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Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library

Yankee Doodle or the Negroes Farewell to America. Words and music by T.L. (London: C. & S. Thompson, 1775?)

"The Negroes Farewell to America"

As early as the eighteenth century, some African Americans had overtly expressed the desire to leave North America, where they thought they could never get justice, freedom, and equality. During the Revolutionary War, the British offered freedom to any escaped slaves who would join their side; this route enabled several thousand enslaved people to leave the country after the war. Yankee Doodle or The Negroes Farewell to America was a popular song in England that played on the emigrationist sentiment of a part of the African-American population. It extolled - in fake "Negro speech" - the virtue of Great Britain as the land of the free compared to America, the land of slavery.

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