Slideshow: US presidents and the black leaders who moved them

Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president, but when it comes to having a voice in the White House, African-Americans haven’t necessarily been relegated to the sidelines.

Click here to view a MSNBC Beltway slideshow of up-and-coming black political leaders

Throughout history, African-American leaders have often provided critical insight, especially as it pertains to race relations, for presidents of both parties. Below is a list of some key advisors who were able to bend the ears of our commanders in chief through the decades.

Some are well-known, while others worked in relative obscurity. Regardless of their status, these men and women offered key counsel during some of this nation’s most turbulent and historic moments.