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African American Military Heroes

pardon granted
by lisby1

Article by Gabriel Adams

Today the United States military branches treat African American soldiers with the respect they deserve but it wasn’t always so. In the past during the American Revolution and the Civil War, men of color were slaves and though they may have served the U.S., they were not accorded the same respect as their white masters.

It is a different landscape today as many African American men and women join the military not only to serve their country but to gain an education and experience that they otherwise would not have access to. Let’s look back at some of the notable African Americans that served in the past with distinction.

The American Revolution

Paul Cuffe aided in the war effort during the American Revolution by smuggling necessary goods past patrol ships of England. After he served his country and America had won her freedom he built a large shipping and whaling business of some success. He is often referred to by historians as “the father of black nationalism” in the U.S.

Though every schoolchild hears the story of the Boston Massacre one man is often left out. Crispus Attucks was the leader of the revolt against the troops of Great Britain in 1770. His alleged words “Don’t be afraid!” spurred the protesting crowd to rise up against the weapon wielding British soldiers.

The minutemen were responsible for rallying troops when British invaders were immanent in a region. Lemuel Haynes was one of those minutemen and he fought at both Fort Ticonderoga and the siege of Boston. When the war ended he went on to study Latin and Greek and eventually became a minister in the Congregationalist church.

African Americans in the Civil War through the Latter Part of the 19th Century

African Americans served in both the Union and Confederate armies during the “War Between the States.” Many served with distinction even as they fought alongside their slave masters. Even in the North where they were considered free, they did not receive the same treatment as their white counterparts.

Martin Robinson Delany achieved the highest rank of any other black soldier during the Civil War. He was a field commander and a recruiter of black soldiers and was discharged from the Union army with the rank of major. When the war was over he went to Harvard Medical School, worked in the field of real estate and was the author of a few books.

West Point was not known for their black cadets but Henry O. Flipper was the first African American to graduate from the academy in 1877. Because of charges that were falsely brought against him he was discharged from the army dishonorably which later in 1976 was changed to an honorable discharge. His family was pleased when in 1999 Flipper was granted a full pardon posthumously.

Though many history books don’t mention these African Americans and many more like them, they served honorably in the military to fight for American freedom even as their own freedom was often in question.

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Blanco is due to be granted his parole but when Fletch hears Blanco claim that he was innocent of his wife’s murder all along and that her lover killed her,he believes the old man should have a free pardon instead and organizes a petition,forging Mr. Barraclough’s signature to add to the list. Eventually,after threats of hunger strikes the free pardon is granted though when Fletch asks what happened to the wife’s lover Blanco replies that he killed him years ago. ~Copyright Notice~ All episodes and the film were created by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) I do not own them I mearly uploaded them for your viewing pleasure.
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