The majority of black Americans (who were once in slavery) trace their origin to an area in western Africa that was controlled by three great and wealthy black empires from about the A.D. 300's to the late 1500's. These empires-- known as Ghana, Mali and Songhai-- thrived on trade and developed efficient governments. During the early 5500's, the Europeans began the slave trade in which they transported the blacks to the Americas. For the next 300 years, millions of black Africans were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The whole slave trade can be summed up and narrowed down to three continents.
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