One of the great lies told about Americans of African decent is that they were all poor, illiterate slaves under the heels of wealthy white Southerners. The fact is that many never were slaves, many prospered despite the prejudice, and, even in 1860, most slaves were "owned" by Northern absentee land-holders. About half of the Southern slave holders were "black". Most Southern slave-holders owned smaller plantations, and many of the slaves were family (both black and white slaveholders). We all know that Crispus Attucks was the first American to die in the Revolution (supposedly). I remember from South Carolina history that the first South Carolinian casualty was also of African decent. Francis Marion's "personal slave" was also one of his main soldiers. Both slave and free "blacks" fought bravely in the Revolution.