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Igbo Americans

Igbo Americans, or Americans of Igbo ancestry, (Igbo: Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò nEmerịkà) are residents of the United States who identify as having Igbo ancestry from modern day Nigeria. There are primarily two classes of people with Igbo ancestry in the United States, those whose ancestors were taken from Igboland as a result of the transatlantic slave trade before the 20th century and those who immigrated from the 20th century onwards partly as a result of the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s and economic instability in Nigeria. Igbo people prior to the American Civil War were brought to the United States by force from their hinterland homes on the Bight of Biafra and shipped by Europeans to North America between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Identified Igbo slaves were often described by the ethnonyms Ibo and Ebo(e), a colonial American rendering of Igbo. Some Igbo slaves were also referred to as bites, denoting their Bight of Biafra origin, and other names were used in reference to their home lands in Africa. Their presence in the United States was met with mixed feelings by American plantation owners because of their rebellious attitudes to enslavement. Many of the enslaved Igbo people in the United States were concentrated in Virginias lower Tidewater region and at some points in the 18th century they constituted over 30% of the enslaved black population. Igbo culture contributed to the creolised African American culture and is perhaps evident in such cultural vestiges as the Jonkonnu parades of North Carolina. Igbo Americans introduced the Igbo word okra into the English language.

The recent migrant population from Nigeria settled in many of the United States larger cities and urban centres and had come largely in search of economic opportunities in the late 20th century. Because of the realities of slavery and its erasure of African heritage and customs, most people who identify as Igbo in the United States and speak the Igbo language at home are from these families that arrived in the 20th century and

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