By James Ciment
The first renowned heritage 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 less than the banner of the yank Colonization Society, a white philanthropic association with a twin time table: to rid the United States 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 finds that the Americo-Liberians struggled to reside as much as their excessive beliefs. They wrote a stirring assertion of Independence yet re-created the social order of antebellum Dixie, with themselves because the grasp caste. construction plantations, preserving stylish 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 USA 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 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 monetary guidelines 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 means of a widespread Americo kinfolk 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 nation of delivery. The inspiring and afflicted historical past they created is, to a amazing measure, the reflect photo of our own.
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Extra resources for Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It
And so, in November 1821, agents for the federal government and the ACS—Robert Stockton and Eli Ayres, respectively—sailed southeastward to find a more suitable place to settle the colonists. Stockton headed the expedition. S. Senate. In short, he believed in African colonization for every possible reason: Christian benevolence, opposition to slavery, and the extension of American influence abroad. Stockton and Ayres did not discover many viable options for the colony, as the Windward Coast offered precious few safe anchorages.
Bacon fell sick that same day. Despair set in. Not only were the colonists’ bodies racked by pain and their minds by delirium—in the end, a quarter of them, mostly women, would die—but they were marooned. 28 According to Dix’s report, the natives’ actions were yet another source of colonist complaint. ”29 This was only the beginning of the mutual distrust and animosity between the colonists—soon to be Liberians—and the natives they would, over the next century and a half, seek by turns to mollify, trade with, make war on, dispossess, and rule.
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. Hidebound by their Americanness and surrounded and outnumbered by natives, they could never reconcile their idealism with their pursuit of power and wealth, and with their very survival.
Another America: The Story of Liberia and the Former Slaves Who Ruled It by James Ciment