(Photo by HANDOUT/The Washington Post)

Many African Americans gifts have aided in shaping the social, economic and political aspects of American society–from slavery to the present.  Their contributions were sometimes recorded as gifts of white Americans. This page, via video, looks at some of the people who have been contributors.  They range from artistic art to the presidency.  Each allows every reflective and honest-minded black person to recognize that many of the freedoms shared today come from the suffering and hardships of people yesterday. 


As Blacks in America forge a pathway to wealth, the evidence is revealed in community independence. Last count, over six are billionaires and many are multi-millionaires. Reports document that they are extending a hand to less fortunate “brothers and sisters.” Schools are built in neighborhoods of color. Private housing has escalated and large donations are made to African American colleges. Since slavery, blacks have used their knowledge, skills and work ethic for growth and development. However, racism has caused society to deny this and label them “lazy.” African American gifts have always been the foundation of this country.


Lift Every Voice and Sing, written by James Weldon Johnson, is considered by many African Americans as the prize of all gifts. It has given black Americans a sense of pride, comfort and human dignity. It speaks of a freedom when there is no freedom. It gives hope and the courage to keep fighting. The second verse explains why it was adopted as the Black National Anthem:

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.