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American Patriots: a Young People's Edition
Cover of American Patriots: a Young People's Edition
American Patriots: a Young People's Edition
The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm
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They fought on Lexington Green the first morning of the Revolution and survived the bitter cold winter at Valley Forge. They stormed San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and...
They fought on Lexington Green the first morning of the Revolution and survived the bitter cold winter at Valley Forge. They stormed San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and...
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  • They fought on Lexington Green the first morning of the Revolution and survived the bitter cold winter at Valley Forge. They stormed San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and manned an anti-aircraft gun at Pearl Harbor. They are the black Americans who fought, often in foreign lands, for freedoms that they did not enjoy at home.
    Adapted for young readers, this dramatic story brings to life the heroism of people such as Crispus Attucks, Benjamin O. Davis, Charity Adams, and Colin Powell, and captures the spirit that drove these Americans to better their lives and demand of themselves the highest form of sacrifice.

Excerpts-

  • From the book The Revolution

    I served in the Revolution, in General Washington's army. . . . I have stood in battle, where balls, like hail, were flying all around me. The man standing next to me was shot by my side—his blood spouted upon my clothes, which I wore for weeks. My nearest blood, except that which runs in my veins, was shed for liberty. My only brother was shot dead instantly in the Revolution. Liberty is dear to my heart—I cannot endure the thought, that my countrymen should be slaves.

    —"Dr. Harris," a veteran of the 1st Rhode Island, in an address to an anti-slavery society in Francestown, New Hampshire, 1842

    By 1770, Crispus Attucks, the son of an African father and a Native American mother, had spent some twenty years at sea, having escaped slavery in Framingham, Massachusetts, when he was about twenty-seven years old.

    On the night of March 5, 1770, Attucks was in Boston's King Street tavern when an alarm bell was heard from the street's British sentry. When Attucks led a stick- and bat-wielding group of fellows from the tavern, he discovered that the sentry was under "attack" only from snowball-throwing boys. Still, Attucks and his mob took the side of the boys against the Redcoats—using heavy sticks instead of snowballs. Witnesses said that Attucks, striking the first blow, caused arriving British soldiers to open fire. British musket shots hit eleven people, killing five: four white men and Crispus Attucks—the first to die, from two shots to the chest.

    Some Bostonians had little regard for the victims. In his defense of the British soldiers, lawyer John Adams blamed Attucks for the mini riot, dismissing him as a rabble-rouser—

    the leader of a gang of lowlifes and rowdies. The merchant John Hancock, like Adams a future signer of the Declaration of

    Independence, also accused Attucks of provoking the "Boston Massacre"—but from a praiseworthy point of view. "Who taught the British soldier that he might be defeated?" Hancock later asked. "Who dared look into his eyes? I place, therefore, this Crispus Attucks in the foremost rank of the men that dared."

    Although the British soldiers were acquitted from any wrongdoing, the Americans won the lion's share of public support and sympathy. Crispus Attucks and his companions became the first popular martyrs of the Revolution.

    By the time of the Boston Massacre, Britain controlled North America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, as well as most of the islands that made up the West Indies. The debt Britain had incurred securing much of this territory during the French and Indian Wars (1689-1763) had led to heavy taxation of the thirteen colonies, which, in British eyes, existed only for the benefit of the mother country. The thirteen colonies, with a budding sense of nationhood, saw any form of taxation as slavery. The mother country's Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and other acts of taxation sparked bold acts of defiance, such as the "Boston Tea Party" on the night of December 16, 1773.

    Black people also engaged in protest—against slavery. In 1773, Massachusetts courts and legislature saw several petitions from enslaved blacks, asking for their freedom along with, in one case, some "unimproved land" on which to build new lives. At the time, out of a total population of 2,600,000, in Britain's North American colonies, there were roughly 500,000 black people, with about 460,000 of them enslaved.

    Quaker Philadelphia was the heart of early eighteenth-century abolitionism. Benjamin Franklin was among that city's early abolitionists. Anthony Benezet was another. "How many of those who...

About the Author-

  • Gail Buckley’s family history, The Hornes, was a national bestseller. She is a journalist and daughter of the legendary singer-actress Lena Horne.
    Tonya Bolden is the author of Rock of Ages: A Tribute to the Black Church and Tell All the Children Our Story: Memories and Mementos of Being Young and Black in America.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 26, 2001
    This work complements Bernard Nalty's academically oriented history of blacks in America's wars, Strength for the Fight
    (1986), and Gerald Astor's narrative account, The Right to Fight
    (1998). Basing her account heavily on interviews and similar primary material, Buckley focuses on the particular experiences of black soldiers. She pulls no punches in describing discrimination against black soldiers, misrepresentation of their performances and denial of their achievements. But in a dominant culture that for much of its history was overtly segregated and highly racist, the pressures of necessity opened military service to blacks. It began as an individual process during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. By the end of the Civil War, the Union army counted its black soldiers in entire divisions and army corps. Black regiments, regulars and volunteers, served in the Plains Indian Wars and in the wars of empire at the century's turn. During the First World War, black troops won more credit under French colors than a segregated American Expeditionary Force would allow. Some black activists of the interwar years correspondingly turned to the revolutionary promises of Communism, playing a role in the Spanish Civil War's International Brigades, which Buckley arguably exaggerates. WWII was America's last segregated conflict. In Buckley's account the armed forces have succeeded in acknowledging past racism, while proving that liberal values like equality of treatment and opportunity are able to coexist with conservative ones like duty, honor and patriotism. (On-sale date: May 15)Forecast:Buckley, daughter of Lena Horne (and author of
    The Hornes), should have no trouble getting media attention on her six-city tour. Military history buffs and a broader readership interested in African-American history will turn out to buy this.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 2003
    African-American heroes take center stage in American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm by Gail Buckley, adapted for younger readers by Tonya Bolden, from the author's adult book (with the same title). The volume spotlights the role of African-Americans from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War, including Vaughn Love (who fought during the Spanish Civil War), Col. Fred V. Cherry, a POW in Vietnam, and Colin Powell, four-star general in Desert Storm. Among the women profiled: Maj. Charity Adams and Lt. Harriet Pickens, both of whom served in WWII, and Maj. Flossie Satcher, who served in Desert Storm. Direct quotes and a 16-page photo inset give the historical accounts a sense of urgency.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2003
    Gr 7 Up-Buckley originally wrote Patriots for an adult audience, and this abridgment is still a deeply moving and inspiring account of the history of African Americans in the U.S. military and their unrecognized heroism in the face of overt racism. Based on years of research and primary material, the volume presents the stories of many people ignored in standard history books. The accounts of the prejudice faced by these soldiers are hard to read, but important for understanding the significance of their achievements and the role that segregation played in military history and in the larger history of this country. Understandably, the text is dense and requires a certain level of knowledge of United States history and world events. The book includes 16 pages of captioned, black-and-white photographs and/or illustrations from each war covered and an extensive bibliography. The suggested reading list is tailored for a younger audience and includes such titles as Catherine Clinton's The Black Soldier: 1492 to the Present (Houghton, 2000), which would be a valuable addition for libraries wanting subject coverage for readers who are not ready for Buckley's book. The latter volume will serve as a standard resource for older students and may well spark interest in other adult titles on related topics. Libraries would do well to own both books.-Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD

    Copyright 2003 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2003
    Gr. 6-9. This adaptation of Buckley's 2001 adult book by the same name makes an important subject accessible to a younger audience. As in the earlier book, this one chronologically illuminates the struggles and achievements of America's black servicemen and -women, from the Revolutionary to the Gulf War, who protected America's freedoms while struggling for their own. Buckley provides general historical context, focusing on how black soldiers affected--and were affected by--each war as well as the discrimination they faced while in the military and at home. The prose is straightforward, if sometimes dense, and Buckley has included a number of quotes, some apparently from interviews, which, unfortunately, are not formally footnoted or sourced (the original book featured extensive documentation and information about the interviews). A brief introduction discusses the author's inspiration for the book; a selected bibliography and newly added reading list for young people are appended. Documentation aside, this is an informative, enlightening introduction, offering unusual perspectives on the American military experience through the lens of its black patriots.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2003, American Library Association.)

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    Random House Children's Books
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American Patriots: a Young People's Edition
American Patriots: a Young People's Edition
The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm
Gail Lumet Buckley
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