African American Women and the American Revolution

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African American Women and the American Revolution
Carol Berkin
Professor of History, Baruch College of The City University of New York
April 10, 2014

African American women longed for freedom as much as anyone in revolutionary America, but few enjoyed its blessings. Liberty proved elusive, whether offered by the British or articulated by American revolutionaries. Some African American women in Virginia liberated themselves in response to Lord Dunmore’s proclamation, only to be sold back into slavery. Others fled to Canada after the war and faced further racial discrimination. Professor Berkin describes the challenging circumstances that African American women navigated in the Revolutionary period.

Part 1 of 5: Proclamations and the Ethiopian Regiment (6:10)

Part 2 of 5: African American Loyalists in Exile and the “Book of Negroes” (6:43)

Part 3 of 5: Fears of Arming African Americans and Post-War Slavery in the South (2:18)

Part 4 of 5: Gradual Emancipation in the North (4:17)

Part 5 of 5: Inherent Nature of the Spirit of Freedom (1:34)


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