, one of the largest of the many ethnic groups in the United States, are largely the descendants of slaves
Most African Americans today are descended from various ethnic groups, mostly from western and central Africa where they were captured in African wars or raids and transported in the Atlantic slave trade. Though they came with varied customs, religious beliefs, and language, European standards and ideals were forced upon them once they arrived in America.
Slavery ended after the Civil War
but it would be more than a century before African Americans would begin to be treated equally.