"The first wave of forced African migrations began during the Transatlantic Slave Trade (16th-19th century). Europeans captured or bought African slaves, mostly from West Africa, and brought them to Europe, and later on to South and North America. The number of Africans who were shipped across the Atlantic is estimated to be around 12 million.
This population movement can be considered as the migration that paved the way for the constitution of the first African community outside of Africa. In point of fact, the slave trade can be considered as the 'founding myth' of the African Diaspora in Europe and in America. Many Africans were deported out of Africa during this period, but the feeling of belonging to a community, the African community, did not disappear. In a way, this feeling became even stronger.
The transatlantic slave trade contributed mostly to creating a large community of African origins in the American continent, especially in the US and in Brazil. This diaspora belongs to the first wave of migration, and is often referred to as the historical diaspora." (see: http://www.experience-africa.de/index.php?en_the-african-diaspora)