Confidential Pacific Palisades 90272 Sense Time Out Los Angeles Variety City News Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News LA Youth Los Angeles CityBeat Los Angeles Express Los Angeles Herald-Examiner New Times LA Tuesday's Child Daily Variety The Los Angeles area is the home of several major offices and production facilities in the television industry; the Fox Broadcasting Company is based in the Century City district of Los Angeles inside the 20th Century Fox studio lot, while another complex, the Fox Television Center, is in West Los Angeles.
CBS owns CBS Television City in the Fairfax District. ABC, its parent company Disney, produce TV programs both at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank and at The Prospect Studios in the Los F
Los Angeles Public Library
The Los Angeles Public Library system serves the residents of the City of Los Angeles. The system holds more than six million volumes, with over 18 million residents in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, it serves the largest population of any publicly funded library system in the United States; the system is overseen by a Board of Library Commissioners with five members appointed by the mayor of Los Angeles in staggered terms in accordance with the city charter. Library cards are free to California residents. Circulating books, periodicals, computer access and audiovisual materials are available to patrons. Books and audiobooks are loaned for 3 weeks. Music cassettes, music CDs, documentary videos, documentary DVDs are loaned for 1 week. Entertainment videos and entertainment DVDs are loaned for 4 days. Fines are charged. There is a loan limit of 10 books, 10 magazines, 4 DVDs or videos at one time up to maximum of 30 items on the patron's record. Items checked out from Los Angeles Public Library may be returned to any of its 72 branches or to the Central Library.
Most items may be renewed a maximum of two times. Entertainment DVDs and videos may be renewed one time; the Los Angeles Public Library has many community support organizations which work with the library to raise funds and sponsor programs to enhance library service throughout the community. The Library's Rare Books Department is located in its downtown Los Angeles location. There is an extensive selection of databases covering a wide variety of topics, many of which are available to remote users who hold an LAPL library card. Examples include full-text databases of periodicals, business directories, language learning tools; the Central Library at 630 West 5th Street, between Grand Avenue and Flower Street in Downtown Los Angeles, remains an important research library, despite the development of accessible databases and public access to the Internet. The library offers an online program that allows adult patrons who have not completed high school to earn their high school diploma; the Los Angeles Library Association was formed in late 1872, by early 1873, a well-stocked reading room had opened under the first librarian, John Littlefield.
Aggressive expansion and growth of the system began in the 1920s. Under Library Board of Commissioners Chairman Orra E. Monnette, the system was improved with a large network of branch libraries with new buildings. Thelma Jackman founded the Business & Economics section of the library sometime prior to 1970; the historic Central Library Goodhue building was constructed in 1926 and is a Downtown Los Angeles landmark. The Central Library was designed by Bertram Goodhue; the Richard Riordan Central Library complex is the third largest public library in the United States in terms of book and periodical holdings. Named the Central Library, the building was first renamed in honor of the longtime president of the Board of Library Commissioners and President of the University of Southern California, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. The new wing of Central Library, completed in 1993, was named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley; the complex was subsequently renamed in 2001 for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, as the Richard Riordan Central Library.
The Los Angeles Public Library received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. City Librarian John F. Szabo and community member Sergio Sanchez accepted the award on behalf of the library from First Lady Michelle Obama during a White House Ceremony on May 20, 2015; the Los Angeles Public Library was selected for its success in meeting the needs of Angelenos and providing a level of social and cultural services unmatched by any other public institution in the city. The award recognizes the library's programs that help people on their path to citizenship, earn their high school diploma, manage personal finances and access health and well-being services and resources. Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue designed the original Los Angeles Central Library with influences of ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival architecture; the central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic pyramid with suns on the sides with a hand holding a torch representing the "Light of Learning" at the apex.
Other elements include sphinxes and celestial mosaics. It has sculptural elements by the preeminent American architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie, similar to the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska designed by Goodhue; the interior of the library is decorated with various figures, statues and grilles, notably a four-part mural by illustrator Dean Cornwell depicting stages of the History of California, completed around 1933. The building is a designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, is on the National Register of Historic Places; the Central Library was extensively renovated and expanded in a Modernist/Beaux-Arts architecture, according to Norman Pfeiffer, the principal architect of the renovation by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates from 1988 through 1993. It included an eight-story atrium wing dedicated to former mayor Tom Bradley. Now, the library contains an area of 538,000 square feet, has nearly 89 miles of shelves and seating for over 1,400 people; the building's limited access had caused a number of problems.
The accessible public stacks in the reading rooms only displayed about 10 to 20 percent of the actual collections of the Central Library. For anything else, a patron had to submit a request slip and a clerk would retrieve the desired material from the internal stacks. Internal stacks
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants 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 self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. 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, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was 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 and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several 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. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. 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 lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c