Monday, January 10, 2011
Reclaiming a forgotten part of our heritage.Liberia
In my extensive research on the African American exodus movement,I have found out that the yearning to be in Africa or out from under White domination was much stronger than the history books let on.In looking at even the way many Black people settled in small all Black townships and fortified them showed they were exerting independence and self help.The narrative of Black people seeking to integrate into mainstream America willingly is also false.The people had no real choice.Integration meant a better life because the White system had all the wealth and resources.Many attempts at building economic power bases failed mostly due to groups like the Ku Klux Klan who used White purity and supremacy to destroy any sign of Black progress.Black business districts like Tulsa,Atlanta,Durham,St Louis,Rosewood all were burned by White vigilantes and mobs.While there were some happiness in places like Harlem NY, Detroit,and DC the masses of Black people continued to endure humiliation,poverty,racist violence and dehumanization.It could be said now that America has been a White man's dream and a Black man's nightmare.A White man's heaven is a Black man's hell.
Liberia was founded by former Black slaves in the USA.It was an experiment by Paul Cauffe in the late 1700's that founded a settlement in Freetown Sierra Leone that became a safe haven for Black people escaping the brutality of slavery.One must remember being free or educated was no guarantee one would not return to bondage.In fact many so called freedmen were kidnapped by slaver catchers and sold back into slavery.Many knew they would never live like human beings in a racist country like America.When the country of Liberia was founded many African Americans wanted to go.The problem was the cost.The American Colonization Society financed the effort in fact without them the country would not have made it.Early settlers like Elijah Cooper the great great great grandfather of author Helene Cooper fought in the famous battle against the native Africans and defeated them.Make no mistake although the ACS funded the colonies it was brave African American men who spilled their blood on the soil to secure it.Liberia is paid for in African American blood and the blood of natives who were conspiring with White slavers in the area to capture them and sell them back into slavery.This is where the ancestors of today's African American were in their finest hour.The most noble thing a people can do is become a nation.It is the highest ideal next to eternal life.The problem facing the Black man in America is he was denied this.Many thought some vindication would come with the election of President Barack Obama.But the outright rejection of a Black man in the White House by the majority of Americans who are white confirms that this a racist country not a black man's.
The time is now to reclaim what Joseph J Roberts,Blyden and others envisioned for AA's.A land of their own.Liberia was always the dream of African Americans but uncle toms and racist conspired to make sure we never leave these shores.It is time for our nation to be born.Behold the Promised land.Liberia land of the pepper bird.