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He was the first to die in the Revolutionary cause in Boston, yet we know almost nothing about him

Black Perspectives interviews Mitch Kachun, author of First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory, about Attucks, both for how he died in front of what is now the Old State House and the use of his memory in later struggles for abolition and civil rights.

Attucks’s story raises questions about who can claim to be a citizen, a patriot, a hero, an American. Following his story through history and myth illuminates issues surrounding the incorporation of African Americans’ actions, experiences, and perspectives into the mainstream narrative Americans tell themselves, and the world, about the nation’s identity.

Via J.L. Bell.

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Comments

Too bad it was all for nothing.

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Voting closed 4

"Too bad it was all for nothing."

That statement shows your total lack of historical perspective. He's buried right alongside the other men that were killed that day (and one a bit later). There's no segregation in that. He has an equal honor with the others.

From the Bell article,"I could not find a single American history textbook published between the 1880s and 1950s that mentioned Attucks in its coverage of the Boston Massacre. This began to change in the 1960s, and by the 1990s it was hard to find a textbook that did not mention Attucks. "

Those books were published during the 'Plessey' era, when separate but equal was the law of the land. I have no idea if there's a correlation, but...

It's fairly plain that the modern era gives him due credit. Rabblerouser, wrong place at the wrong time, rebel, whatever, we may never know too much about him, but we honor him and his sacrifice.

He definitely did not die in vain.

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Voting closed 7

I didn't mean what you think I did. I meant that none of it was worth it. The British should have remained at least another 100 years. Black people and natives would have had a better time of it and we'd be a better, less dysfunctional country today.

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Voting closed 12

Your lack of historical perspective is astounding. Let me try to help here. First, a quiz. The answers will be at the bottom of the test.

1. The_________never sets on the British Empire.
A. Meteorites
B. Queen
C. Sun
D. Brian Riccio

2. The Bill of Rights applies to people in___________.
A. Distress
B. The Gaol in Hull, England
C. The United States
D. Brian Riccio

3. Mohandas Ghandi was the Mogul of ______________
A. Italy
B. Trick question, he was the Mahatma
C. A British Colony until after World War II
D. Brian Riccio

4. The East India Company had___________
A. A good thing going
B. A standing army much larger than that of the Crown
C. The first permanent stock
D. Brian Riccio

OK, I could keep this up all night. What separates the United States from Great Britain is the fact that they are subjects to the Crown and we are citizens of a country. The Founding Fathers (all old white guys, yup) made it illegal to dispense titles of nobility on people. Our history is fraught with bloodshed and pain, definitely, but as a nation, we try, we strive to make things better. The Civil War history is horrible to read, but it's a story of a nation ripped apart and, amazingly enough, stitched back together.
We honor our dead and we try to move forward.

The history of the European nations is one of colonialism all over the world...Boer Africa, the Belgian Congo...hell, most of our Mideast problems can probably be assigned to the dividing of the area with no consideration to local tribal areas.
Look at England now. Nationalized medicine that 'owns' your kid. You can't even take him out of the country to Italy for treatment that might save his life.
A journalist arrested, tried and locked up for thirteen months...all in one day.

This country, for all its shortcomings, has been a harbinger of democracy and freedom during the darkest hours of history. You like Hitler? Remember D-Day, coming up in a couple of days.

No, if 1776 never happened, the world would be a very different place and not for the better.

Answers to quiz: 1-C
2-C
3-B&C
4-All of the above. Just kidding, it didn't have Brian Riccio.

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Voting closed 6

As someone with a UK employer, it sounds as though you've never even read a history book let alone been to the UK.

What-if'ing history is fun but you've conveniently left out a ton. We'd probably be more like Canada than anything else. And your take on modern life in the UK is a complete fiction. The parliamentary democracy in England is probably closer to a true democracy than our own.

But I'm talking at a brick wall. Carry on.

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Voting closed 2

"Too bad it was all for nothing."

I'm sorry you feel that way.

I'm sorry someone/society/media has made you believe that.

The truth is, black people have been a part of this country since day one, meaning prior to 1776.

A lot of people, black and white want you to view our nations races as segregated, for many reasons, some of them valid.

However, when fighting the Limeys,or the Confederacy, or the Japanese, Nazis, North Koreans Viet Kong, etc. we have been and always will be, one nation.

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Voting closed 4