The stories of black soldiers who served in the War for Independence are told in “Oh Freedom, Blacks in the Revolutionary War,” the NJ Department of State’s travelling exhibit now on display at the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington St.
The six-panel display features copies of documents, details about both British Loyalist and American rebel freedom fighters, and references authentic documents from the New Jersey State Library and Archives along with other sources, including newspaper articles. It was also culled from lists of black men and women who served on both sides and includes a narrative of their struggles both during and after the war.
Many of those enslaved people lived in this state and the quest for their personal independence played an important part in New Jersey’s role on both sides in the American Revolution.
Blacks took a chance, siding with either the British Loyalists or the American rebels –whomever they believed offered the best prospects for freedom and they were present at all of New Jersey’s key battles.