African-American English (or AAE; also known as Black American English, or Black English in American linguistics) is the set of English sociolects spoken by most Black people in the United States and many in Canada; most commonly, it refers to a dialect continuum ranging from African-American Vernacular English to a more standard American English. Like other widely spoken language varieties, African-American English shows variation stylistically, generationally, geographically (that is, features specific to singular cities or regions only), in rural versus urban characteristics, in vernacular versus standard registers, etc. There has been a significant body of African-American literature and oral tradition for centuries.
African-American English began as early as the 17th century, when the Atlantic slave trade brought African slaves into Southern colonies (which eventually became the Southern United States in the late 18th century). During the development of plantatio