It's a Hard Knock Life

In this video, you'll learn about African-American involvement in the War of 1812.

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Transcript

00:27

My mother’s pregnant, but she’ll need to keep working up until the day the baby is born.

00:32

Then she’ll be right back in the field, with the kid slung over her back.

00:36

All the while, we have to deal with that nasty overseer and his even nastier whip.

00:44

Makes “mowing the lawn” once a week seem… not so bad, right?

00:52

Anyway, we’re hoping things get better for us soon…

00:55

They just recently called a wrap on this whole “War of 1812” thing-a-ma-bobber.

01:06

As you may have heard, slavery has long been a big hot-button issue.

01:15

The British took many of us slaves during the war.

01:23

Some of the slaves they have to give back to their original owners…

01:27

…now that the war has ended.

01:28

“To the victor go the spoils”… and all that jazz.

01:38

Other slaves, though, took the British up on their promise to relocate them and grant

01:42

them their freedom.

01:44

So, some slaves fought with the British against the Americans.

01:48

Of course, the British didn’t make that promise out of the goodness of their

01:50

fish-and-chip-loving hearts.

01:55

They believed that black soldiers are more

01:57

intimidating to Americans than the entire British fleet…

02:02

… and they had their fingers crossed for a revolution here in the South.

02:08

The plan was:

02:09

Swoop in and offer blacks freedom so that they look like the good guys…

02:14

… get us good and mad at our white countrymen…

02:17

…and create some turmoil from within.

02:22

Not a bad plan…

02:24

…but it hasn’t really taken off. Not yet, anyway.

02:29

But not every person of color has worked as a slave.

02:32

You’ve also got your “free-soil” blacks…

02:36

…many of whom decided to fight against the British Navy.

02:42

It meant fighting alongside white men,

02:47

but this is our country, too, after all.

02:50

We’ll have another couple hundred years afterward to bang out all that fun “racism” stuff.

02:56

Keep in mind that there are now nine slave states and nine free states…

03:01

…so the lines of the Union and the Confederacy are starting to look pretty cut and dry.

03:06

It also feels like we’re at the beginning of the end of the Federalist party…

03:13

…which consists mainly of those slave-holding southerners and “on the fence” northerners.

03:20

I’ll tell ya – with all this political discontent…

03:22

…I wouldn’t be surprised if we were headed for some sort of… “Civil War.”

03:34

One can only hope.

03:36

Because if there aren’t some major changes made sometime soon…

03:39

… you might be doing this kind of stuff yourself in a couple hundred years.

03:46

Don’t worry – it should only take you a week or two to build up some nice, plump calluses.