The experience of African Americans throughout the course of United States history, has not been an easy one to say the least. Despite the constant uphill battle to get as far as we have come today, African Americans have managed to hold on to culture and ways of life that stem from their very roots. Margaret Walker, an African American writer, once said, "Handicapped as we have been by a racist system of dehumanizing slavery and segregation, our American history of nearly five hundred years reveals that our cultural and spiritual gifts brought from our African past are still intact. " In saying this, she exhibits a sense of pride for her culture. It means that African Americans are a resilient, even in the face of oppression, and possess a spirit that can not be broken. In my opinion, perseverance and resiliency are the "gifts" Walker is referring to. .
Let's take a second to look at our President of the United States, Barack Obama. Not even a century ago, if one were to say that a person of African American decent was going to be the President of the United States, they may have been found hanging from a tree shortly after. This proves Walker's statement to be true. People who were once treated as less than human, now have the power to vote, and not only that, but can become a leader of the same nation that once held them captive in shackles. In order to appreciate having an African American president, you have to understand that the road from the plantation "Big House" to the White House was a road paved with the blood, sweat, and tears of African slaves. .
The Middle Passage refers to the voyage made by Europeans from Africa to America, carrying large amounts of African people as cargo for trade. It is called The Middle Passage because it was the middle of a three part voyage. Ships would leave Europe carrying iron, cloth, gun powder, firearms, and other goods to be traded for Africans upon arrival to Africa's western "slave coast.