African American History

From Wikipedia:

Crispus_Attucks The first recorded Africans in British North America (including most of the future United States) arrived in 1619 as indentured servants who settled in Jamestown, Virginia. As English settlers died from harsh conditions more and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. They for many years were similar in legal position to poor English indenturees, who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America.[7] Africans could legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom.[8] They raised families, marrying other Africans and sometimes intermarrying with Native Americans or English settlers.[9] By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards. The popular conception of a race-based slave system did not fully develop until the 1700s. The first black congregations and churches were organized before 1800 in both northern and southern cities following the Great Awakening. During the 1770s Africans, both enslaved and free, helped rebellious English colonists secure American Independence by defeating the British in the American Revolution.[10] Africans and Englishmen fought side by side and were fully integrated.[11] James Armistead, an African American, played a large part in making possible the 1781 Yorktown victory that established the United States as an independent nation.[12] Other prominent African Americans were Prince Whipple and Oliver Cromwell, who are both depicted in the front of the boat in George Washington's famous 1776 Crossing the Delaware portrait.

Picture: An artist's conception of Crispus Attucks, the first “martyr” of the American Revolution.

More here.