I’m wondering if African genes are responsible for my curly hair (I’m East European).
I don’t think there’s such a thing as African genes. Also, it’s not very (politically) correct to refer to them as “African genes”.
But to answer your question, no. Curly or wavey hair is not that rare amongst Europeans, in fact over 50% of Europeans have hair that’s not straight. But since many women straighten their hair (me included), that’s probably why it might seem there aren’t as many curly people.
There are no African genes or European genes. Human genes, yes. So your curly hair is a sign of human genes.
Not sure how accurate this is, but a dermatologist friend once told me that the shape of your hair is determined by the shape of the skin follicles. With very round follicles you get very straight hair. If the follicles are a different shape, like oval or elongated, the hair becomes curly.