Facts African Americans Need to Know About the Fourth of July







Pashai Oway,6 of Arlington, Va., AP Photo Jacquelyn Martin

Not that anybody really needs another reason to celebrate the Fourth of July, but if you’re African American and operating under the misguided notion that our ancestors weren’t involved in securing the country’s independence on July 4, 1776,  or  that black Americans didn’t contribute significantly to building the nation — you’d be wrong.  The holiday was originally intended to commemorate the adoption

of the Declaration of Independence — and although Frederick Douglass once decried the holiday — there are some facts that can’t be ignored and make this holiday a birthright of African Americans.

Fact 1: Crispus Attucks, a fugitive slave, served as a key catalyst to the American Revolution. When British soldiers fired upon the colonists in 1770, in what is now immortalized as the “Boston Massacre,” Attucks was the first to die.

Fact 2: Lord Dunmore, the British governor of Virginia, was certain that  with the assistance of  blacks the British could win the Revolutionary War so he promised any slave who fought with the British their freedom. In the British “Ethiopian” brigade, about 300 African Americans fought at the Battle of the Great Bridge on December 9, 1775.

Fact 3: Some blacks believed that if they fought with the colonists they could demand believing  whites couldn’t justify continuing to hold them in bondage after they fought for freedom, while other blacks took the deal withy the British.

Fact 4: Haitians even took part in the fight for freedom. In Savannah, Ga. in 1779, over 500 Haitians, known as “Les Chasseurs Volontaires De Saint Domingue,” fought against the British in the historic  Siege of Savannah.

Fact 5: An estimated 5,000 African Americans fought in the American Revolution.

Fact 6: As with every war and conflict the United States has ever been involved African Americans have served this nation with valiance and bravery.

Fact 7: A  black man, Barack Obama is the 44th president and commander in chief of the United States.

So, if you think our investment in this country has been anything less than remarkable or that it doesn’t deserve celebration  or commemoration — you would just be whistling Dixie. -roz edward


  • ChellBellz
    July 4, 2011

    you know for once i’m glad to see something positive instead of people hoping on the bandwagon of ” oh we werent’ free” I think people know that! I think people think that because they read a book, or heard something that people don’t know their history. Some of this stuff is new to me! I’m just glad that someone took the time to share this information. For once something positive about black history and the 4th.

  • Tenisjugador
    July 5, 2011

    I have been looking for a black country to move to that is safe and clean and not violent with trash everywhere……………….I’m still looking.  I like banging black girls and would love to find a place that isn’t 3rd or even 4th world trash.  The best place I have found is Dominican Republic but that place is so poor and stupid.

    January 19, 2017

    Africans who are descendants of those brutally enslaved in America, would more likely site Frederick Douglass when he stated, “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” I hope that by now everyone knows that America has not won a war without its so-called African-Americans. African Americans were fighting in Vietnam while others called freedom fighters were fighting for southern people of color to obtain the right to vote. African Americans are, of course, the original freedom fighters. Check out Joanne Grant’s Black Protest which has at least 2 petitions from freedom fighters enslaved in the colonist petitioning for their freedom. Africans enslaved in the Americas have led the fight for freedom long before Crispus Attucks shouted, “Attack the guards!” You are so right, our investment in this country is outstanding. I can’t remember the exacts words Fannie Lou Hamer used to chant, “If you don’t see me in the battle, come on over to the graveyard, cause I’ll be there!” An Ethiopian priest said back in the 70s, African Americans are the vanguard of this revolution. There are two sides to a coin. You did a good thing putting these seven points together. Yet, there is no need to belittle the so-called African-Americans because maybe you know a few people who did not know that 300 years of free labor alone, would mean we built this country with our blood, sweat, and tears and that bloodshed includes that of the Buffalo Soldiers.

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