Black History: Special Delivery!!

book of negroes
Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes: A Record of Enslaved Blacks Who Fought For The British During the American Revolutionary War In Exchange For Freedom

The Book of Negroes chronicles over 3,000 enslaved African Americans who fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The liberation of American colonies from British rule was the goal of the war. For the chance at freedom, enslaved blacks took up arms against the American colonies. They knew that American independence and freedom from British rule, would not result in them being freed from slavery.

For their loyalty to the British, more than 3,000 enslaved and free black people were relocated to Nova Scotia, Canada. They would become the first settlement of Black Canadians. The presence of this document reflects the inherent contradiction of the American colonies quest for freedom and independence; the contradiction being that the newly forming America would deny enslaved blacks the same rights that it sought for itself.

The possibility of freedom offered by The British to those who survived the war was a powerful recruitment tool. Ironically blacks who were free were more likely to support the American Patriots rather than the British. Their support was based largely on the promise of land. Nearly 1/3 of the newly re-settled blacks who went to Nova Scotia would resettle again on the continent of African in Sierra Leone.

In 2007, Lawrence Hall published a work of fiction, “The Book of Negroes” based on the quest of enslaved Africans who sought to gain their freedom by fighting for the British.  In February 2015, BET aired a 6 part miniseries based on the book.


Did you miss yesterday’s post? Click here to view a powerful quote from James Baldwin