In “Colored Patriots of the American Revolution,” William Cooper Nell documents the important and oft-forgotten contributions of black Americans who fought during the Revolutionary War. While most history books focus on white heroes such as George Washington, Paul Revere, and Ethan Allen, “Colored Patriots” focuses on the black Americans who fought bravely and heroically for freedom and independence in the American Revolution. When the Revolution started, the American colonies had a population of about two and a half million people, one fifth of whom were black, mostly slaves. The courage and bravery demonstrated by blacks during the Revolution influenced legal decisions in the northern states to abolish slavery, leading to freedom for about 60,000 slaves. Yet for the most part, acts of heroism and the contributions of blacks during the Revolution either went unrecorded or were not widely publicized. “Colored Patriots of the American Revolution” is organized by state, with many historical names mentioned and an account given of the African American involvement state-by-state.
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