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Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves by James Ciment

By James Ciment

The first well known background of the previous American slaves who based, governed, and misplaced Africa's first republic

In 1820, a bunch of approximately 80 African american citizens reversed the process heritage and sailed again to Africa, to a spot they'd identify after liberty itself. They went below the banner of the yank Colonization Society, a white philanthropic association with a twin schedule: to rid the US of its blacks, and to transform Africans to Christianity. The settlers staked out a beachhead; their numbers grew as extra boats arrived; and after breaking loose from their white overseers, they based Liberia―Africa's first black republic―in 1847.

James Ciment's Another the United States is the 1st complete account of this dramatic test. With empathy and a pointy eye for human foibles, Ciment finds that the Americo-Liberians struggled to reside as much as their excessive beliefs. They wrote a stirring statement of Independence yet re-created the social order of antebellum Dixie, with themselves because the grasp caste. development plantations, retaining dependent soirees, and exploiting or even assisting enslave the local Liberians, the persecuted grew to become the persecutors―until a lowly local sergeant murdered their president in 1980, finishing 133 years of Americo rule.

The wealthy solid of characters in Another the United States rivals that of any novel. We come upon Marcus Garvey, who coaxed his fans towards Liberia within the Nineteen Twenties, and the rubber king Harvey Firestone, who outfitted his empire at the backs of local Liberians. one of the Americoes themselves, we meet the intense highbrow Edward Blyden, one of many first black nationalists; the Baltimore-born explorer Benjamin Anderson, looking a mythical urban of gold within the Liberian hinterland; and President William Tubman, a descendant of Georgia slaves, whose fiscal regulations introduced Cadillacs to the streets of Monrovia, the Liberian capital. after which there are the natives, males like Joseph Samson, who used to be followed by way of a in demand Americo family members and later presided over the execution of his foster father through the 1980 coup.

In making Liberia, the Americoes transplanted the virtues and vices in their state of beginning. The inspiring and stricken historical past they created is, to a amazing measure, the reflect snapshot of our own.

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Additional info for Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It

Sample text

For the “coloured” people in the crowd, it was a solemn occasion; some were there to bid farewell to friends and loved ones, others to witness a bittersweet moment in the history of their people. For the whites in attendance, there was satisfaction of various sorts. A few saw a group of despised and degraded people at long last set free. Many others simply subtracted ninety or so “niggers” from a population that darkened the soil of a white man’s republic. For the Elizabeth’s passengers, the first of thousands of black Americans who would eventually settle in what would come to be known as Liberia, it was surely a moment of great, and conflicting, emotion: They would have felt sadness over leaving loved ones behind, fear of what awaited them on a continent none of them knew much about, and relief about leaving the burden of race behind.

Days went by and more new arrivals fell ill. “I passed the day,” Bacon wrote in his journal, “in visiting the sick, inquiring into their wants, and administering medicines. ”23 The symptoms were excruciating. ”24 The sick were suffering from diarrhea and high fever and were extremely dehydrated. But the expedition had brought little potable water and the local supply was undrinkable. Bacon was all but alone, as Crozer, the ACS agent-physician, had gone with the schooner to fetch more supplies from the Elizabeth.

32 Whether Coker panicked at this point is open to interpretation, but he did flee to Freetown soon after Bacon’s death and once again put his faith in the counsel of white men. “I found Mr. S. naval officer on anti-slave-trade patrol, to the ACS secretary, Elias Caldwell. ”33 Coker did as he was told, returning to Sherbro with the remaining supplies from the Elizabeth. It would be one of his last official duties. Physically exhausted and thoroughly alienated from his fellow colonists, he would elect to settle permanently outside Freetown, where he would sire an influential clan of Krios, the non-native black and mulatto elite who would rule Sierra Leone for its British masters until independence in the 1960s.

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