Tells the story of the thousands of black men who served as soldiers fighting for independence from England during the American Revolutionary War.
The ALAN Review - Bill MollineauxBeginning with Crispus Attucks's death in the Boston Massacre and ending with James Armistead's spying activities that lead to the British defeat at Yorktown, Cox has written a fascinating, readable, and moving account of the contributions made by black men in America's struggle for independence from Great Britain. Concomitantly, Cox depicts the dilemma faced by white proponents for independence: how to wage a war for freedom while at the same time defending and preserving the institution of slavery. Particularly interesting are how the British offered freedom to slaves who joined their side, how and why Southerners were unwilling to enlist black soldiers, and how white American officers like Major John Laurens attempted Ato link the struggle for independence with the opportunity to end slavery. Equally intriguing are the actions and attitudes of Washington and Jefferson towards slaves, especially when compared to those of Hamilton, Lafayette, and Kosciuszko. Finally, the problems of maintaining an army faced with large desertions make for a captivating read. Simply put, this is a valuable book that brings alive the role played by blacks in the American Revolution.
Children's Literature - Christopher MoningThe role of the African Americans during the fight for American independence is often overlooked. Clinton Cox relates the fate of some of these soldiers, from Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre, whom most consider the first casualty of the American Revolution, to Jude "Old Rock" Hall, who fought for the entire eight years of the conflict. In fact, over 5,000 black men enlisted in the Continental Army, fighting to win a freedom that they themselves would not enjoy. Many slaves were ordered to duty to take the place of their owners. A selection of photographs and drawings highlight the text. Some names and details are sketchy, through no fault of the author's-the sad truth is, history has largely hidden and understated the profound impact that African Americans had on both sides of this conflict.
VOYA - Sue KrumbeinThe Revolutionary War is studied by students several times during their school years, so it is important that they have the opportunity to learn about all the individuals and groups who participated in it. Until fairly recently, however-with the exception of Crispus Attucks-African Americans and Native Americans have been left out of the war's history. This book includes information about a number of African Americans, as well as a few Native Americans, who fought on both the American and British sides of the Revolutionary War. In 1770, there were 400,000 black slaves in the colonies out of a total population of 2.1 million people. Many of them, as well as free blacks, played important parts in the war effort; African Americans Lemuel Haynes, Primus Black, Epheram Blackman, and Barzillai Lew were four of the Green Mountain Boys who stormed Fort Ticonderoga under the leadership of Ethan Allen. Prince Whipple, a black soldier, crossed the Delaware with Washington and is pictured in the boat with him in the famous painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware." Virginia actually sent a larger number of black troops to fight than whites-one of whom was Shadrack Battle, who served for three years in the Continental Army. Cox tells the story of the Revolutionary War, including information about all soldiers, African American as well as white. This is especially effective because the information is included where it is relevant, rather than in a separate chapter on the contributions of African Americans to the war. This title, which can be read in its entirety or used for specific research, would be an excellent addition to the history section of a public or school library. Index. Photos. Biblio. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-10--An interesting and informative survey of African-American participation in the American Revolution. Cox begins his narrative with the Boston Massacre and follows the course of the war through the Battle of Yorktown. While clearly describing the inequities faced by black soldiers, the author also points out that Native Americans, women, and indentured servants were not part of the "all men" who were "created equal." Southern unwillingness to enlist black soldiers for fear of encouraging slave revolts is chronicled. Jefferson and Washington both come in for their share of just criticism, while other leaders who championed the cause of freedom for all are cited for their words and actions. Although Cox incorporates information on individuals, his emphasis is historical rather than biographical. Thomas Fleming's Give Me Liberty (Scholastic, 1971; o.p.) covers some of the same material, but with less detail, fewer names and relevant illustrations, and a generous spattering of fictionalized dialogue. Eugene Winslow's Afro-Americans `76: Black Americans in the Founding of Our Nation (Afro-Am Publishing, 1975) discusses pre-Revolutionary America and the first half of the 19th century and presents a series of brief biographical vignettes linked by short historical overviews. Come All You Brave Soldiers is preferable to either. Black-and-white reproductions of period prints, documents, and paintings are included in two insert sections rather than near their subject matter, but this is a minor flaw in an otherwise superior treatment of an important subject.--Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Kirkus ReviewsIn a solid, factual chronicle, Cox (Mark Twain, 1995, etc.) retells the story of the American Revolution; he doesn't change or challenge what occurred but includes many of the details most history books have left out. Over 5,000 black men contributed to the country's cause for independence, despite the slavery and racism the land offered them. The broad scope of the work allows for only brief portraits of the brave men who are highlighted, from Crispus Attucks, who was first to die at the Boston Massacre, to Prince Whipple, who accompanied Washington as he crossed the Delaware, to Pompey Lamb, who was instrumental in Mad Anthony Wayne's capture of Stony Point. Cox astutely introduces the hypocrisy of a nation who fights for freedom while enslaving others; he also accurately presents the racial attitudes of the time through documents, letters, and speeches. In addition to paying tribute to some overlooked figures, this book also demonstrates why one historical account is never enough to establish the facts, and the surprises to be found in good research. (b&w photos, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-14) .
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