Where Is A Flag Pin When You Need One?

Salem Poor * Oliver Cromwell * Lemuel Haynes * Primas Black * Prince Whipple * Charles Davis * Joshua Dunbar * Samuel Dunbar * Prince Easterbrooks * James Forten * Doss Freeman * Tobias Gilmore * Peter Galloway * Primas Hall * Job Hathaway * Ebenezer Hill * Thomas Hollen * Peter Jennings * Abrose Lewis * Titus Minor * Jerimiah Moho * Pomp Peters * Cato Prince * Esek Roberts * Caesar Sankee * Prince Vaughn * Sipeo Watson * Cuff Whitemore * Jesse Wood * Epheram Black

These are the names of a few of the African American men who served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War. I was trolling around the web, looking for a flag to post on July 4th, until I remembered that "I didn't own a flag", as I stated in yesterday's post. Putting one up on this blog, it seemed, would go against everything I said yesterday.

So I spent a little time on Google and started learning a lot. 5,000 black men served in the Continental Army. 12,000 Blacks served with the British from 1775 to 1783. Since we have a hard time today counting everybody, even with all the technology we've got, if I were you I'd consider these educated guess from culling the records that still survive. In any case, there were significant numbers of black people, from the beginning, who were willing to enlist in the what was essentially a start-up.

African Americans - free, slave, and ex-slave - fought side by side with white colonists seeking independence from British domination. GEORGE WASHINGTON, as Commander of the Continental Army, forbade the enlistment of Blacks - free, slave, or ex-slave - during the early stages of the war. He later learned that the Royal Governor of Virginia, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, was enlisting slaves and indentured servants into the British army with the promise of "freedom to all slaves who would join the King's army." Dunmore's tactic of lifting the ban on Blacks enlisting in the British army led George Washington to change his mind, and, therefore, Blacks later joined the CONTINENTAL ARMED FORCES.

[Excerpted from African American Patriots of the Revolutionary War]

100,000 African Americans either perished or disappeared during the American Revolution. The ones who were left essentially got the okie doke - "okay, boys, y'all put up a good fight. But y'all need to get on back to them fields, ya hear?"

And now, 225 years after the Revolutionary War ended, we have come full circle. We have a man running for the presidency of these United States whose parentage is similar to the original blend between colonial era whites and blacks that produced so many of the soldiers who fought in our inaugural war:

divers freeborne English women forgettfull of their free Condicon and to the disgrace of our Nation doe intermarry with Negro Slaves

[Archives of Maryland, 1:533-34].

Can you get more American than that?

Where is a flag pin when you need one?

Links for more information:

African American Patriots

The Black Patriots

Free African Americans

The Revolution's Black Soldiers

Africans in America: The Revolutionary War
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jelana said...

Good article. I learned something as well!

Brown Man said...

Nothing wrong with a little learning to go along with your barbecue sauce!

Anonymous said...

C'mon man we know you are unpatriotic. Most Blacks are anyway cant help it when you throw in slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and what you see today with Crack, Gangs, and the schools.

It's alright check out some other blogs and you'll find your right in line with everyone else.

Just go and buy a new refrigerator or something since they are on sale. Enjoy your BBQ and the white linen party with the pitron and do the electric slide.

It's just another day off. Enjoy it.

Brown Man said...

Negro, I'm from South Carolina - my people helped build this country.

I have no idea when they got here, but when they did i am almost certain they were slaves.

So what? I claim as much ownership of this country's heritage as the Daughter's of the American Revolution.

I did enjoy my ribs and the latest in celebrity gossip and family news today. And left politics off the table.

No refrigerators needed here - trying to avoid that new slavery - consumer debt.

Anonymous said...

Slow your Roll, Brown Man.

No disrespect to your family and roots. I am just saying that most Black people (myself included) don't see the USA the same way people who claim to be patriotic see it.

Blacks have as much right to this country as anyone else here. We were here way before most so called Americans say their family came over through Ellis Island. It's just we were never accepted so we don't trust the government. I'm sure trusting the government to do the right thing by you is part of patriotism.

Freeman P.

Brown Man said...

Freeman said,

"I'm sure trusting the government to do the right thing by you is part of patriotism."

Not really. I can't really see trusting anybody to do the right thing by us. The people in power certainly don't trust it.

But I can see your point - most black people ARE wary of a government that they want to believe in. That they feel is supposed to "do the right thing" naturally when it comes to its citizenry.

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