African (n.) Look up African at
Old English Africanas (plural), from Latin Africanus (adj.), from Africa (see Africa). Used of white residents of Africa from 1815. Used of black residents of the U.S. from late 18c., when it especially meant "one brought from Africa" and sometimes was contrasted to native-born Negro. As an adjective by 1560s, "pertaining to Africa or Africans" (Old English had Africanisc); from 1789 as "of or pertaining to black Americans."