Black people is a term often used in North America to refer to Americans and Canadians of Sub-Saharan African descent. Outside North America, the term “black people”, or close translations of it, is also used in other socially based systems of racial classification, or of ethnicity for persons who are perceived to be dark-skinned relative to other “racial” groups – or else who are defined as belonging to a “black” ethnicity in the country. Please note that the phrase “black people” is not necessarily common parlance in most of Africa, as the vast majority of the population there is black, and thus not given to self describing as “black”.

African people[edit]

  • Lwegeleza III King of Vira people or Bavira people, DR Congo

  • Kikuyu people, Kenya

African American[edit]

  • Peter Williams, unidentified artist, ca. 1810-1815

  • Lena Horne, of both maternal, and paternal, European American, Native American, and African American ancestry

  • Tina Turner, African American, with Native American and European American ancestry, now a citizen of Switzerland

  • O.J. Simpson, with daughter Sydney Brooke Simpson of African American and European ancestry

  • Oprah Winfrey, scientifically determined to be of 89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian (possibly Native American) descent

  • Tiger Woods, self described as “Cablinasian” (abbreviation from Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian); African American, mixed European, Thai, Chinese, Dutch, and possibly Native American

  • Pam Grier, of African American, Native American (Cheyenne), Hispanic American, and Filipino American ancestry

  • Mariah Carey, of African American, Venezuelan (including Afro-Venezuelan), and Irish American ancestry

  • Vin Diesel, of Scottish, English, and German maternal ancestry, and unknown paternal ancestry, and who self-identifies as “definitely a person of color” (raised by his mother and an African-American stepfather)

  • Lenny Kravitz, of Russian Jewish, Bahamian and African-American ancestry, with his daughter Zoë Kravitz, whose mother, Lisa Bonet, is of Jewish and African American ancestry

  • Henry Louis Gates, scientifically determined to be of 60% European, 34% African (including the Yoruba people), and 6% Asian ancestry

  • Isis King (born male, now a transgender female)


Main category: Afro-Brazilians

Brazil has the world’s largest population of black African people outside of Africa, with upwards of 50% of the nation’s people having black or partial black ancestry.

Black people from other regions[edit]

  • Alessandro de’ Medici, “il Moro” (“the Moor”), Italy, believed by some historians to be of black African ancestry

  • John Ware with family, African American, later a citizen of Canada

  • V V Brown, British, of Jamaican and Puerto Rican ancestry

  • Bob Marley, of European-Jamaican (British/Syrian) and African-Jamaican ancestry

  • Malcolm Gladwell, Born in the United Kingdom of Jamaican and British ancestry, now a citizen of Canada

People of Australasia and the Southeast Asian archipelago, not of African descent, often perceived as black[edit]

see also[edit]