Friday, August 15, 2008

Today in History: Liberia

Today in history:

In 1824, former slaves of African descent established a settlement in West Africa that would eventually become the country of Liberia. Thousands of African Americans from the Carolinas, Georgia, Maryland, and across the country joined in the settlement. There were many black people from the Caribbean who also joined the settlement. It was a chance to reconnect with Mother Africa and the people. Unfortunately, Some of the black folk (placed in power) who settled there brought with them "Mastas" mentality building huge replicas of plantation homes. They maintained their American style of dress and in some of their minds they became the new "Boss." This caused division and resentment among the indigenous people and the fighting and bloodshed has continued till this day. God bless Africa.

Sources: and The Library of Congress Archives
Photo source: Disney's Inc., Warner Bros. and Matt Groening


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

With so much other pressing issues in Africa, Liberia sort of gets lost. Yes of course leave it to you to remind us that we ought to care about what is happening there.

Yes God BLESS Liberia!

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

was there for 3 days in early 90s and i had a ball even admidst war

Stephen A. Bess said...

Yes, they certainly need it.

Wow! I can't imagine, but I guess it's possible.

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed learning about the history of the African continent and I studied African history extensively in college.

Thanks for always stopping by my blog, Stephen. I am looking forward to a graceful return to blogging. Take care! :)

NML/Natalie said...

Thanks for this reminder and education. It is amazing what we have sometimes done to each other in our past. Power (or perceived power) does strange things to people. Can't believe it's so long since I caught up on your blog! Big hugs xx

Tafari said...

It really hurts to know of the violence & degradation that goes on in Liberia. I wonder if a universal peace will ever exist across Africa.

Thx for the lesson teach!!!


Stephen A. Bess said...

I'm looking forward to your return. Peace~

I like that, "Power (or perceived power) does strange things to people." It's so true. There has been something in us since the beginning of time that makes us want to rule over each other -- to play God.
Yes, it's been a while. Good to see you back. I'll have to check in with you as well.

I feel you, cuz. Moreover, I wonder if it will ever exist in the world?

James Tubman said...

i read about this in my history of black intellectuals class

alexander crummell was notorious for imposing his mastas ideas onto the indigenous populations there

every people who rise to greatness rely on their own culture as the source of their unity and power

the europeans went all over the world stealing different things from different cultures but they incorporated it into their own to serve themslves

i thiink there are many many many great things that we have from the variety of african cultures we left behind that we can use for our own empowerment

we need to get rid of the white is right mentality no matter wha we do

Rethabile said...

Nkosi sikelel i'Afrika

J.M said...

Marcus Garvey had some very ambitous objectives, one of them was to restore Africa as the homeland for blacks everywhere, hence the slogan "Africa for Africans". This is one of the few things I disagree with him about, and I think Liberia bears me out on that.

Stephen A. Bess said...

James Tubman-
Yes, it's unfortunate that they took that mentality back "Home" with them. It's difficult to undo the mis-education that had taken place for over a century. Besides that, it's difficult to reconnect with somthing or someone you haven't connected with in the first place. Most black people at that time were limited in their knowledge of Africa along with the rest of the world.


Yes, it is a romantic idea, but the reality is that Africa has problems of her own. Their is Tribalism among people of the same country. So, the acceptance of an outsider who doesn't even speak the language is out of the question.

The truth is that there are just people. I love meeting people from all over the globe. As people of African descent, we can be proud of our heritage and even more proud of where we were born. America doesn't always make it easy to be proud, but I can't deny who I am. I have family members who fought in every war this country has declared (I'm not sure about the Revolutionary?). So, in the words of Langston Hughes, "...I, too, am America."

Robert E. Morgan, Jr. said...

My wife is from Fayette, Mississippi. The majority of the money that financed the establishment of Liberia came from a wealthy slave owner from her county. After his death, his will stated that his slaves be freed and given money to establish their repartriation in Liberia. It was fought in probate court for years. But eventually the former slaves won out. I went to the clerk of courts office and read actual transcripts. Its cool that you know the deal too. Peace and blessings

Crankyputz said...

Interesting, I had no idea.

Anonymous said...

That was some interesting education for us all. I really had no idea that this was how Liberia was formed. And the image is powerful and heart-wrenching. You really want to fight hard to change things like this. Thank you for sharing.

Analía said...

Hi my friend :) I stopped by to say hello and read for a while. Your blog keeps being one of the most interesting for me. Hugzzzz Ani

Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful said...

Hey Brother Stephen!

You know why I'm cheesing right??


The "Mastas" mentality was fueld by hatred and the disconnect with the motherland. Imagine living as a slave and then going back to Africa to a new way of life. A life with very little rules and where you are no longer held in bondage. The freedom was overwhelming and the idea that they could now be in control was soo very tempting....

My 6th great or so grandfather was one of these men that returned. All decendants of these Amerigo slaves are referred to as the Congo People (Conga w/our accents). There was a ship that was heading around the coast from Congo and the people in Liberia captured the ship. Being that the people in the Congo were more civilized then the native Liberians, the Amerigo slaves began their relations with them and so the name exists.

I am of the Congo and Loma tribe from Liberia.

Stephen A. Bess said...

That's some interesting history that you shared. Thank you and welcome.

Thank you. I'm always happy when you can take something with you from MC.

Thanks. I learned a little more just researching and writing this.

Always a pleasure. It's good to see you. I'm glad that you could stop in. Hugzzz to you.

I know. I should have contacted you as soon as I wrote it. It's interesting to know your history and how your ancestors were connected. Very interesting. I agree. We can't really expect the former slaves to go over there completely healthy [mentally] and ready to live free. So, it's understandable under the circumstances. Thanks for sharing your history. We'll have to talk again on the subject.

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