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 background and sailed again to Africa, to a spot they might identify after liberty itself. They went lower than the banner of the yank Colonization Society, a white philanthropic association with a twin time table: to rid the USA 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 unearths 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 based soirees, and exploiting or even aiding 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 monetary regulations 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 favorite Americo kin and later presided over the execution of his foster father in the course of the 1980 coup.
In making Liberia, the Americoes transplanted the virtues and vices in their nation of delivery. 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
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.
It was with these fears in mind that a group of men met on the evening of the winter solstice of 1816, in the tavern of the Davis Hotel in Washington, a smoky, shabby brick affair that was nevertheless a favorite haunt of the district’s power brokers. * Although not in attendance, Bushrod Washington—Supreme Court justice and closest living link to his demigod uncle—agreed to serve as the new society’s president, though in what all viewed as a figurehead capacity. No attendee commanded more respect than the man presiding over the meeting.
As in America, the elite had a dynastic quality: politicians begat politicians, and the right last name could mean everything. But in Liberia the circle was a fraction of the size. The Americoes’ history can be seen as a family saga, spanning generations and rife with profligate sons and malcontent daughters, strivers and schemers, scandal and achievement. It has the feel, the richness, of a novel. Viewing the Americoes in this light leads one to see tragedy, not justice, in their violent demise at the hands of a people they by and large oppressed.