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Crispus Attucks: Spark of a Revolution

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July 4th 2020 marks the 244th anniversary of the singing of the Declaration of Independence in America. Recent events have called to light how many American citizens do not feel comfortable celebrating this ‘freedom’. Some will abstain from any sort of festivities while others have said they will BBQ, but not in celebration of Independence Day. For those of you that can’t stay away from the grill because of your gluttony for glizzies, here is a reason you can get behind; Do it for the memory of Crispus Attucks.

Crispus Attucks was born of an African slave and a Native woman in Framingham, Massachusetts; Attucks himself escaped slavery and moved to Boston. As a freed slave and fugitive, Crispus worked as a sailor as it was one of the few jobs where he wouldn’t standout since so many Black men were sailors. He had just returned the morning of March 5th 1770 from working on a trip to the Bahamas. Crispus like many others went to the local pub to drink and enjoy his night when a British soldier entered the bar and what followed is now known as The Boston Massacre.

British soldiers at the time were rightfully seen as the enemy of many of the colonists for their harsh treatment of the people. They were also notorious broke boys, as the British Army didn’t pay them enough to sustain a life in the colonies. Colonists were tired of losing jobs to the men that also policed them, so when the soldier at the pub inquired for a job, Crispus stood up and kicked the man out of the bar, triggering a response that left 5 dead including Crispus.

The British Soldier went for backup and returned only to be met by Mr. Attucks and a group of other colonists. Witnesses say he was seen waving a wooden stick at the soldiers and then ultimately grabbing the gun by the bayonet before the soldier regained control and shot him twice. Four other colonists were murdered that day and is said to have sparked the American Revolution. Isn’t it sadly ironic those 5 murders constituted a massacre in 1770 but 63 police murders (since the murder of George Floyd) aren’t? Future President John Adams defended the soldiers in their subsequent trial (they were found not guilty of murder, doesn’t that sound familiar?).

So when you are eating those ribs and drinking your drinks, remember Crispus Attucks a runaway slave turned sailor turned the spark of a revolution.

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