Descendants of the Africans, the Afro-Guyanese came to see
themselves as the true people of British Guiana, with greater
rights to land than the indentured workers who had arrived after
them. The fact that planters made land available to East Indians in
the late nineteenth century when they had denied land to the
Africans several decades earlier reinforced Afro-Guyanese
resentment toward other ethnic groups in the colony. The AfroGuyanese people's perception of themselves as the true Guyanese
derived not only from their long history of residence, but also
from a sense of superiority based on their literacy, Christianity,
and British colonial values.
By the early twentieth century, the majority of the urban
population of the country was Afro-Guyanese. Many Afro-Guyanese
living in villages had migrated to the towns in search of work.
Until the 1930s, Afro-Guyanese, especially those of mixed African
and European descent, comprised the bulk of the nonwhite
professional class. During the 1930s, as the Indo-Guyanese began to
enter the middle class in large numbers, they began to compete with
Afro-Guyanese for professional positions.
Data as of January 1992