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The Role Of African Americans During The Revolutionary War


The way in which America shaped up and managed to become one of the world's steadiest powers can be fascinating for people in multiple fields of study. From historians to cultural studies researchers and from literature researchers to anthropology researchers, everybody finds it interesting, intriguing and even mesmerizing how America managed to rise out of almost-nothing to almost-everything. For instance, the Revolutionary War is definitely a key event in the history of the United States but what many people do not take into consideration at all times is the role of the African American population in the U.S. during this war.

The African American population was still enslaved (in its vast majority) when the Independence War started and, as a consequence, one of the most important reasons many of them enrolled was precisely obtaining their own freedom. While there were African Americans who fought for other types of compensations, the largest part of them wanted freedom as a compensation. By the end of the war, many of them had obtained what they wanted, but many of them were also refused with what had been promised to them. In some of the cases, they were given the freedom only to be enslaved again soon after.

Both African American men and women brought their own contribution to the Revolutionary War. While the men fought (and they were sometimes used as spies), the women worked as nurses and cooks for both of the sides (for the Americans and for the British people as well). On both of the sides, the rewards offered to the African Americans were, in most of the cases, either freedom or some sort of granting of more civil rights.

Even more, free African Americans in the North had been supporting the ideals of the revolution even before it started and it is believed that the first man to be killed during the Bostom Massacre was Crispus Attucks, a free African American. Also, both the free African American men and the enslaved ones were defended their villages against the Native American attacks as well.

From fighters to messengers and from sailors to spies, African American men were used in all kinds of tasks during the Independence War. Still, even if their contribution was more than just significant, many of the people out there nowadays have left aside what these fighters did and, sadly, they are not even interested to find out about it.