Cameroonian American

Cameroonian Americans
Total population
16,894 (Cameroonian ancestry or ethnic origin. 2010 American Community Survey)[1]
33,181 (Cameroonian-born, 2007-2011) [2]
Regions with significant populations
Found in Chicago, Southern California, Houston (Texas), Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
Muslims, Christians and Practitioners of traditional religion of Cameroon.
Related ethnic groups
Cameroonian people

Cameroonian American are Americans of Cameroonian descent. According to the census of 2010, in the United States there 16,894 Americans of Cameroonian origin.[1] However, as happened with others African groups, many people from day-present Cameroon arrived to United States as slaves during the colonial period of this country, by which the number of Afro-Americans with some Cameroonian ancestors must be more higher. Thus, in the century 21, there are many African Americans who have discovered, through DNA analysis, they descend mainly or at least partly, from Cameroon slaves.[3][4] So, the American DNA Company discovered that more of 6.000 of all African-Americans whose DNA was analized by them, had some ancestor from current Cameroon.[4] In addition, according the 2007-2011 American Community Survey there 33,181 Cameroonian-born living in United States.[2]


The first peoples from the modern Cameroon who immigrated to the United States, came as slaves to the British colonies during the colonial period, as suggest DNA testing.[5] So, the first documented slave - probably - originating from modern Cameroon and imported to the colonial United States for serving as slave for life was John Punch, who arrived to Virginia in 1640. This slave also is considered, by some genealogists and historians, like "the first African documented to be enslaved for life in what would eventually become the United States."[6]

According DNA testing recorded, the ethnicities of the Cameroon´s slaves in modern United States were such as Tikar, Ewondo, Babungo, Bamileke, Bamum, Masa, Mafa, Udemes, Kotoko, Fulani and Hausa from Cameroon (many Hausa also came from other places such as Nigeria).[5] In what refers to the whole of the Americas, the majority of slaves sold to the Europeans merchants from the Cameroon coast came from the inland from place (where they were captured by other ethnic groups, through of some invasions in these zones, and sold to the Europeans) and from the neighboring Batagan, Bassa, and Bulu. So, most of the slaves carried out of the River and from Bimbia in these years were from Tikari, Douala[7]-Bimbia,[8] Banyangi and Bakossi. Most them were Bamileke (who accounted for 62 percent of the people).

The predominant slave-trading middlemen in modern Cameroon was Douala, but most of the slaves of modern Cameroon who were delivered to Europeans, regardless of the specific origin of them, were sold to the Fernando Po collection center, from where the European merchans took them to the Americas.[7]

Most of the slaves of Bight of Biafra - many of them hailed from the itself Cameroon - arrived to modern United States were imported to Virginia (which had the 60% of the slaves of that region imported to current United States, as well most of all slaves of Virginia) and South Carolina (arriving there the 34% of the Biafra´s slaves), surpassing in together the 30.000 slaves hailing from the Bight. This colonies were followed mainly by Maryland (where arrived the 4% of the Biafra´s slaves imported to United States, arriving more of 1,000 people of the Bight). Normally, the slaves from current Cameroon were bought cheap because these slaves preferred to die rather than accept slavery.[9]

The first Cameroonians that voluntarily arrived in the United States immigrated to this country in the 1960s, pursuing educational opportunities, opportunities of which lacking in your country. During the 1990s many other Cameroonians immigrated to the United States as political refugees, fleeing the political turmoil in his country, who rebelled against the multiparty system born. Thus, to avoid imprisonment, torture and political repression, which were patents in those moments in Cameroon, many citizens decided to emigrate abroad, addressing a part of them to the United States.

Most of Cameroonian immigrants arrived in the United States were licensed, since they were most Cameroonians who obtained visas - it is easier to obtain visas to licensed, more than any other group in Cameroon - and many of them criticized the government, being more vulnerable to political repression. Thus, the majority of Cameroonians who settled permanently in the United States were doctors, engineers, nurses, pharmacists, and computer programmers. Although there are also many Cameroonians who work in blue collar workers.[10]


According to the census of 2010, in the United States there 16,894 Americans of Cameroonian origin.[1]In addition, according the 2007-2011 American Community Survey there 33,181 Cameroonian-born living in United States.[2] The Cameroonian immigrants have communities in places as Illinois, Southern California (in cities such as Los Angeles), Houston (Texas) and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). The Cameroonian community of Pittsburgh is considered one of the better organized African communities in this city.[11]


Cameroonians have been active in activism movements in the United States. One notable example is the set of political movements in favor of Cameroon, developed in Chicago. So, in 1991, Cameroonians from that city were held in outside wing of the Social Democratic Front from Cameroon in support for political pluralism. After his success in Chicago, the SDF party eventually established several subsidiaries in other U.S. cities. The group managed to raise funds to support the political movement of Cameroon, and lobbied the U.S. Senate and United Nations and stops the advance of the sale of weapons to the government of Cameroon, i.e. to prevent that the sale of arms can continue exerting between this government and the U.S. government. Soon after, another group of Cameroonians of Chicago, mainly francophone, organized a wing of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement, driving his own campaign to support the government of Cameroon.[10]


There many Cameroonian organizations in United States. This are some them:

A Cameroonian organization in USA is The American Association of Cameroonians (Amacam), have the function of promote friendship between the Cameroonians and develop of appropriate measures to improve their rights, developing the potential of Cameroonians in U.S. and in Cameroon in all areas of the economic, cultural, social, academic, or help to the U.S.

Other organization is CAMSOLA, an organization, located in Southern California, which recognizes those Cameroonians and Cameroonian Americans individuals, groups or businesses that have influenced in the African immigrant community and the community at large in Southern California.

The organization teaches aspects of life in Cameroon and connects Cameroonian-Americans living in California with Cameroon. Furthermore, CAMSOLA premiered in 2011 Scholarship Fund Youth Development and Youth Leadership Club in Los Angeles. While most of the club members are native Cameroon, the club also has tried to involve in him to the African Americans who trace some of its origins in Cameroon.[12]

Cameroon Group USA (“CAMGUSA”) is an organization form by members of the various cultural groups in Los Angeles. The association tries, among other things, relate and encourage respect among all Cameroonians living in the metropolitan area of Los Angeles and California, teaches them to respect the laws of the State and the United States of America, helps individuals and families need, helps communities, government agencies, social groups and various associations in the United States and other countries, working with them to improve the lives of Cameroon in particular and humanity in general and participate in charitable activities of other organizations.[13]

The organization "Cameroon American Community of Houston" (CAMCOH), established in Houston, Texas, have as goal, among other things, encourages the creation of Sustainable Networks and Communication among the Cameroonians in the city, propels to Cameroonian immigrants to emigrate in Houston by the Guidance and Council, empowers youth through Programs for Children and Youth Educational Activities, defends the needs of Cameroonians in Houston and creates and manages the Community Center.[14]

The Association of Cameroonians, founded in Illinois, is an association aimed to help and lend assistance to Cameroonians in the state, regardless of their political leanings. Moreover, the association also represents the Cameroonians in the government of Chicago, the largest city in the state. The community also commemorated annual celebrations, including Cameroonian Independence Day, which celebrated on May 20.[10]

The Cameroonian Community in Pittsburgh (CCP). CCP has the function of teaching and promoting the culture, customs and values of Cameroon especially for non Cameroonians. It does this through solidarity, tradition, etc. ... The organization also promotes educational opportunities, employment, business and training for Cameroonian.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Table 1. First, Second, and Total Responses to the Ancestry Question by Detailed Ancestry Code: 2010". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  2. ^ a b c "PLACE OF BIRTH FOR THE FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES, Universe: Foreign-born population excluding population born at sea, 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b African Americans Reclaim Their Ancestral Heritage in Cameroon. Wrote by Robert Morrissey.
  6. ^ Anastasia Harman, Natalie D. Cottrill, Paul C. Reed, and Joseph Shumway, "Documenting President Barack Obama’s Maternal African-American Ancestry: Tracing His Mother’s Bunch Ancestry to the First Slave in America",, 16 July 2012, p. 19.
  7. ^ a b Global bush tratour: Cameroon Slave trade Route
  8. ^ African Americans travel to Cameroon to discover their origins. Posted by Sam Mbale in 7 Jan 2011 06:14.
  9. ^ Histoire du Cameroun: aux origines... (in French: History of Cameroon. The origins...)
  10. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of Chicago: Cameroonian. Wrote by Robert Morrissey.
  11. ^ a b Cameroonian Community in Pittsburgh
  12. ^ African-American who traced ancestry to Cameroon to be honored by L.A.’s Cameroonian community.
  13. ^ Cameroon Group USA
  14. ^ Cameroon American Community of Houston (CAMCOH) Celebrates its 3rd Annual Thanksgiving and Cultural Festival. Posted By Ata Nchomba in November 12, 2012.

External links

  • Global bush tratour: Cameroon Slave trade Route
  • CAMEROON COMPANY: Cameroon: Slavery and its survivals in the Grassfields region (translated from the French).
  • African-Americans Seeking Tikar Origin in Cameroon: Notes on Multiple Dimensions of Belonging. Posted by Francis B. Nyamnjoh.
  • CAPSA FOR CAMEROON - CAPPSA (Cameroonian Association of pharmaceutical in America).
  • The Young Cameroonian of Illinois for all the Young people around the states, and big cities such as Chicago, Rockford, Schaumburg, Blooming-ton, Champaign, etc...
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