Iinfluence of african americans in the 20th century.

Essay by klsman070201 April 2003

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A World Without

One day as I was walking on campus, I stopped to look around. It was a beautiful spring day. The sun was out and I could hear the birds in the singing. As I was looking I couldn't help but to realize the diversity of students that were around me. I watched their actions, as they talked among themselves one with another. Everything seemed so peaceful and quiet. I began to reflect on the past. The world had not always been like this. Blacks used to hate whites and whites hated the blacks. It made me think of how the world would be today without the influence of the African-Americans.

In 1900 blacks were barred from full and equal participation in society. No African American could serve in a position of authority over white soldiers, or fight by their sides. No black could participate in professional baseball.

Blacks were "separate but equal." The future of this race looked drear. Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, one cannot imagine an American culture that has not been shaped by the contributions of African Americans. Who could imagine the American Century without the African-Americans? When we listen to that century, there would be no Louis Armstrong, no Duke Ellington, or Billie Holiday. There would be no jazz, blues, or rock and roll. When we read that century, there would be no Ralph Ellison or Toni Morrison. When we think about what democracy means there would be no W. E. B. Du Bois, and no Martin Luther King, Jr. When we buy movies, there would be no Sidney Portier and Spike Lee. When we think about sports, there would be no Jackie Robinson or Althea Gibson. When we want to laugh, there would be no Bill Cosby or Martin...