Happy Independence Day!

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All patriots bleed red, white, and blue. America’s legacy of diversity emerged from its very inception. Even during the American Revolutionary War, people of a variety of different backgrounds worked together to achieve a common goal. Let us remember this example of unity (that existed sadly during a period marked by division and racism) as we strive to make this country a place where all people are treated with Dignity & Respect:

The casual student of the American War for Independence, when considering the role of African Americans in the Continental Army, might assume that they played no significant part. Usually the layperson will take for granted that African American patriots must have fought in segregated, “all-black” units, served simply as laborers in the construction of fortifications and camps, or as servants to wealthy army officers. Oftentimes, it is also presupposed that the attitudes of all Euro-American officers and enlisted men toward African American soldiers were categorically negative. However, upon reading contemporary accounts and strength reports, one will discover the legacy of the Continental Army regarding race: the Continental Army was the first integrated army in American history. Unsuccessful attempts were made during the war to segregate the Continental Army, but due to manpower needs these attempts did not diminish its racial integration. Unfortunately for history, it was the philosophy of racial segregation in the American military that survived the Revolution to be implemented in future American conflicts. Even so, during the American Revolution, Euro-American Continental Army officers and enlisted men recognized the necessity of tapping into the manpower available in the colonial African American population and embraced (although at times hesitantly) the inclusion of the African American citizen-soldier in the contest for American independence.  American citizen-soldiers of European and African descent who served in George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolution were exposed to the first integrated army in America’s history.

Read more about America’s diverse beginnings here.

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