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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Words: 416 words || 
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1. Taylor, Michelle. "In Hopes of Freedom -- African American Heroes of the American Revolutionary War Era" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2020-02-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435323_index.html>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Although some Americans may know the name Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the Boston Massacre, there were many other African-Americans who participated in the American Revolution. In fact, it is estimated that over 5,000 slave and free African-Americans soldiers fought in every major battle. In Hopes of Freedom" captures the courage and determination of the unsung heroes of African decent that I like to call the first “Freedom Fighters” In a country that didn’t even recognize them as men, they fought bravely, usually serving years longer than their white counterparts. Heroes such as:
• James Easton, POW and a prominent blacksmith of Boston, served under George Washington in Massachusetts. Self-educated, Easton was nicknamed "the Black Lawyer" in his community. He made anchors & tools, and his forge and nail factory was known for its superior quality. Much of the ironwork for the Boston Marine Railway & Tremont Theatre was executed under his supervision.
• Paul Cuffe, who was born free, became a wealthy whaler and navigator, although he never received a formal education. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, he and his brother began a trading business that included running British blockades with American supplies. The son of a former slave, he owned in full or partially, at least 10 ships.
• James Forten a POW, was apprenticed to sail maker Robert Bridges in 1786. He took over the business in 1798 and developed it into one of the most prosperous in Philadelphia. With his invention of a sail-making device, which enabled him to handle heavy sails easily, he soon amassed a huge fortune.
I began this project in 1998 with the completion of two paintings for a 90-second commercial. I found it intriguing, despite the fact that history was my least favorite subject in school. I traveled to the oldest African-American museum in the US and was surprised to learn that they had very little historical information prior to 1868. In fact, there is paucity of information about specific African-Americans during the American Revolution. I determined to enlighten others and to bring our ancestors’ valiant legacies to life by combining vibrant art with captivating history lessons in the form of the descriptive text panels which accompany each piece. There are currently 26 paintings in my “In Hopes of Freedom” exhibit with many more planned. You will be fascinated by the stories of these soldiers and slaves who became wealthy business owners, doctors, lawyers, shipping magnates, property owners, and more.


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