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As the European settlers acquired control of territory, they generally pushed the mixed-race and Bantu and Khoisan populations into second-class status.

During the first half of the 20th century, the Afrikaaner-dominated government classified the population according to four main racial groups: Black, White, Asian (mostly Indian), and Coloured.

Black people is a term used in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification or of ethnicity, to describe persons who are perceived to be dark-skinned compared to other populations.

As such, the meaning of the expression varies widely both between and within societies, and depends significantly on context.

Numerous communities of dark-skinned peoples are present in North Africa, some dating from prehistoric communities.

Others are descendants of the historical Trans-Saharan trade in peoples and/or, and after the Arab invasions of North Africa in the 7th century, descendants of slaves from the Arab Slave Trade in North Africa. Carlos Moore, resident scholar at Brazil's University of the State of Bahia, in the 21st century Afro-multiracials in the Arab world, including Arabs in North Africa, self-identify in ways that resemble multi-racials in Latin America.

In early 1991, non-Arabs of the Zaghawa tribe of Sudan attested that they were victims of an intensifying Arab apartheid campaign, segregating Arabs and non-Arabs (specifically, people of Nilotic descent).

They used more black female slaves in domestic service and agriculture than males.

Some succeeded their fathers as rulers, such as Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, who ruled Morocco from 1578 to 1608.

He was not technically considered as a mixed-race child of a slave; his mother was Fulani and a concubine of his father.

In a number of countries, societal variables affect classification as much as skin color, and the social criteria for "blackness" vary.

In the United Kingdom, "black" was historically equivalent with "person of color", a general term for non-European peoples.

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