There is overwhelming evidence that the reninangiotensin system plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of hypertension and target organ damage. Agents that regulate the renin-angiotensin system, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and aldosterone antagonists, are not only effective antihypertensive agents but can prevent target organ damage. Although diuretics remain the agents of first choice for the treatment of hypertension in African Americans, ACE inhibitors have a clear role in the management of these patients. ACE inhibitors (usually when used with a diuretic) have been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality in a wide range of patient groups. ACE inhibitors are infrequently used in African Americans because of a belief that these agents are ineffective in this racial group; however, when adequate dosing and appropriate combinations are used, ACE inhibitor therapy provides effective blood pressure control. In particular, the addition of diuretics to ACE inhibitor therapy ameliorates the racial differences in efficacy seen when ACE inhibitors are administered as monotherapy. Although further confirmation in additional clinical trials is required, increased use of these agents in African Americans will likely result in a reduction in target organ damage.