Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Schama's Revolutionary Tale: 'Rough Crossings'

One of the myths history books tell is that Africans were incidental to the Revolutionary War. But many, enslaved in the colonies, were offered freedom by the British to fight their American masters. Thousands accepted.

What became of these freed men and women? Historian Simon Schama seeks to answer that question with his new book, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution.

He tells Farai Chideya about the characters he encountered, including one former slave who took the name British Freedom.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit