During the American Revolution, the British government targeted slaves. The crown offered slaves who fought or labored for the British army their freedom once the war ended. Many slaves took them up on this offer, but many others decided to support the Continental Army. Some took the place of their masters during the war. The American Revolution was the most racially integrated war fought by the U.S. until Korea.
After the war ended in 1781, free blacks living in the north and south were subject to restrictive laws and ordinances that curtailed their rights. Blacks did celebrate the end of the Slave Trade in 1808 as a victory in the fight against slavery, despite the fact that during the same period demand for slaves in the Deep South increased.
The first organization formed by free blacks to fight against these repressive laws was the American Society for Free Person of Colour. The members provided aide to black children and helped African American churches grow and prosper. The African American church was also a bastion of support that black leaders used to support civil rights.