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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 couldnt 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 Lawrence American life is inconceivable without the black presence Gates 15 The intelligence and imagination of African-Americans have shaped American-culture produced wealth in American economy
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