Tribute to black fighters in Revolutionary War advances

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A long-delayed proposal to establish a national memorial in Washington to honor the 5,000 free blacks and slaves who fought as soldiers and sailors during the Revolutionary War got a congressional boost Tuesday when it was passed as part of a massive Senate defense spending bill.

The legislation authorizes the nonprofit National Mall Liberty Fund DC to establish a memorial on federal land in the District to honor the black soldiers, sailors and civilians who provided assistance during the Revolution. It was attached as an amendment Monday to the defense bill, which authorizes $631 billion in Pentagon spending for the next year.

"This is a critical step," said Maurice Barboza, who has been trying for 30 years to get a memorial built for the blacks who fought in the Revolution. "Without this amendment, the project would be dead. We are now in the ballgame."...

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