African Americans in the American Revolution – Teachers (US National Park Service) (2023)


Kings Mountain National Military Park

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Education Level:
Secondary: 6th grade to 8th grade
social Sciences
Lesson duration:
90 minutes
Common basic patterns:
6.RI.1, 6.RI.2, 6.RI.3, 6.RI.4, 6.RI.10, 7.RI.1, 7.RI.2, 7.RI.3, 7. RI.4, 7.RI.10, 8.RI.1, 8.RI.2, 8.RI.3, 8.RI.4, 8.RI.10
State Standards:
South Carolina State Social Studies Standards:
8-2.4 Compare the perspectives of different groups of South Carolinians in the United States
8-2.5 Outline the role of South Carolinians during the American Revolution.
thinking ability:
Comprehension: Understanding the main idea of ​​the material heard, seen or read. Interpret or summarize ideas in your own words. Application: Applying an abstract idea to a concrete situation to solve a problem or relate it to a previous experience. Create: assemble pieces (elements, connections) of knowledge into a whole and build relationships for NEW situations. Evaluation: Making informed judgments about the value of ideas or materials. Use standards and criteria to support opinions and points of view.


*What were the duties and responsibilities of African American soldiers in the American Revolution?

(Video) Black History and the National Park Service

* How did African Americans make significant contributions during the American Revolution?


In "The Negro in the American Revolution," Benjamin Quarles said that the African American was "a participant and a symbol. He was active on the front lines and behind the lines... The role of the Negro in the revolution can best be understood by realizing She realized that her greatest loyalty was not to a place or a people, but to a principle. Given her free choice, she would probably choose the side that offered her the quickest and best deal on those "inalienable rights" Mr. .Jefferson.

It is estimated that around 5,000 African Americans served in the war.Many African Americans have fought with the British since British commander Sir Henry Clinton offered freedom to slaves who would fight for the leaders, spies and workers (carpenters, blacksmiths, etc.). The use of African Americans as laborers allowed whites to be soldiers.

Several black soldiers fought in the ranks of the patriots in the Battle of Kings Mountain. Pension records show that five and possiblySix African Americans fought for the Patriots cause.


*Student materials: marker, pencil, paper

*Make a copy of the following materials for each student: African Americans in the American Revolution, Interview Planning Sheet, Interview Observation Sheet, and Stamp Design Template.

*Optional: Provide students with a computer or internet access to use for additional research on their hero interviews.


Use this to give the student an understanding of African Americans during the revolutionary period.

Laden Sie Reading on African Americans in the American Revolution herunter

Use it to prepare for mock interviews. Students should work in groups of three or four, but each has their own copy.

Download interview schedule

(Video) An Evening With John Slaughter: "African Americans in the Revolutionary War"

Use this option to take notes on the interviews of other groups. These bills are used in the selection of a Revolutionary-era African American to honor with a stamp.

Download the interview observation notes

Lesson/Sight Hook

* Tell students: “We have been learning about the American Revolution for several days. Today we are going to select a hero or leader of the revolution era to honor with a stamp. Who are some heroes or leaders you can think of? of the revolutionary era?" Students will probably list many leaders, all white and probably male.

*Ask students, "What do all these people have in common?" Ask students to identify that most of them are white men, many of whom are wealthy landowners. Ask students which groups of people are missing from the list. Responses may include women, immigrants, African Americans, and non-landowners, among others. Tell students that today they will be learning about one such group of heroes during the American Revolution: African Americans.


1. Distribute a copy of the handout titled African Americans in the American Revolution to each student.

2. Tell students that they will read the passage twice. The first time they have to read the passage to understand it. Students should underline words or phrases that seem important. Students should circle the words or phrases that are confusing or unfamiliar. Give students 3-5 minutes to complete the first reading.

3. Have students pair with a partner and share what they think are the most important ideas from the reading. Also look at the circled words or phrases with your partner to determine their meaning. As a class, discuss the general message or purpose of the section and clarify any confusing vocabulary.

4. Now have students read the passage a second time with a highlighter. Students should highlight the names of the African American heroes of the American Revolution discussed in the text. When finished, students must work with their peers to rank the top three heroes they are most excited to learn more about. This group of members will meet with another group of members (making a group of four) and select an African American hero of the American Revolution to focus on in a mock television or radio interview. Groups cannot choose the same hero.

5. After students have chosen their hero, distribute the interview planning sheet to each student. Give students 20 minutes to plan the interview and 10 minutes to practice. Students present their interview to the class, with all members of the group participating in some way. Roles in the interview can be the hero, the interviewers, or guest stars, such as a family member or another soldier. Students who don't like to talk can be "directors," showing cue cards and giving directions. Encourage students to be creative and name their news channel. Also, encourage students to do additional research on their hero's background and accomplishments.

6. The groups present their interviews to the class. While the groups are presenting, ask the other students to complete the “Interview Observation Notes”. Explain to students that in interviews they choose an African American hero to honor with a stamp and that students do not get to choose the hero they focused on in the interview. Students should take good notes to be prepared for the stamp design.

7. After all groups have presented, each student chooses an African American hero to honor with a seal drawing. After each student has chosen their hero, give them the "Seal Design Template."

(Video) Hidden Black History That They Are Terrified To Teach In School

8. Give students 15 minutes to design their stamp and write to Congress justifying their choice.

Optional: Send stamp drafts and justifications to your local congressman or senator.


*Freeman-APerson who is not enslaved and has full political and civil rights.

* Immigrants - APerson who permanently resides in a foreign country.

* Medallion - AMedallion-shaped piece of jewelry, generally worn as a pendant.

* Probation - Tthe temporary or permanent release of a prisoner before serving his sentence on the promise of good conduct.

*Close-Aregular contribution during an individual's retirement from an investment fund to which that individual or his employer has contributed during his working life.

*Pressgang - ParaForcing a person into military or naval service

*slave -APerson outside and forced to work without full political and civil rights.

assessment materials

Create a stamp honoring an African-American hero

Use this template to help students create and justify their choice of an African American hero as a seal.

(Video) About the Southern Campaign for the American Revolution

Create a stamp template

Download review

Support for low-performing students.

*Mixed pairs after first reading to ensure comprehension.

*Annotated copy of the reading for students struggling with academic vocabulary.

*Beginnings of sentences to justify the stamp design.

enrichment activities

*Ask students to describe a brief rationale in a professional business letter to their local congressman or senator

*Students can research heroes from one of the other groups that history often overlooks, such as women or immigrants.

additional resources

*Kings Mountain National Military Park:

* This Day in History Battle of Kings Mountain:

*Learn NC Battle of Kings Mountain:

Lessons or related teaching materials

The Battle of Kings Mountain Tactics lesson provides more information on the battle in general and the actions of the Patriots and Loyalists.

(Video) The War Over Teaching America’s Racist History in Schools | The Daily Show

contact information

Email us about this lesson plan


What role did African Americans play in the American Revolution? ›

During the American Revolution African American men, both enslaved and free fought in the Continental Army. Black soldiers served in mostly integrated units at this time. The First Rhode Island Regiment is the most famous regiment that included African Americans during the American Revolution.

Who were the 7 black heroes of the American Revolution? ›

7 Examples of Black Heroism During the American Revolution
  • Crispus Attucks: Patriot Martyr.
  • Phyllis Wheatley (also Phillis and Wheatly): Patriot and Abolition Poet.
  • Salem Poor: Patriot Soldier and Bunker Hill Hero.
  • Peter Salem: Patriot Soldier and Bunker Hill Hero.
  • James Armistead Lafayette: Double Agent.
Jul 4, 2020

What was the role of African Americans in the Revolution quizlet? ›

What side did African Americans fight for in the Revolutionary War? They joined the side that offered them freedom. In the South, where the British held out on the promise of freedom in exchange for military service, black men eagerly fought on the British side as Loyalists.

What were some of the results of African Americans serving in the military during the American Revolution? ›

Many enslaved men who fought in the war gained freedom, but others did not. Some owners reneged on their promises to free them after their service in the military. Some African American descendants of Revolutionary war veterans have documented their lineage.

Which side did African Americans fight for in the American Revolution? ›

Both free and enslaved men fought for American independence and for the British attempt to squash the rebellion. Most black Americans supported the British for reasons we know, but many served with the Continental Army because they believed in what the revolution presumably stood for.

Who played an important role in the American Revolution? ›

Five important figures were Britain's King George III, Continental Army General George Washington, and founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Benjamin Franklin. King George III was Great Britain's monarch at the time of the American Revolution.

Who was the first Black revolutionary? ›

Peter Salem is best known for his crucial contributions at the outset of the Revolution. Born into slavery in Massachusetts in the mid-18th century, Salem joined the Patriots in the earliest battles of the war, participating as a “minute man” at Lexington and Concord.

Who is the first Black leader? ›

In 1848, Frederick Douglass became the first African-American presidential candidate of the US. His candidacy largely preceded black suffrage and coincided with legal slavery in the U.S.

Who was the first black man killed in the Revolutionary War? ›

Africans in America/Part 2/Crispus Attucks. In 1770, Crispus Attucks, a black man, became the first casualty of the American Revolution when he was shot and killed in what became known as the Boston Massacre.

Why did African Americans support the revolution? ›

For black people, what mattered most was freedom. As the Revolutionary War spread through every region, those in bondage sided with whichever army promised them personal liberty. The British actively recruited slaves belonging to Patriot masters and, consequently, more blacks fought for the Crown.

Which roles did African Americans play in government during Reconstruction? ›

During Reconstruction, about 2,000 African American men served in political office. Hundreds of blacks held local offices in the South, more than 600 were elected to state legislatures, and 16 served in Congress. To take these posts, they often had to win elections plagued by violence and fraud.

What role did blacks play in the Loyalist cause during the revolution quizlet? ›

What role did blacks play in the Loyalist cause during the Revolution ? Blacks sometimes escaped to the British and became soldiers.

What was the main use of the African-American troops in the United States sent to Europe during World War I? ›

Many African Americans served under the Services of Supply section of the American Expeditionary Forces. This section comprised of stevedore, labor, and engineers service battalions and companies. The main function of these companies was to support and provide materials to other companies along the front.

What happened to the slaves as a result of the Revolutionary War? ›

The American Revolution had profound effects on the institution of slavery. Several thousand slaves won their freedom by serving on both sides of the War of Independence. As a result of the Revolution, a surprising number of slaves were manumitted, while thousands of others freed themselves by running away.

How were African Americans treated while serving in the Union military? ›

During the Civil War, black troops were often assigned tough, dirty jobs like digging trenches. Black regiments were commonly issued inferior equipment and were sometimes given inadequate medical treatment in racially segregated hospitals. African-American troops were paid less than white soldiers.

How were African Americans treated after the American Revolution? ›

After the War

Most of the African American men who fought in the war did receive their freedom as promised. However, they soon found out that the "freedom and equality" they had fought for did not apply to African Americans. Slavery continued in the United States for over 80 years after the Revolutionary War ended.

How did slavery change after the American Revolution? ›

The Revolution had contradictory effects on slavery. The northern states either abolished the institution outright or adopted gradual emancipation schemes. In the South, the Revolution severely disrupted slavery, but ultimately white Southerners succeeded in strengthening the institution.

How did slavery lead to the American Revolution? ›

The predominantly southern slave-owners feared that this decision would cause the emancipation of their slaves. It did result in some slaves freeing themselves. To ensure the preservation of slavery, the southern colonies joined the northerners in their fight for “freedom” and their rebellion against England.

Who influenced the American Revolution the most? ›

The single most important influence that shaped the founding of the United States comes from John Locke, a 17th century Englishman who redefined the nature of government.

Who helped America in the Revolution? ›

A number of European countries assisted the American colonists. The primary allies were France, Spain, and the Netherlands with France giving the most support. Why did they want to help colonists? European nations had a number of reasons why they aided the American colonies against Britain.

How many blacks fought in American Revolution? ›

Blacks fought in provincial regiments prior to the war, and roughly 5,000 African American soldiers and sailors, free and slave, served the Revolutionary cause.

Who was the first black US? ›

Augustine, Florida, thirteen years before more enslaved Africans were brought to the English colony at Jamestown in 1619. William Tucker, the first Black child born (recorded) in the American colonies, was baptized in Jamestown, Virginia, on January 3, 1624.

Who were black Patriots? ›

Black Patriots were African Americans who sided with the colonists who opposed British rule during the American Revolution. The term "Black Patriots" includes, but is not limited to, the 5,000 or more African Americans who served in the Continental Army and Patriot militias during the American Revolutionary War.

Who was the first black billionaire? ›

After taking BET private again in 1998, Johnson and his partners sold BET Holdings to the giant media group Viacom in 2001 for some $3 billion, though he remained at BET as its chief executive officer until 2005. The sale made him the first African American billionaire.

Who was the first black millionaire? ›

Madam C.J.

Walker (1867-1919), who started life as a Louisiana sharecropper born to formerly enslaved parents in 1867, is usually cited as the first Black millionaire.

Who is the only black U.S. senator? ›

Booker won election to a full term in 2014. Kamala Harris became California's first African American senator on January 3, 2017, bringing the number of African Americans serving simultaneously to three and the total number of African American senators to 10.

Who Betrayed America in Revolutionary War? ›

Benedict Arnold, the American general during the Revolutionary War who betrayed his country and became synonymous with the word “traitor,” was born on January 14, 1741.

Who was the last survivor of the Revolutionary War? ›

On this date, the House of Representatives accorded a rare honor to Revolutionary War veteran John Kitts, granting him House Floor privileges for the day. Born in 1762, Kitts was then the oldest known living person in the United States and the last surviving veteran of the Revolutionary War.

What is the name of a Black soldier? ›

The term Buffalo Soldiers became a generic term for all black soldiers. It is now used for U.S. Army units that trace their direct lineage back to any of the African-American regiments formed in 1866.

What were black Loyalists during the American Revolution? ›

Black Loyalists were people of African descent who sided with the Loyalists during the American Revolutionary War. In particular, the term refers to men who escaped enslavement by Patriot masters and served on the Loyalist side because of the Crown's guarantee of freedom.

Who started the African Revolution? ›

Kwame Nkrumah, the leader of Ghana's independence struggle and its first Prime Minister and then President, was a major theorist of pan-Africanism and neocolonialism and arguably one of the most important leaders of what was known in the 1960s as the “African Revolution.” During the course of his rule, Nkrumah ...

How did slaves gain their freedom? ›

Freedom from slavery could be granted, purchased, or earned by means of escape. An individual who was "given his time" achieved an "unofficial" freedom. Thomas Jefferson granted freedom to seven enslaved men.

Why was education so important to freed blacks? ›

During the Reconstruction Era, African Americans in the former slave-holding states saw education as an important step towards achieving equality, independence, and prosperity. As a result, they found ways to learn despite the many obstacles that poverty and white people placed in their path.

What was the most important institution in the African American community? ›

Historically, the church, the family, and the school are the three most critical institutions whose interactions have been responsible for the viability of the African American community (Roberts, 1980).

Why were slaves denied an education? ›

Fearing that black literacy would prove a threat to the slave system -- which relied on slaves' dependence on masters -- whites in many colonies instituted laws forbidding slaves to learn to read or write and making it a crime for others to teach them.

What roles did African slaves play in the Revolutionary War? ›

Enslaved people were often trained and very talented in carpentry, masonry, as blacksmiths, shoemakers, seamstresses, bakers, and distillers. Many slaves in Maryland and Virginia used their knowledge of the tidal regions of the Chesapeake Bay to evade capture from their masters.

Why did African Americans fight on both sides during the American Revolution? ›

African-Americans fought for both sides, providing manpower to both the British and the revolutionaries. Their actions during the war were often decided by what they believed would best help them throw off the shackles of slavery. Most believed that victory by the British would lead to the end of slavery.

What did Black Loyalists want? ›

During the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), thousands of free or enslaved Black people fought for the British, hoping to gain their freedom along with the promise of land.

Which statement best describes African Americans actions during the American Revolution? ›

Which of the following statements best describes African Americans' actions during the American Revolution? They fought for the side that offered them their best chance at freedom.

What were the roles of Native Americans in the American Revolution briefly describe? ›

Though their stories are not often told, Native Americans played major roles in the Revolutionary War. Supporting both armies as scouts, soldiers and diplomats, the contributions of Native Americans were critical to many important events, battles and decisions that shaped the outcome of the war.

Who was the first African American killed in the Revolutionary War? ›

Africans in America/Part 2/Crispus Attucks. In 1770, Crispus Attucks, a black man, became the first casualty of the American Revolution when he was shot and killed in what became known as the Boston Massacre.

What roles did African Americans play in the War of 1812? ›

During the War of 1812, black Soldiers served in both integrated regiments as well as in all-black regiments. Many black Soldiers served with courage and distinction, both on land and at sea. Many others worked as laborers, constructing fortifications and supplying the Army with food, materiel and munitions.


1. Deepening Division Threatens the Union | America: The Story of Us (S1, E4) | Full Episode | History
2. That Time Black America Helped Birth A Nation
3. History at Home: Black Soldiers in the Revolutionary Battle of Red Bank
(Montclair History Center)
4. The Civil War Rages | America: The Story of Us (S1, E5) | Full Episode | History
5. National Parks Service Cover-Up | Conspiracy Theory
(The Lore Lodge)
6. Brown Bag Lunch: "African Americans in the U.S. Military" with Christopher Craft


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