Mar. 5, 2019
Crispus Attucks "What Was On His Mind?"
What Was On His Mind?
Conjecture? Crispus Attucks
We are fast approaching the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre which occurred on March 5, 1770. This date in the United States history is important because not only did this initial confrontation between the British troops stationed in Boston, Massachusetts than a colony of the British Empire in North America's New World and the colonists still English subjects supposedly loyal to England's King George spill the initial blood on the streets of Boston. The confrontation also was one of the motivating factors leading the eventual American Revolution and American independence from the British monarchy. Today, on the 249th anniversary of this incident, #joesmokeblackthoughts provides some conjecture on what was possibly on the mind of the black man, Crispus Attucks, who spilled his initial blood and was murdered on the streets of Boston on March 5, 1770. As I continue to celebrate those black ancestors who came before us in my continuing celebration of #blackhistoryyear.
What was on his mind on that Monday, March 5, 1770. The only thing that historians can tell us is that Crispus Attucks was possibly and most likely an escaped slave. His owner was Deacon William Brown who Crispus Attucks escaped from in or around the year 1750. On that Monday in March 1770, Crispus Attucks would've been approximately 47 years old. Crispus Attucks being in Boston that fateful day was only about 23 miles from the Town of Framingham which was the point of his escape from slavery. So naturally, Crispus Attucks would've been really cautious of being recognized even though nearly two decades had passed since he ran away for his freedom. Crispus Attucks did not live his Boston, he was a man who lived on the high seas. Just by happenstance this particular weekend Crispus Attucks's ship was docked in Boston's harbor.
Some historians have questioned Crispus Attuck's lineage whether he was pure African, pure Indian, or mulatto? I think that historic questioning was created to cast doubt on the fact that the first human blood spilled in the American quest toward independence was spilled by a black man. So what was on Crispus Attucks mind on the evening of Monday, March 5, 1770? I conjecture that Crispus Attucks was caught in a frenzy of events that eventually led to his murder on King Street that night. The city of Boston was militarily occupied by the King's Guard there was 1 fully outfitted British soldier for every 8 colonists residing in the city. I don't think Crispus Attucks had any thoughts that night of American independence. I do believe that Crispus Attucks saw that injustice existed which led him to be on King Street facing the British muskets. You see Crispus understood injustice because his life was a prime example of personal injustice. His body was not his own. It was owned by someone who had absolute control of his body, mind, and thoughts. The only way Crispus Attucks had to gain any control of his life was to flee to freedom. Crispus Attucks had to live a life in the shadows for fear that Deacon William Brown would reappear and take procession of his property again.
So, whatever motivated Crispus Attucks onto King Street on March 5, 1770, had to pretty damn important because he was endangering that freedom. Crispus Attucks had not only escaped from the slavery clutches of Deacon William Brown but Crispus Attucks also was escaped property of the powerful British Empire. Those soldiers if they captured Crispus Attucks could have returned him to his owner. They also could have shipped Crispus Attucks to any of the British Carribean sugar plantations to toil in the sun as a slave. So, for Crispus Attucks to step out of the tavern and on to King Street was a powerful statement. I believe that Crispus Attucks had a vision that his sacrifice was for the better good. I believe he saw in his action of confronting those fully armed British troops the beginning of the American rebellion. I also believe that he misread his vision. He sought freedom and felt that American freedom from the British monarchy would also mean freedom from slavery for every citizen of this embryonic nation. The problem was that Crispus Attucks hadn't visited those white colonists in the southern portion of this New World. He didn't know how contemptuous these white men were to not only protect their right to own slaves but also how motivated these men were to expand the institution of black enslavement.
So, when Crispus Attucks entered King Street during the last moments of his courageous life the dream he dreamt had duped him. So what was on his mind that Monday evening in 1770 was an incomplete hope of universal freedom for not only himself but for every black person held in captivity, or in the bond of slavery. Crispus Attucks wasn't on King Street for white American independence. His presence was purely focused on his independence, or why would he have even thought of exposing himself to being bound to slavery again? None of the whites on King Street faced similar atrocities facing them like chains and whips. So, today I salute Crispus Attucks for making the decision to leave the tavern on Monday, March 5, 1770. I only wish that his premonition about American independence included all the future Americans of African Descent. You see it wasn't until 1965, almost two centuries later and for some Americans of African Descent freedom is still a far off dream in 2019.
Rest in Power Crispus Attucks the struggle still continues.