In 1855, Harriet Beecher Stowe penned an introduction to Colored Patriots of the American Revolution by William C. Nell. It’s striking to read their words today as our nation and schools continue to struggle with treating all peoples equitably. Stowe writes:
In considering the services of the Colored Patriots of the Revolution, we are to reflect upon them as far more magnanimous, because rendered to a nation which did not acknowledge them as citizens and equals, and in whose interests and prosperity they had less at stake. It was not for their own land they fought, not even for land which had adopted them, but for a land which had enslaved them, and whose laws, even in freedom, oftener oppressed than protected. Bravery, under such circumstances, has a peculiar beauty and merit.
The book itself includes “sketches” of great feats by people of color at the very beginning of the nation. There’s much to read and reflect upon. Take a scroll yourself.