African Americans in the Revolutionary War


US History The Revolutionary Era African Americans in the Revolutionary War
Students examine the roles of African Americans during the Revolution. They learn about their roles in both the Continental and British Armies, their motivations for fighting, and what happened to them after the war. They also explore the stories of some African American heroes of the war.

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Overview

In this experience, students examine the roles of African Americans during the Revolution. They learn about their roles in both the Continental and British Armies, their motivations for fighting, and what happened to them after the war. They also explore the stories of some African American heroes of the war.

Objective:

  • Describe the role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War.


What roles did African Americans play in the Revolution? In this lesson, you will learn about their roles in both the Continental and British Armies, their motivations for fighting, and what happened to them after the war. You’ll also explore the stories of some African American heroes of the war.

Objective:

  • Describe the role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War.




The Spirit of ‘76 (aka Yankee Doodle), Archibald MacNeal Willard (1875) 


Look closely at the painting above. This work was painted for our nation’s Centennial celebration, and became one of the most famous images of the Revolutionary War. The painter, Archibald MacNeal Willard, carefully selected the models for this image and even used his own father for the older drummer.


What else do you notice about the people in this painting? Who is represented? Who is not represented, but may have also been active in the patriots’ cause?

Post your answer

Students will probably notice that the painting shows soldiers of all ages, but that they are all white males. There are no minorities or women shown in the painting. 


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The Revolutionary Era Unit.
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