The African Americans’ Revolution

TitleThe African Americans’ Revolution
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsNash, Gary B.
EditorGray, Edward G., and Jane Kamensky
Book TitleThe Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution,
PublisherOxford University Press
CityOxford and New York

The American Revolution played an important role in African Americans' quest for freedom. It marked the first mass rebellion by slaves in American history, gave rise to the first civil rights movement, and resulted in the first large-scale constructions of free black life. African slaves in North America knew that their natural rights were violated by their enslavement, although a confluence of events heightened their restiveness and provided them with the ideology-laden phrases that they could deploy in their struggle to secure their liberty whenever and wherever possible. The Revolution offered slaves a chance to realize this dream. African American revolutionaries saw the war as a way to quench their thirst for freedom, to end corrupt power, and to die for their natural rights.

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