Talk:Black Loyalist

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Rough Crossings[edit]

Can somebody who has read Rough Crossings add more to this topic? If nobobdy else has the book, I guess I'll check it out. I was specifically hoping to read more about Henry Washington, but I didn't see any article about him. --W0lfie 16:53, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

"African American Loyalists"[edit]

Is it an anachronism and a neologism to refer to "African American Loyalists"? I don't know whether British colonists were referred to as Americans, but certainly enslaved Africans would not have been referred to as "African Americans" (as in "who were all of African American descent").

Are there any reliable sources that use the phrase? A quick look at the footnotes and external links suggests otherwise: Black Loyalist Directory, blackloyalist.com, Black Loyalist Heritage Society. — Malik Shabazz (Talk | contribs) 04:53, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

If it's not a wikipolicy then it should be. Use the name for the group that was used at the time or that documentation upholds. CJ 10:19, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
It is a wikipedia polociy. WP:NEO :) CJ 19:37, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

They were not African but were African Americans[edit]

Even the Nova Scotia Public Archives in their African Nova Scotians section mention the fact that the Black Loyalists were African Americans who immigrated to Canada...you call Thomas Peters an African American in the article about him, you call John Marrant an African American, you call Colonel Tye an African American yet you won't call the collective group they belonged to (Black Loyalists) African Americans? This is ridiculous and if you are not convinced by now that the Black Loyalist were Black Americans then you should not be editing articles on wikipedia. At least have the courtesy to refer to them as 'Free Negroes' and not Africans (as they did not consider themselves Africans historically). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiaddict8962 (talkcontribs) 23:50, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

African American[edit]

[edit] Black Loyalist Please stop your disruptive editing. It is doubtful that any Black Loyalists were "born in the United States", as you wrote, since they were born before the American Revolution. Please stop reverting changes that have been made by consensus, and don't re-create categories that have been closed after discussion. If you would like to change consensus, please post your messages at Talk:Black Loyalist. It would be helpful if you could provide contemporary sources that suggest Black loyalists were referred to as African Americans. Thank you. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 04:40, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your message, and especially for providing sources for the use of the phrase "African American" with respect to Black Loyalists. You're right: the British source refers to Black loyalists as African Americans and the Nova Scotian source refers to "enslaved African Americans". You are also right about Simon Schama. On pages 5-6 of Rough Crossings: Britain, The Slaves and The American Revolution (2006), he writes that "Tens of thousands of African-Americans clung to the sentimental notion of a British freedom even when they knew that the English were far from being saints in respect to slavery." He uses the phrase to describe several people in his book and uses the phrase at least a dozen times. (Although I note that Rough Crossings refers to "enslaved Africans". ) I've never heard of Cassandra Pybus, but Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty was published by a reputable publisher and has an foreword by Ira Berlin. She writes on page 84 of "African American and African Caribbean men, often runaway slaves, joining ships heading for England", and on page 104 she refers to the British "facilitating the flight of enslaved African Americans". Frankly, I think it's anachronistic to use a modern term (African American) to describe people who were considered sub-human by (white) "Americans". In its Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court rightly summarized what the founders of the United States thought of people of African descent: It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race, which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted. ... They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. I cannot imagine that any people of African of descent, free or enslaved, were considered "Americans". But I won't continue to argue the point with you. If you don't mind, I would like to copy our messages to Talk:Black Loyalist to explain the use of the phrase "African American" in the article. Thank you. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 05:38, 27 November 2007 (UTC) I'm sorry that we've misunderstood one another. It's never been my intention to question

I still disagree. For me to not consider this use to be a violation of WP:NEO I'll need a period source or a sysadmin to make a final decision. CJ (talk) 16:57, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I've removed your RfC template. You used the template for an RfC covering a Wikipedia policy (i.e. the dispute is about the policy, not its application on an article). Please use one of the article RfC templates instead. AvruchTalk 23:04, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


Is using African American to refer to Blacks in American prior to the end of the American Revolutionary War an example of a neologism?

No, using "African American" to refer to Blacks in America prior to the end of the American Revolutionary War is not a violation of the neologism guideline, which says: "New terms don't belong in Wikipedia unless there are reliable sources about the term." As demonstrated above, many reliable sources describe Blacks during the Revolution as "African Americans." To insist that period sources must also be found that use the term is not supported by Wikipedia guidelines (or by historians, clearly). In fact, this approach would violate the policy of no original research, because it essentially seeks to veto the language used by published reliable sources in favor of the preferences of a Wikipedian. —Kevin Myers 02:29, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't it also be considered that there are no period sources that use the name African American. And the majority of all sources don't use African American, they use Black, African, or Negro. At the very least I think the use of African American should be tied directly to a source that also uses African American. If the source says Black, Negro or otherwise then the text should follow the same terminology. CJ (talk) 12:43, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
That's actually a different issue than the question you asked on the RfC, which was: "Is using African American to refer to Blacks in American prior to the end of the American Revolutionary War an example of a neologism?" The answer to the neologism question is an unequivocal "no".
As for the terminology question, that's obviously trickier because of the different terms that have been in vogue over the years. A short list of some of the key books on the subject illustrates how the terms favored by historians have changed over time:
  • The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution (William Nell, 1855)
  • The Negro in the American Revolution (Benjamin Quarles, 1961)
  • The Black presence in the era of the American Revolution (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989)
  • African Americans in the Revolutionary War (Michael Lee Lanning, 2005)
The point of the list is that the standard terminology has changed over time and historians have changed with it. Historians today have no problem with describing Revolutionary-era blacks as "African Americans". The Library of Congress has also changed with the times: the subject heading for this topic is "United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- African Americans". What all of this means is that we shouldn't have any problem with using "African Americans" either. Obviously when we quote period sources, we'll use the original words, and in the article we can explain the terminology to the reader as needed. But there's no reason to create a controversy where none exists. —Kevin Myers 14:40, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't raise it that way in the Rfc because of my opinions on the subject. But it's definitly a part of the history of the issue. I think that for historical accuracy you use the appropriate term that was used at the time. And yes that means I don't agree with using "African American" in a historical context at all. I personally think modern authors are being overly PC by using African American. But in the interest of not arguing for argument's sake I'll drop it if the stipulation is that the term in text matches the term used in the specific source cited. So no changing the name of the article to African American loyalists or going through the article and changing every instance of Africans or Negro or colored to African Americans. If that's the case then I'll drop my objections. CJ (talk) 17:46, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
User:Wikiaddict8962 and I discussed this (he copied my comments above). Personally, I don't use the word "American" to describe people of African descent before Reconstruction. There is no question that they were not called "African Americans" (or any kind of "Americans") at the time. But modern historians are referring to the people as African Americans. I have dropped my objection to using the phrase in the article to describe the people, but the phrase "African American loyalists" is still a no-no, because no sources seem to use it. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 05:20, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
There are a few sources that use the term "African American loyalists"—that's actually the subject heading used by the Library of Congress—but "Black Loyalists" is by far more common and is the term we should therefore use. (As a side note of related interest: a few people of the Revolutionary generation lived long enough to see the term "Colored American" come into usage by the 1830s.) —Kevin Myers 06:36, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Not a neologism We should have the freedom to use any of the current, commonly used words for Blacks/African-Americans. I disagree with this statement from the discussion above: I think that for historical accuracy you use the appropriate term that was used at the time Historical accuracy doesn't apply to the descriptive words we use today. We don't adopt 18th century spelling or capitalization either. The article is for contemporary readers. You wouldn't use "African Americans" in a novel about that period because it would be discordant, even if an unnamed narrator was using the word. I also disagree with the idea that we should only use the most common word, although I guess I'd agree that if "Black Loyalists" is the most common phrase, then it should be the one we primarily use, if only to avoid misleading our readers. Noroton (talk) 02:58, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
  • No. In my opinion, Kevin Myers is correct in his interpretation. Aatomic1 (talk) 12:02, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

American Colonization Society's African Repository of 1859...[edit]

refers to the Nova Scotian settlers of Sierra Leone and some of the Black Poor as 'American Loyalists' on page 179 the link is here http://books.google.com/books?id=wrIVLxvh1F8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=americo+liberian+mulatto+sarah+blyden&lr=#PPA179,M1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiaddict8962 (talkcontribs) 01:25, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Interesting question[edit]

Well, since most blacks did not think of themselves as Americans during the Revolutionary War, I don't think you should use the term, even if others do. What is wrong with "blacks," "slaves," "free blacks," "black New Englanders," "black workers," "black businessmen," or whatever else they might be? Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 19:59, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

The opinion that "I don't think you should use the term, even if others do" has no relevance on Wikipedia. Our role here is not to second guess usage in published, reliable sources. —Kevin Myers 21:04, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I am giving an opinion. Isn't this a tallk page? Yours very sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 00:08, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Technically as loyalists they would all (assuming they had been born in America on what was then British soil prior to the Revolution) have been British subjects just like the whites. They therefore post-Revolution would have had exactly the same legal citizenship as the Canadians that so many 'loyal blacks' later joined in Canada. The 'Freed slaves' of Freetown, Sierra Leone also automatically became British subjects, and had the same basic legal rights as any white Englishman or Scotsman.
Prior to 1949 anyone of any race or colour born of native parents within the British Empire (less protectorates which had their own governments) was automatically a British citizen. So any 'loyalist' (of any colour) in America was automatically a British citizen, or had the right to become one, if they so wished to make use of it. They also had the same legal right to visit and settle in any Empire country.
BTW, Canadians didn't get separate citizenship until the 1920s - and Australians not until as late as 1947. Before then they were all 'British' and had British citizenship the same as an Englishman or Scotsman.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.148.220.15 (talk) 15:52, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

African American Loyalists[edit]

For those who say African American Loyalists is a rare term obviously have not researched or searched for (on simple search engine such as google or yahoo) for this term...Black loyalists historically were African Americans-in fact the American Colonization Society referred to them as American 'Loyalists' to quote them exactly in their African Repository of 1876. There are other modern references to African American Loyalists one of which I have listed below...

http://siris-libraries.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=119F06355P93X.990&profile=liball&uri=search=SL~!African%20American%20loyalists%20--%20Directories.&menu=search&submenu=Browse&source=~!silibraries#focus —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiaddict8962 (talkcontribs) 01:22, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately you're transposing a politically correct U.S. term on history. In Canada, for instance, it's not offensive to call someone black and calling someone African-American is cause for offence for those who are neither African or American. Using African American Loyalist is incorrect historically speaking and any academic paper will call them Black Loyalists. They're called black loyalists because that was the term applied to them early on by the British. Celynn (talk) 02:10, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

For those who say Black Loyalists "stayed loyal"[edit]

Why would the British appeal to African Americans to join them by offering them (African Americans) freedom if these American blacks were already loyal? Search through the book of Negroes; the majority of blacks joined the British after 1776 in which the United States had already been established as a nation. Thus the "Black Loyalists" were technically Americans as they were legally property of Americans. As I have added in the Article Thomas Jefferson himself referred to the settlers as "the fugitives from these states". When the Blacks who moved to Sierra Leone were raided by the French they immediately told the French they were really Americans. Please whoever is trying to portray these blacks as anything outside refugees should stop...historians agree...they were African Americans who escaped to the British in return for freedom. David George himself never expressed support for the British but luckily was given the option to evacuate the country and go to Nova Scotia. These blacks had family they left behind in the United States. They were not "loyal" to anyone but themselves.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiaddict8962 (talkcontribs) 18:30, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

2500 slaves brought to Nova Scotia?[edit]

Some of the United Empire Loyalists who migrated to Nova Scotia brought enslaved African Americans with them, a total of 2500 people.

While I can believe that many slaves were brought to Nova Scotia, this is an established fact, is there any citation for this number? I can't find it in any of the references. Celynn (talk) 02:02, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

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Placement of discrepant data[edit]

Should the line, "One historian has argued that the slaves were not regarded as Loyalists, since they had no choice in their fates", appear in the second paragraph? Surely this point isn't notable enough to follow the lede paragraph. (An argument might be made that "one historian" isn't notable enough to be in the article at all.) I haven't moved it unilaterally pending discussion, but given that there's no (other) treatment of nomenclature in that paragraph, and that the statement disputes the basic concept of "Black Loyalist", it seems that it should go in a paragraph near the end, where we usually put the opposing-viewpoint stuff. Laodah 02:21, 30 September 2017 (UTC)