He Was The First Person To Die In The Revolutionary War

illustration of the boston massacre
Shonda Buchanan
September 26, 2022

When the British officer punched him, he hesitated to fight back. Their patrols were overrunning Boston, harassing free Blacks like him in attempts to replace them in already underpaid jobs.

But he needed his job. How else would all his sacrifices – even changing his name to hide his true identity – pay off?

Like many free Black people, Crispus Attucks had built a meager life as a sailor and ropemaker – but he stayed in the shadows. 

Or at least that had been his plan, but then rage got the better of him.

There were over 550,000 enslaved Black people in America in 1770 – Attucks used to be one of them! Both his African father and Wampanoag Indigenous mother had been enslaved. 

Retaliating against the officer meant Attucks could be sold back into slavery. But as violence exploded around him, he joined the fight!

Attucks determined his own fate and fought back – in the Boston Massacre!

Sadly, he was the first man to die in the Boston Massacre, sparking America’s Revolutionary War.

Although his tragic, needless death was a result of white tyranny and racism, Attucks’ determination to fight for his rights became a symbol of Black Americans’ struggle for freedom and equality.

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