By Angela L. Braden
One of the first history lessons children in American schools learn is the sensational history of the United States of America. While the history of America predates the pilgrims settling in Jamestown, most historians tell the story of America as if it begins with the first group of white men, who traveled from Europe to begin a new and prosperous life on a land that was free and available for exploration and colonization.
That well constructed narrative that is taught in our American schools also explores how these white men desired to live independently from their colonial big brother, who sought to control the political and financial rulings of America from across the pond. Although America benefitted from the initial investments of Britain, the new country desired to be free from the taxation of another country. So, the tension ensued as the younger country became more and more unwilling to be forced to be dependent on another country.
Ironically enough, America was enslaving thousands of Africans, who were being stolen from their homeland and brought to America to work as slaves during the same time they were whining and crying for freedom from Great Britain. And even more ironically, when the two factions decided that bloodshed was worth the price to fight for liberty or continued dependence, a #black man was the first to die, defending America’s fight to be liberated from the so called tyranny of Great Britain.
Crispus Attucks, a free person of color, is commonly known as the first casualty in America’s effort to free herself from Great Britain. And while American schools teach that Attucks was the first casualty, many of them leave out the fact that he was half Black and half Native American.
It is unclear if Attucks was born a free person of color or if he was a runaway slave. However, one thing is clear is that Attucks died for a country that sought to enslave him and the women, men, and children that shared his African ancestry. Likewise, Attucks died for a country that did everything in their power to pillage his Native American ancestors.
Attucks is a martyr for the American Revolution. But his bloodshed did nothing to free the millions that possessed his heritage. Meanwhile, his death holds major significance for the countless white men and women, who eventually won their freedom from Great Britain. How ironic!