Black immigrants and their children have long been a part of the fabric of communities across the United States from the first-generation “Lift Every Voice and Sing” writer James Weldon Johnson to the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement Opal Tometi, and many in between.

Historical and contemporary engagement among immigrant, native and Black communities abroad have broadened our understanding of Black experiences under interlocking systems of oppression, including colonialism, racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, etc. Most importantly, these intra-community conversations have strengthened strategies of resistance and continue to expand our ideas of collective Black freedom.

Here a few notable Black immigrants (and first gens!) over the 20th century, who have struggled for the cause of Black freedom here in the United States as politicians, artists, activists and much more.