The African-American diaspora refers to communities of people outside of the United States who are descended from people of African descent who were enslaved in the United States or the prior British colonies along the east coast of North America.
Several settlements in West Africa were established in the 19th century by African-Americans and descendants of former slaves from the former British colonies of North America, particularly in what are now the republics of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Several of those who were settled in Sierra Leone were former Black Loyalists, and today constitute a portion of the Sierra Leone Creole people.
More recent immigration by African-American expatriates has been directed to Ghana.
African-Americans who settled in Canada before Confederation include three major waves:
- Black Loyalists who crossed to British lines and fought for the British during the American Revolution
- Another wave of ex-slaves who joined the British in order to gain freedom during the War of 1812
- Tens of thousands of slaves who fled for freedom through the Underground Railroad between 1820 and 1865.
Other, smaller waves of African-American settlement occurred in Western Canada in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with African-Americans from California taking up an allowance from the Colony of Vancouver Island to settle on the island in the 1860s, as well as settlements by African-Americans from Oklahoma and Texas in Amber Valley, Campsie, Junkins (now Wildwood) and Keystone (now Breton) in Alberta, as well as a former community in the Rural Municipality of Eldon, north of Maidstone, Saskatchewan.
In the 1780s with the end of the American Revolutionary War, hundreds of black loyalists, especially soldiers, from America were resettled in London. Later some emigrated to Sierra Leone with help from Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor after suffering destitution. However, they were never awarded pensions, and many of them became poverty-stricken and were reduced to begging on the streets. Reports at the time stated they: ''had no prospect of subsisting in this country but by depredations on the public, or by common charity.'' A sympathetic observer wrote that ''great numbers of Blacks and People of Colour, many of them refugees from America and others who have by land or sea been in his Majesty's service were.....in great distress.'' Even towards white loyalists there was little good will to new arrivals from America.
- "A Gentleman of Color: The Life of James Forten".
- Tukufu Zuberi, Antonio McDaniel, p 25 -26. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: The Mortality Cost of Colonizing Liberia in the ..."
- Julie Winch, 60-61. "A Gentleman of Color: The Life of James Forten".
- "Liverpool's Black Population During World War II", BASA Newsletter No. 20, January 1998, p. 10.