African American History Essay

African American History Essay-28
African Americans also served as gunners, sailors on privateers and in the Continental Navy during the Revolution.While the majority of blacks who contributed to the struggle for independence performed routine jobs, a few, such as James Lafayette, gained renown serving as spies or orderlies for well-known military leaders.

African Americans also served as gunners, sailors on privateers and in the Continental Navy during the Revolution.While the majority of blacks who contributed to the struggle for independence performed routine jobs, a few, such as James Lafayette, gained renown serving as spies or orderlies for well-known military leaders.

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In 1774 Abigail Adams wrote, “it always appeared a most iniquitious scheme to me to fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have.” Widespread talk of liberty gave thousands of slaves high expectations, and many were ready to fight for a democratic revolution that might offer them freedom.

In 1775 at least 10 to 15 black soldiers, including some slaves, fought against the British at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill.

By the end of the war from 5,000 to 8,000 blacks had served the American cause in some capacity, either on the battlefield, behind the lines in noncombatant roles, or on the seas.

By 1777 some states began enacting laws that encouraged white owners to give slaves for the army in return for their enlistment bounty, or allowing masters to use slaves as substitutes when they or their sons were drafted.

White America has always been stereotypical of black people, although blacks have shaped American history through inventions, sports, and political science.

The way White America has looked at blacks has never changed.James Lafayette, who supported the American cause as a spy, may have been the inspiration for the figure on the right in the 18th-century engraving, in the Jamestown-Yorktown collection, depicting the Marquis de Lafayette at Yorktown.Only 50 years after the defeat of the British at Yorktown, most Americans had already forgotten the extensive role black people had played on both sides during the War for Independence.Many were active participants, some won their freedom and others were victims, but throughout the struggle blacks refused to be mere bystanders and gave their loyalty to the side that seemed to offer the best prospect for freedom.By 1775 more than a half-million African Americans, most of them enslaved, were living in the 13 colonies.The legislature agreed to set free slaves who volunteered for the duration of the war, and compensated their owners for their value.This regiment performed bravely throughout the war and was present at Yorktown where an observer noted it was “the most neatly dressed, the best under arms, and the most precise in its maneuvers.” Although the Southern states were reluctant to recruit enslaved African Americans for the army, they had no objections to using free and enslaved blacks as pilots and able-bodied seaman.Black participation in the Revolution, however, was not limited to supporting the American cause, and either voluntarily or under duress thousands also fought for the British.Enslaved blacks made their own assessment of the conflict and supported the side that offered the best opportunity to escape bondage.Black history, or African-American history, is full of fascinating stories, rich culture, great art, and courageous acts that were undertaken within circumstances that we can hardly imagine in modern society.While Civil Rights events are the most common themes in our studies, we should resist equating African-American history only with Civil Rights-era history. This list contains 50 prompts that might lead you into some interesting and little-known information about African-American history.

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