Things they don’t teach you in school.

Posted Tue Nov 11, 2003, 16:41 PM by Tracy | |

Yesterday on Fresh Air substitute host Barbara Bogaev interviewed historian Henry Wiencek, author of An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America.

What I didn’t know, what they didn’t teach us in school, is that the Continental Army was composed in significant part of free black men. The celebrated Rhode Island regiment, which led the decisive attack on the British at Yorktown, was 3/4 black.

It makes me wonder how attitudes toward race in America would have been different over the years, if the active participation of blacks in the Revolutionary war were common knowledge. Not the sort of over-compensating celebration demanded by modern PC thinking. Not the old-style PC (political correctness cuts both ways) ignoring the role of anyone not white and preferably male. Just something everyone knows.

  1. There's something so strange about the way Terry Gross says "Fresh Air." Every time I come across the words now, I hear her slightly breathy, somewhat rushed "Fresh Air" in my head.

    rebecca    Thu Nov 13, 11:41 AM    #


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