Guinean Americans

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Guinea Guinean Americans United States
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Total population
3,016 (ancestry or ethnic origin, 2000 US Census)[1]
11.000 (Guinean born, 2008-2009 US Census)[2]
Regions with significant populations
Mainly Washington, DC, New York City and Rhode Island
Related ethnic groups
African American, American groups of West Africa (Ivorian, Malian, Senegalese, etc.), French

Guinean Americans are Americans of Guinean descent. According to estimates by 2000 US Census, there were 3,016 people who identified Guinean as one of their two top ancestry identities.[note 1] However, in November 2010 the New York Times estimated that as many 10,000 Guineans and Guinean Americans reside in New York City alone.[3]


The first Guineans who emigrated to United States were bought as slaves in colonial times. Many of them came from peoples such as the Fulbe,[4] Baga and the Susu[5] and hailed from places such as Fouta Djallon.[4] So, many slaves of day-present Guinea were Muslims (case of the Fulbes and the Susu people). Many Guineans were bought in places as the Boké village and the Pongo River, since where were exported to places such as New York,[6] The Carolinas or Louisiana. So, since Boké were sent many slaves to the plantations of The Carolinas to work in the rice fields of this territory.[7] The Pongo River highlighted as slavery area in the 1800s after the trade was legally abolished.[8]

In addition, since 1712, arrived a boat with slaves from the Guinean Coast to French Louisiana every year, when the Frenchman Antoine Crozat, who was the first owner of the private property of French Louisiana, obtained the monopoly of trade in Louisiana by the French government and was allowed him to use slave labor with the permission of the Company of Guinea.[9] So, in the early stages of the slave trade to Louisiana, most of slaves were almost entirely from Senegal and Guinea, probably because those slaves could favor the rice plantations of this state already that they were familiar with rice plantations which was commonly grown in Senegambia and Guinea.[10]

After of slavery abolition (1865) and until 1990, few Guineans emigrated to the United States and these were, basically, scholars and professionals. Only from the late 1980s to Guineans them began to attract U.S. as a way to escape poverty and the harsh military regime in their country. So, they settled initially in New York, Boston and Atlanta, forming important communities. Over time, Guineans were migrating to other parts of the U.S., such as Chicago (whose Guineans came also from New York). Because sometimes come to Guinea news to the family and friends of Guineans living in the United States, these too have been migrating to this country. Guineans have gotten different jobs mostly, like other African groups, in the work of taxi driving and hairbraiding.[11]


The Guinean American communities with the most significant population are Washington, DC, New York City and Rhode Island. Guinean immigration into the U.S. has been increasing since the 1990s. Guinean Americans speak several African languages, being the most spoken the Maninka (Malinke), Susu, Pular (Fulfulde,Fulani or Peul), Kissi and Kpelle languages. They also speak French (as second language) and English.


The Guinean community participates in Muslim festivals and informal social events throughout the year. In 1998, some Guineans founded the Guinean Association of Illinois, which provides financial aid to Guinea to cover the costs of illness or death. Members usually meet monthly to provide funds and discuss social issues affecting the community. The Guinean Association of Illinois is affiliated to Guinean associations in New York, Texas, Georgia and other states and organizations to contribute funds to other times when it may be needed.[11]


  1. People who filled out the long form could identify two ancestries. They could also identify only one, so if someone had four grandparents who had come from four countries they could not identify all four countries.


  1. "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2000". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-12-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. New Streams: Black African Migration to the United States. Posted by Randy Capps, Kristen McCabe, and Michael Fix.
  3. MacDonald, Kerry (2010-11-05). "Far From Home, Guineans Prepare to Cast Their Vote". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Prince Among Slaves
  5. The Gullah: Rice, Slavery and the Sierra Leone-American Connection. Posted by Joseph A. Opala, 1987. Retrieved September 10, 2012, to 12:30pm.
  6. Whalin, W. Terry (1997). Sojourner Truth. Barbour Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-1-59310-629-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Guinea's Atlantic Coast and the Slave Route. Posted by Muguette Goufrani. Retrieved September 7, 2012, to 20:51 pm.
  8. Delegation from Guinea visits where slaves landed. Posted in World and Regional News, by Bruce Smith on 8 April, 2012
  9. LEGENDS OF KANSAS. History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs. Retrieved September 7, 2012, to 23:20pm.
  10. Africans and Their Descendants in the Americas: Restoring the Links Using Historical Documents and Databases. Retrieved October 14, 2012, to 20:20 pm.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Encyclopedia ofChicago: Guineans in Chicago. Posted by Tracy Steffes. Retrieved September 2, 2012, to 23:35 pm.

External links