Lesson Plan

African-American Communities in the North Before the Civil War

U.S. stamp for Salem Poor (1747-1802).
Photo caption

U.S. stamp for Salem Poor (1747-1802).

One of the heroes of the Battle of Bunker Hill was Salem Poor, a free African American.  Thousands of black people fought on both sides during the American Revolution. Census data also reveal that there were slaves and free Blacks living in the North in 1790 and after. What do we know about African-American communities in the North in the years after the American Revolution?

In this lesson, students will tour and/or read about some important free African-American communities thriving in the North before the Civil War.

Guiding Questions

What was life like in three free African-American communities between the American Revolution and the Civil War?

Learning Objectives

Analyze experiences of free African Americans living in the North.

Evaluate the extent to which African Americans living in the North were full citizens in the United States.