Why Black People Fought Alongside The British During The Revolutionary War

African Americans in the Revolutionary War
Leslie Taylor- Grover
November 2, 2021

In the 1770s white Americans were trying to keep us enslaved. At the same time, they wanted THEIR freedom from Britain! When Britain offered Black people a deal that would lead to freedom for us, there was one question: could we trust them?

The British pointed out the irony of those who were so oppressive toward Black people now crying about freedom. 

It made sense – if white Americans were keeping us enslaved and we had the chance to get freedom by fighting on the British side against them during the war, why wouldn’t we take that deal?

Actually, many of our people did! Free and enslaved Black Americans flocked to the British side of the war, and even won many battles. Our people also worked as spies, guides, and laborers. But did the British keep their side of the deal?

Technically, they were declared “free” – but still didn’t have the equality they fought for. Many ended up poor or were denied the same benefits as white soldiers who fought for the British.

Maybe the British didn’t technically double-cross us, but they still made claiming the freedom they promised us difficult. One thing is certain, however – our people used every available opportunity they could find to seek liberation. And we need to keep that same energy.

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