The important thing to remember about the African-American community is that most of their families have lived here since the 1700's, and many arrived during the 1600's. Having been Americans for so long, they are multiracial with ancestors from all over the world. Paid or not, they were a large part of the labor force that produced America's largest exports. Their role in the military has been critical to maintain safety for Americans on domestic soil. They are an American's American. With that said, they also have roots in west Africa which is completely different than the U.S..
Americans don't understand west African countries because our entire focus is on Nigeria due to their worldwide internet scams and violence on their soil. Their problems are such a distraction that it overshadows the other countries on the west coast such as Senegal or Sierra Leone, or more importantly in terms of our nation's ancestry, eastern Nigeria and Cameroon, since that's where most of the slaves in the United States came from. There is a website called Slave Voyages which lists the slave ships' departures from west Africa and their destinations in the western hemisphere, and most of the ones that sailed directly to the United States departed from a large shipping port in the Bight of Bonny which is also called the Bight of Biafra, which is eastern Nigeria and Cameroon. With that said, western Nigerians were taken directly to the U.S. too but in much smaller numbers (less than 10,000), as most of them were taken to Brazil and to the Caribbean, mainly Cuba and Haiti.
Regardless of what part of Africa that Americans came from, our focus is on western Nigeria and it has been that way for a long time. My objective in this article is to put Nigeria's problems aside for a moment and shine the spotlight on their attributes.
In western Nigeria, the locations that have strongest ties to their indigenous cultural traditions, such as Ile-Ife, are populated with residents who have a very strong sense of citizenship, and strong family values. They're talented local leaders. They are exactly the opposite of the bad guys who give Nigeria a bad reputation.
They love children for the sake of loving them. Wealthy couples who don't have kids view their money as a bitter reminder that they don't have children to lavish it upon.
They're deeply religious and their faith is central to their lives. Their religion is Ifa which has over 400 divinities. Americans would think of them as guardian angels or nature gods. I painted thirty two paintings about their divinities, and I've included some of them in this article by creating a slide show. To view those that are not in the slide show visit my art portfolio on Google Plus by clicking on this link.