Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s

Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s

by Wilson J. Moses, Miguel Angel Centeno
     
 

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In the early nineteenth century, the American Colonization Society was formed for the purpose of encouraging emigration of free blacks to Africa. While intent on ridding the United States of what they saw as a dangerous black population, the association also attracted some liberals who viewed its goals as an incentive toward emancipation. Attitudes among African…  See more details below

Overview

In the early nineteenth century, the American Colonization Society was formed for the purpose of encouraging emigration of free blacks to Africa. While intent on ridding the United States of what they saw as a dangerous black population, the association also attracted some liberals who viewed its goals as an incentive toward emancipation. Attitudes among African Americans toward colonization were varied, viewed by some as an opportunity to start new lives in a free country and by others as a deceptive scheme of the white man. But when the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 put the freedom of every person of African descent in jeopardy, many began to consider emigration their only option. This collection of historic documents illuminates the debate on emigration through the narratives of four black men who in 1853 traveled to the new black nation of Liberia. Their accounts offer surprisingly different views and insights on the young country and provide both endorsements and condemnations of the colonization effort.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Collects four narratives by people who set sail on the from New York for the West African Republic of Liberia in November 1853, and a blistering introduction to one of them, . They were published widely in the 1850s and reprinted in the late 1960s, but have become rare since then. Moses revives them as part of his focus on what free African-Americans did for themselves before the Civil War. Paper edition (01711-2), $16.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271017105
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

Meet the Author

Wilson Jeremiah Moses is Professor of History at Penn State. Among his other books are Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Interpretations of a Religious Myth (Penn State, 1993) and The Golden Age of Black Nationalism (1988).

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