By James Ciment
The first well known historical past of the previous American slaves who based, governed, and misplaced Africa's first republic
In 1820, a gaggle 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 yankee 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 unfastened from their white overseers, they based Liberia―Africa's first black republic―in 1847.
James Ciment's Another the USA is the 1st complete account of this dramatic test. With empathy and a pointy eye for human foibles, Ciment unearths that the Americo-Liberians struggled to dwell 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. construction plantations, preserving dependent soirees, and exploiting or even assisting enslave the local Liberians, the persecuted turned the persecutors―until a lowly local sergeant murdered their president in 1980, finishing 133 years of Americo rule.
The wealthy forged 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 equipped his empire at the backs of local Liberians. one of the Americoes themselves, we meet the bright 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 guidelines introduced Cadillacs to the streets of Monrovia, the Liberian capital. after which there are the natives, males like Joseph Samson, who was once followed by means of a in demand Americo relatives and later presided over the execution of his foster father throughout the 1980 coup.
In making Liberia, the Americoes transplanted the virtues and vices in their kingdom of beginning. The inspiring and heritage they created is, to a amazing measure, the replicate photo of our own.
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Extra resources for Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It
3 This was not entirely fair. The settlers did plenty of their own provoking. But the remark was revealing, as it was a sign that the erosion of the settlers’ idealism started almost concurrently with the experiment itself. The settlers, and later the Americoes, could never really decide whether the Africans were their long-lost brethren, heathens to be redeemed, or savages to be conquered. And in almost every instance, they put their survival over their ideals. Not that every Liberian was determined to keep the native in his place, beyond the frontier or laboring for a pittance in settler households and on settler farms.
75 million were nonwhites, all but a handful of them of African or mixed-African origin. And of these people, just 229,620—or 13 percent—were free, all of them exceptions to two of the oldest rules of antebellum American life: race is destiny and blackness equals slavery. * * * Daniel Coker and Lott Carey were exceptional men within this exceptional minority. Each had, through hard work and by taking great risks, escaped from bondage and made as much of themselves as early nineteenth-century America allowed a black man to make.
Navy was expected to deposit at the already strained colony. 38 Ever the faithful servant, Carey tried to put a positive spin on things. ” But, he added in an uncharacteristic display of contrariness, only if “they were not confined to the field by the law and by necessity. 39 The latter accomplishment was especially poignant, since it fulfilled his grandmother’s prophecy that he would slake the spiritual thirst of his African brethren. Soon, out of necessity, he would drift away from missionary work.