Posts Tagged ‘BLACKS’

JAY Z MADE A KING IN NIGERIA OOOO!

July 24, 2017

FROM NAIRALAND.COM

 

WE MUST HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACK SKINNED BLACKEST WOMAN

Monday, July 03, 2017

Jay Z conferred as Chief during Visit To Nigeria In 2006 – Celebrities – Nigeria

http://www.nairaland.com/2324640/photos-jay-z-conferred-chief

Music mogul Jay-Z was in Nigeria in 2006 and he visited Ilorin , Kwara State, to see the efforts being made by the state government to provide clean portable water.

Jay Z is a Chief in Nigeria , the title was conferred by Alhaji Ibrahim Gambari, Emir of Ilorin. He also had a road renamed Shawn “Jay Z” Carter road and was present during the commissioning .Pics below:

source>> http://www.kingebuka.com/2015/05/photos-from-jay-zs-visit-to-nigeria-in.html




Re: Photos: Jay Z conferred as Chief during Visit To Nigeria In 2006 by Nobody: 8:50pm On May 19, 2015
See as e resemble sanusi lamido grin
Reporting from ilorin… It was 2006 nt 2008
Re: Photos: Jay Z conferred as Chief during Visit To Nigeria In 2006 by KingEbukasBlog(m): 9:02pm On May 19, 2015

achemedez:
See as e resemble sanusi lamido grin

Reporting from ilorin… It was 2006 nt 2008

grin I don change am , tanx

Re: Photos: Jay Z conferred as Chief during Visit To Nigeria In 2006 by Sandydayz(f): 9:27pm On May 19, 2015
Nice!!!
Re: Photos: Jay Z conferred as Chief during Visit To Nigeria In 2006 by Nobody: 9:46pm On May 19, 2015

KingEbukasBlog:
grin I don change am , tanx

BLACKS–FIGHT BLEACHING LIKE THIS SISTER OOOO!-FROM MENAYE IDEAS ON WORDPRESS

June 9, 2017

A poem to support Sarah Nana Adwoa Safowaa, face of kasu 2016, in her campaign against skin bleaching 💐 She’s bold She’s beautiful She can hold She’s not shameful She’s neither fearful 👩 SHe’s not white Yet She’s bright SHe signifies authenticity And portrays purity A great masterpiece 👨 SHe and she Are you […]

via BLACK IS LIT — Menaye Ideas

THE BLACKEST BEAUTY MUST BE CELEBRATED!!

February 4, 2017

JOOO fight all this bleaching by Celebrating the Blackest beauty like the white boy celebrates the ugly white/girl/no/lips/no/hips/no/nose/no/ass/no/color as beautiful! Everywhere you go salute these Blackest Beauties and let them know that they are the most beautiful ! Put them back on top of the Beauty Pyramid like God did in the beginning!

YORUBA VILLAGE IN amerikkka!-SOUTH CAROLINA-OYOTUNJI VILLAGE WHERE YORUBA RELIGION IN PRACTICED!–FROM VICE.COM

August 2, 2015

from vice.com

WE MUST HAVE A BLACK STANDARD OF BEAUTY BASED ON THE BLACK SKINNED BLACKEST WOMAN

Sunday, August 02, 2015

OYOTUNJI 000000!–A YORUBA VILLAGE IN SOUTH CAROLINA!-FROM VICE.COM

from vice.com

An Oral History of the West African Village That Has Been in South Carolina for Four Decades

July 30, 2015

By Christopher Kilbourn

The king on his throne. All photos of an ancestor worship ceremony at Oyotunji by the author

At the tail end of the 1960s, elements within the Civil Rights Movement were having a debate about how the African-American community at large should confront the hostile and ignorant society in which it resided. Some advocated peaceful assimilation; others raised the idea of a violent, apocalyptic insurrection. And a few suggested moving to rural South Carolina, establishing a polygamous religious commune, and creating an outpost of West African culture through regular acts of ancestor worship, animal sacrifice, and other rituals.
On VICE News: Road-Tripping to South Carolina With the ‘New’ KKK This outpost is the Oyotunji African Village, founded by a man known as His Royal Highness Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi I, who in the late 60s was inspired to leave New York, purchase land in the Deep South, and establish a community born from the idea that black empowerment needed to focus on culture, not just economic independence.
More than four decades later, Oyotunji persists, providing a pleasant setting for converts to the Yoruba religion to live out their spiritual lives. According to a 1995 Essence article, the village had about 120 inhabitants during its mid-70s peak. Today there are around 25, and leadership has passed on to one of its founder’s 22 children, Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II.
Tourists are welcome to stop by the village, which sits about 50 miles outside of Charleston, near Sheldon, South Carolina. Its atmosphere of inclusiveness and cultural education stands in stark contrast to the recent church shooting and the intense fallout that resulted nearby. By all accounts, Oyotunji is not just a place to live, but a way of life: Its inhabitants construct temples to the pantheon of spirits called Orishas and pray to them every day. Curious about the life and perspectives of these traditionalist back-to-the-landers, I traveled to Sheldon, South Carolina, to learn a bit about Yoruba culture and gain some insight into Southern life in 2015. This is what they said:

Continued below.

Akintobe: I heard about it in Germany. I saw a little article in the military newspaper about a voodoo village in Beaufort [County], South Carolina, and it showed the king sitting on a throne that perhaps he made himself. I cut that picture out and placed it above my bed, and that’s where it stayed until I left, 30 months later. I don’t know why I did it. I was compelled by a spiritual force that I couldn’t resist. And I came here in December of ’74.

Ofalaya: I met the Oba in 2003 in Key West, Florida, when he was a prince. He came to Key West to declare one of the beaches there an African burial ground. And I met him there. And I did some volunteering at the African museum in Key West that he helped start. My sister’s a Shango priest, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with the culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II : I was born in Oyotunji in 1976, right here on the property during a storm. And the house blew over. I remember my dad telling me the story. And he came over there to rush and see if my mother was OK, and he said she came crawling out holding me from under some boards.

Olpeju

Olapeju: It’s not so much a religion as it is a culture or a lifestyle. We’re here to honor our ancestors. That means I honor yours. That means you honor mine. It’s a different dynamic than just going to church on Sunday and praying.

Akintobe: This is not part-time. Full-time. Twenty-five hours, daily. Sleeping, wake up, it’s part of you. Go to bed saying certain things, wake up saying certain things. God, God. To the Orishas, to the ancestors, daily. All day long. Praising. Giving thanks.

Ofalaya: After you go through your initiation, you spend three weeks with your Iyalosa. She would be your godparent who helps you go through the transition of becoming initiated, becoming a priest or a priestess. You have your physical parent or your biological parent, and then you have your spiritual parents. One of the Orisha will be your father and one of them will be your mother.

I have done things that I never thought I would ever do. Like chopping wood, and not using a cell phone.

You get up at 5 AM and spend your time with yourself, really. Because after that, until the time you go to bed, your time belongs to everyone, and whatever needs to be done in the nation. The farming is a big thing that we work together on. Someone weeds, someone waters, someone plants.

o2Olapeju: I have a job outside, so I also have to take into account my work schedule. But I assist with the raking.

Olayatan: Tours come. They invite us out for lectures and presentations. We do cultural events. We have priests who do consultations for people. They read them and give them counseling.

Akintobe: I’m a priest. I’ve been initiated into the secret mysteries of Obatala, who is my father. That was 1978. And then I went to the high priest of Ifa in West Africa in 1992. And I went back again in 2000 to finish it up. So I’m Babaaláwo, “father of secrets.”

HOW OYOTUNJI WAS FOUNDED

kingOba: My dad, he was born in ’28. He was about 41, 42 [when Oyotunji was built.] He had two temples in New York, and he was the first African American to tell black people that, Look, not only are you African, you have a culture and a religion, and here it is.

He said he was nothing until he ran into African culture. He was bumping in the dark.

Akintobe: He was a man who loved art; he was a commercial artist. And he was a dancer with the Katherine Dunham dance troupe. That’s when he toured Egypt and Cuba, and that’s when he really got into African culture. His mother and father came up under Marcus Garvey, so he came up early.5

Oba: He married a European woman, a Dutch woman in Greenwich Village. It was with [her] that he became radicalized as this African traditionalist. And he said it was because he noticed she had a culture: They had holidays and pageantry and all these sorts of things, and my dad was very interested in it.

And he asked her one time, and she said, “You don’t have a culture. You don’t have a religion. Because you have not been taught it.” And she opened him up. And she introduced him to a black nationalist, Harvey. And Harvey started taking him from Greenwich Village to Harlem, and that’s when it all started. He got fired up at those rallies and speeches. Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King.

He said, “We’ve got to get out of the city. We’ve got to do like they’re doing in Africa. If we’re nationalists, we’ve got to have a land, at least.” And so he started to design it. They chipped in and bought this property here for about $500. They began to build temples and institutions first. This is back in the 60s.an-oral-history-of-the-west-african-village-that-has-been-in-south-carolina-for-four-dec0

Akintobe: We didn’t have any electricity, we didn’t have any indoor plumbing. [This was] back in the 70s to ’85. We were so into studying, the initiations, learning as much as we could get our hands on, and trying to absorb and prepare ourselves as custodians of the culture. This place was like a university.

Olayatan: Kerosene lamps, outhouses. Wood stoves for cooking and heating. I loved the energy then. And I love the energy now, but it’s—that’s the way it was then.o3Olapeju

Oba: The early people who came here were not builders. They were PhDs and doctors and stuff. So they were building [houses] out of cover sheets and pallets. Not that you can’t build out of pallets, but you’ve got to do it right. And so the houses leaked, and they got blown over by storms.

Watch: ‘Triple Hate,’ our documentary on the KKK

Olayatan: Technology came in. We got electricity. We got running water. But somewhere between Nixon and Reagan, somewhere in there was a kind of turnaround. The economy started getting tougher. Folks were struggling for money. Then the oracle says, OK, things are going to get really tough. And we didn’t know what it meant at that time, but [he was predicting] the onslaught of drugs and crime in the city.

So he says, “OK, the priests have to go out and form other communities like this.” So [since the 80s,] they have [established] shrines and temples in various parts of the country and priests that administer to the community. To try and let them know you can reconnect with your ancestors and your ancestors’ culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II

THE NEW KINGo5

Oba: [In 2005], I was traveling across Seven Mile Bridge [in Florida] one day and I got a call from one of the elders. He said, “I’ve got to tell you something. Where are you?” I said, “I’m over the water, the best time. Going over a long bridge.” He said, “Oh, perfect.” And then he told me: “Your father passed away this morning.”

I couldn’t even hear what he was saying before my mind was racing. And I came back to Oyotunji, and I went through three months of traditional preparation for coronation. It was the second time that we had done it on North American soil. For three months, we had to wear black and be secluded in the room. And we had to serve all of the chiefs.

They would ask the spirits, How are we doing? Each day, they would check in with the divinities, with the oracle, to find out exactly what’s needed. How’s my spirit? How’s my character? And so I had to feed them and cook for them every time. Basically, they had to demean my character all the way down from whatever I had picked up in my life.

I remember the day after coronation, people were saying, “That didn’t even look like you out there!” It had really changed me.

And so I remember what I always said to myself was, I want to be able to build Oyotunji. I want to be able to build it standard, nice.

So we’ve remodeled this temple here. We did the Oshun temple down the road. We built the bathroom, the shower house, the media center. All of these buildings here, we remodeled them. Redid the palace. We redo the road twice a year. We’ve been able to just continue to just build and build and build. The only thing we didn’t redo is my house.

RACE IN THE SOUTHo6

Akintobe: That young man [Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter] just turned 21. To have such hate. And why? Not once did he say that he was discriminated against. Nothing of that sort. [It was] something that he just felt. That he could do it, get away with it.

Can the stroke of a pen change the heart of our enemy? That’s the question I always ask. Passing a law? Taking down the Confederate flag? How do you change the heart of our enemy?

Oba: America never went into repair mode. It’s always been, put a new tablecloth on the dirty table because we’ve got guests. And over time, you’re going to smell it coming through the cloth.

After the Civil War was won, the Klan would still carry the Confederate flag. So our ancestors got used to seeing the Confederate flag not as a symbol of culture and heritage. Fuck no. They rode in and burned your house down. That was your visual. If they came in and grew gardens to help poor black people, it’d be a different thing. But they didn’t. It was always segregation.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. –Olayatan

WHY CULTURE MATTERS

Olayatan: It’s important for us as Africans in America to know who we are, so we can know what we have brought to the world, and what we can bring to the world in the future.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. Because that culture talks about history, contribution, and all of those things that we as a species stick our chests out about. What my people have done. What my ancestors have done. And basically, Africans in America have been told, You ain’t done nothing. You ain’t nothing, you ain’t done nothing, you’re not gonna do nothing. Because you never did anything. And so many of our people have bought into that. And that’s a tragedy and it’s a sickness.

Oba: Europeans have to know this culture, especially in America. You’re talking about healing. Taking the flag down and all these superficial things are not healing. Understanding each other’s culture is healing.

Akintobe: Oyotunji is the solution. Something was missing, but I found it here. When you know thyself, nobody can say anything to you. Once you know thyself, if you know your historical past, your ancestral past, what your people were, what they did before captivity… You walk with your shoulders and your head high. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and everything to be proud of. Everything.

Christopher Kilbourn is a freelancer in New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter.

Topics: Oyotunji, South Carolina, Yoruba, Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi, Sheldon, ancestor worship, religion, black separatists, Charleston shooting

COMING TO OYOTUNJI

Olayatan: I came for a two-week visit on August 6, 1978. So I guess that’s coming up on 37 years.

Olapeju, wife of the king: It’s been about a year [since I moved here]. My aunt was married to the first kabiyesi (“king”—literally, “the one who no one opposes”), so my family’s been familiar with the culture for a while. I started coming down with her a couple years back, and I fell in love with the culture, my daughter fell in love with the culture. So we decided last year to go ahead and make the plunge. I don’t know if I’ll be here forever, but I definitely am enjoying the time that I’m here right now.

Akintobe: I heard about it in Germany. I saw a little article in the military newspaper about a voodoo village in Beaufort [County], South Carolina, and it showed the king sitting on a throne that perhaps he made himself. I cut that picture out and placed it above my bed, and that’s where it stayed until I left, 30 months later. I don’t know why I did it. I was compelled by a spiritual force that I couldn’t resist. And I came here in December of ’74.

Ofalaya: I met the Oba in 2003 in Key West, Florida, when he was a prince. He came to Key West to declare one of the beaches there an African burial ground. And I met him there. And I did some volunteering at the African museum in Key West that he helped start. My sister’s a Shango priest, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with the culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II : I was born in Oyotunji in 1976, right here on the property during a storm. And the house blew over. I remember my dad telling me the story. And he came over there to rush and see if my mother was OK, and he said she came crawling out holding me from under some boards.

Olapejuo3

Olapeju: It’s not so much a religion as it is a culture or a lifestyle. We’re here to honor our ancestors. That means I honor yours. That means you honor mine. It’s a different dynamic than just going to church on Sunday and praying.

Akintobe: This is not part-time. Full-time. Twenty-five hours, daily. Sleeping, wake up, it’s part of you. Go to bed saying certain things, wake up saying certain things. God, God. To the Orishas, to the ancestors, daily. All day long. Praising. Giving thanks.

Ofalaya: After you go through your initiation, you spend three weeks with your Iyalosa. She would be your godparent who helps you go through the transition of becoming initiated, becoming a priest or a priestess. You have your physical parent or your biological parent, and then you have your spiritual parents. One of the Orisha will be your father and one of them will be your mother.

I have done things that I never thought I would ever do. Like chopping wood, and not using a cell phone.

You get up at 5 AM and spend your time with yourself, really. Because after that, until the time you go to bed, your time belongs to everyone, and whatever needs to be done in the nation. The farming is a big thing that we work together on. Someone weeds, someone waters, someone plants.

Olapeju: I have a job outside, so I also have to take into account my work schedule. But I assist with the raking.

Olayatan: Tours come. They invite us out for lectures and presentations. We do cultural events. We have priests who do consultations for people. They read them and give them counseling.

Akintobe: I’m a priest. I’ve been initiated into the secret mysteries of Obatala, who is my father. That was 1978. And then I went to the high priest of Ifa in West Africa in 1992. And I went back again in 2000 to finish it up. So I’m Babaaláwo, “father of secrets.”

HOW OYOTUNJI WAS FOUNDED

Oba: My dad, he was born in ’28. He was about 41, 42 [when Oyotunji was built.] He had two temples in New York, and he was the first African American to tell black people that, Look, not only are you African, you have a culture and a religion, and here it is.

He said he was nothing until he ran into African culture. He was bumping in the dark.

Akintobe: He was a man who loved art; he was a commercial artist. And he was a dancer with the Katherine Dunham dance troupe. That’s when he toured Egypt and Cuba, and that’s when he really got into African culture. His mother and father came up under Marcus Garvey, so he came up early.

Oba: He married a European woman, a Dutch woman in Greenwich Village. It was with [her] that he became radicalized as this African traditionalist. And he said it was because he noticed she had a culture: They had holidays and pageantry and all these sorts of things, and my dad was very interested in it.

And he asked her one time, and she said, “You don’t have a culture. You don’t have a religion. Because you have not been taught it.” And she opened him up. And she introduced him to a black nationalist, Harvey. And Harvey started taking him from Greenwich Village to Harlem, and that’s when it all started. He got fired up at those rallies and speeches. Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King.

He said, “We’ve got to get out of the city. We’ve got to do like they’re doing in Africa. If we’re nationalists, we’ve got to have a land, at least.” And so he started to design it. They chipped in and bought this property here for about $500. They began to build temples and institutions first. This is back in the 60s.

Akintobe: We didn’t have any electricity, we didn’t have any indoor plumbing. [This was] back in the 70s to ’85. We were so into studying, the initiations, learning as much as we could get our hands on, and trying to absorb and prepare ourselves as custodians of the culture. This place was like a university.

Olayatan: Kerosene lamps, outhouses. Wood stoves for cooking and heating. I loved the energy then. And I love the energy now, but it’s—that’s the way it was then.

Oba: The early people who came here were not builders. They were PhDs and doctors and stuff. So they were building [houses] out of cover sheets and pallets. Not that you can’t build out of pallets, but you’ve got to do it right. And so the houses leaked, and they got blown over by storms.

 

Olayatan: Technology came in. We got electricity. We got running water. But somewhere between Nixon and Reagan, somewhere in there was a kind of turnaround. The economy started getting tougher. Folks were struggling for money. Then the oracle says, OK, things are going to get really tough. And we didn’t know what it meant at that time, but [he was predicting] the onslaught of drugs and crime in the city.

So he says, “OK, the priests have to go out and form other communities like this.” So [since the 80s,] they have [established] shrines and temples in various parts of the country and priests that administer to the community. To try and let them know you can reconnect with your ancestors and your ancestors’ culture.

Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II

THE NEW KING

Oba: [In 2005], I was traveling across Seven Mile Bridge [in Florida] one day and I got a call from one of the elders. He said, “I’ve got to tell you something. Where are you?” I said, “I’m over the water, the best time. Going over a long bridge.” He said, “Oh, perfect.” And then he told me: “Your father passed away this morning.”

I couldn’t even hear what he was saying before my mind was racing. And I came back to Oyotunji, and I went through three months of traditional preparation for coronation. It was the second time that we had done it on North American soil. For three months, we had to wear black and be secluded in the room. And we had to serve all of the chiefs.

They would ask the spirits, How are we doing? Each day, they would check in with the divinities, with the oracle, to find out exactly what’s needed. How’s my spirit? How’s my character? And so I had to feed them and cook for them every time. Basically, they had to demean my character all the way down from whatever I had picked up in my life.

I remember the day after coronation, people were saying, “That didn’t even look like you out there!” It had really changed me.

And so I remember what I always said to myself was, I want to be able to build Oyotunji. I want to be able to build it standard, nice.

So we’ve remodeled this temple here. We did the Oshun temple down the road. We built the bathroom, the shower house, the media center. All of these buildings here, we remodeled them. Redid the palace. We redo the road twice a year. We’ve been able to just continue to just build and build and build. The only thing we didn’t redo is my house.

RACE IN THE SOUTH

Akintobe: That young man [Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter] just turned 21. To have such hate. And why? Not once did he say that he was discriminated against. Nothing of that sort. [It was] something that he just felt. That he could do it, get away with it.

Can the stroke of a pen change the heart of our enemy? That’s the question I always ask. Passing a law? Taking down the Confederate flag? How do you change the heart of our enemy?

Oba: America never went into repair mode. It’s always been, put a new tablecloth on the dirty table because we’ve got guests. And over time, you’re going to smell it coming through the cloth.

After the Civil War was won, the Klan would still carry the Confederate flag. So our ancestors got used to seeing the Confederate flag not as a symbol of culture and heritage. Fuck no. They rode in and burned your house down. That was your visual. If they came in and grew gardens to help poor black people, it’d be a different thing. But they didn’t. It was always segregation.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. –Olayatan

WHY CULTURE MATTERS

Olayatan: It’s important for us as Africans in America to know who we are, so we can know what we have brought to the world, and what we can bring to the world in the future.

If you steal a person’s culture, then you stole the most precious thing that they have. Because that culture talks about history, contribution, and all of those things that we as a species stick our chests out about. What my people have done. What my ancestors have done. And basically, Africans in America have been told, You ain’t done nothing. You ain’t nothing, you ain’t done nothing, you’re not gonna do nothing. Because you never did anything. And so many of our people have bought into that. And that’s a tragedy and it’s a sickness.

Oba: Europeans have to know this culture, especially in America. You’re talking about healing. Taking the flag down and all these superficial things are not healing. Understanding each other’s culture is healing.

Akintobe: Oyotunji is the solution. Something was missing, but I found it here. When you know thyself, nobody can say anything to you. Once you know thyself, if you know your historical past, your ancestral past, what your people were, what they did before captivity… You walk with your shoulders and your head high. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and everything to be proud of. Everything.

Christopher Kilbourn is a freelancer in New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter.
Topics: Oyotunji, South Carolina, Yoruba, Oba Oseijemoyotunji

BLACK SELF-DEFENSE! -MARCUS GARVEY,MALCOLM X SAID IT!-BLACKS FIGHT BACK!-FROM SLATE.COM

March 9, 2015

from slate.com

In 1919, white Americans visited awful violence on black Americans. So black Americans decided to fight back.

Red Summer

African-Americans gathered on street corners in the riot zone to share news and to form self-defense forces.

Men outside of the office of black Chicago businessman Jesse Binga, summer of 1919. “During Chicago’s riot,” writes David Krugler, “African-Americans gathered on street corners in the riot zone to share news and to form self-defense forces.”

Photo by Jun Fujita. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum (ICHi-65481).

In Longview, Texas, in July 1919, S.L. Jones, who was a teacher and a local distributor of the black newspaper the Chicago Defender, investigated the suspicious death of Lemuel Walters. Walters was a black man who was accused of raping a white woman, jailed, and ultimately found dead under “mysterious” circumstances. When the Defender published a story about Walters’ death, asserting that the alleged rape had been a love affair and Walters’ death the result of a lynching, Jones came under attack, beaten by the woman’s brothers.

Rebecca Onion Rebecca Onion

Rebecca OnionSlate’s history writer, also runs the site’s history blog, The Vault. Follow her on Twitter.

Hearing a rumor that Jones was in trouble, Dr. C.P. Davis, a black physician and friend of the teacher, tried to get law enforcement to protect him from further violence. When it became clear that this help was not forthcoming, Davis organized two-dozen black volunteers to guard Jones’ house. That same night, a mob surrounded the dwelling. Four armed white men knocked on the door, then tried to ram it down. The black defenders, who were arranged around Jones’ property, opened fire. A half-hour gun battle ensued, in which several attackers were wounded; the posse retreated.

Hearing the town’s fire bell ringing to summon reinforcements, Jones and Davis went into hiding, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves against a larger mob. Davis borrowed a soldier’s uniform, put it on, and took the first of several trains out of the area. At one point, he asked a group of black soldiers he found in a train car to conceal him in their ranks, which they did, contributing to his disguise by giving him an overseas cap and a gas mask. Later that day, Jones also managed to escape. But their successful resistance and flight were bittersweet victories: Before the episode was over, Davis’ and Jones’ homes were burned, along with Davis’ medical practice and the meeting place of the town’s Negro Business Men’s League. Davis’ father-in-law was killed in the violence.

In his new book, 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back, David F. Krugler, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, looks at the actions of people like Jones and Davis, who resisted white incursions against the black community through the press, the courts, and armed defensive action. The year 1919 was a notable one for racial violence, with major episodes of unrest in Chicago; Washington; and Elaine, Arkansas, and many smaller clashes in both the North and the South. (James Weldon Johnson, then the field secretary of the NAACP, called this time of violence the “Red Summer.”) White mobs killed 77 black Americans, including 11 demobilized servicemen (according to the NAACP’s magazine, the Crisis). The property damage to black businesses and homes—attacks on which betrayed white anxiety over new levels of black prosperity and social power—was immense.

The history of black responses to the violence of 1919—which ranged from the use of a single weapon against a home invader, to the organization of defensive posses like Davis’ that were meant to protect potential victims of lynching, to the deployment of groups of men who patrolled city streets during unrest—makes it clear that armed self-defense, far from being an invention of Malcolm X and the Black Power movement, is a strategy with deep roots. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, the story of nonviolence—a beautiful strategy with uncontestable moral force—has taken center stage. However the story of active self-defense against violence—a tradition that developed before, and then alongside, nonviolent resistance—is too often dismissed or simply ignored. Even before slavery had been outlawed, black Americans took up arms when their lives and livelihoods were threatened. Their experiences make the familiar history of marches and peaceful protest more complex. But the story of the civil rights struggle is incomplete without them.

Why was there a spike in violence in 1919? Krugler argues that black service members’ experience in World War I was one of the catalysts. In many places, demobilized black veterans, having fought for their country, had a diminished tolerance for racial discrimination—and their families, having sacrificed on the homefront, felt the same way. Meanwhile, white civilians resented what they perceived as an excess of pride (what an Army captain, registering his concern with the Military Intelligence Division, called “social aspirations”) in those who had served. Servicemen were allowed to wear their uniforms for three months after being “demobbed.” Georgian Wilbur Little was lynched in April 1919, reportedly for the sin of wearing his after the cutoff date—a crime that suggests how much the vision of black men in uniform threatened the racial regime.

The black community’s defensive actions in response to racial violence were also shaped by the war. Veterans took the initiative in armed self-defense, using their combat experience and knowledge of tactics and organization. But communities around them—many of whom had worked for the war effort in civilian capacities—were also energized by their wartime experiences and by the presence of the returned service members. (C.P. Davis and S.L. Jones were not veterans, but they were affected by the prevailing climate nonetheless. Davis’ escape took advantage of the cover provided by his borrowed uniform and relied on solidarity from black soldiers who were willing to vouch for him.)

Meanwhile, writers and journalists in the black press—some of whom had served—turned out prose that was increasingly bold, calling for armament and self-defense, and shaping the image of what came to be called the New Negro. That year, poet Claude McKay published his sonnet “If We Must Die” in the socialist magazine the Liberator:

Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

Activists followed these calls for resistance with attempts to work within the legal system to defend those who fought back. After each episode of violence, the NAACP took new legal initiative in prosecuting white rioters and representing black people who had acted to defend themselves. Sometimes, as in the aftermath of the violence in Longview, Texas, NAACP lawyers were able to get prisoners who had been found with weapons released by arguing that their actions were taken in self-defense. These legal victories—though somewhat diminished by the difficulty lawyers had in landing convictions of white rioters—were nonetheless significant.

While there is a notable cluster of examples of black communities fighting back in the racial conflicts of 1919, the history of armed self-defense goes back even further. Law professor Nicholas Johnson points to fugitive slaves who armed themselves against slave-catchers as some of the earliest examples of the practice. In another dark period of racial violence at the end of the 19th century, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a journalist and investigator of lynching, advocated “boycott, emigration, and the press” as weapons against white aggression, outlining the rationale in her 1892 pamphlet Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. When those peaceful strategies failed, Wells-Barnett thought a more active strategy was the answer, observing: “The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense.” For this reason, she wrote, “[A] Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”

Some citizens caught up in racial violence at the turn of the 20th century shared Wells-Barnett’s philosophy. Krugler cites instances of self-defense in turn-of-the-century racial strife in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898; Evansville, Indiana, in 1903; Atlanta in 1906; and Springfield, Illinois, in 1908. In Evansville, Krugler writes, “[A]pproximately thirty black men assembled to drive away white vigilantes attempting to break into the county jail to lynch a black prisoner.” In Springfield, “[B]lack snipers fired on white rioters from a saloon window, and twelve armed black men formed a patrol and fired on members of a mob leaving the site of one attack.”

Members of a white mob run with bricks in hand, during the Chicago race riot of July and August, 1919.
Members of a white mob run with bricks in hand during the Chicago race riot of July and August 1919.

Photo by Jun Fujita. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum (ICHi-65495).

In his research on the unrest of 1919, Krugler found evidence of self-defense that was both highly coordinated and ad hoc. “In Chicago,” he told me, “we have examples of individual stockyard workers who go to work, are attacked, and turn and fight. That’s not premeditated; that’s a human response to a life-threatening danger and risk—but it still counts as self-defense.” Also during the unrest in Chicago, “The veterans of the 8th Regiment put on their uniforms, found weapons, and took to the streets to try to stop the mob violence”—a preplanned action that took advantage of their military training and status in the community.

One of the problems with writing a history of armed self-defense during episodes of racial violence lies in establishing what actually happened. The events are obscured by the motivations of the authors of many of the historical sources, as well as the simple fog of war—these conflicts were complex events unfolding, in some cases, over many city blocks. Krugler triangulates between sources, looking at black and white newspapers, records of the tribunals held after some of the riots, and the reports of investigators from the Military Intelligence Division and the Bureau of Investigation (as the FBI was called in its first two decades of operation).

Comparing-and-contrasting these sources, as Krugler does in a section on the Chicago unrest called “The Fictional Riot,” shows how self-defense could look very different depending on the point of view of the witness. The soldiers from the 8th Regiment, who, black onlookers reported, instilled a sense of calm in the community merely by their presence, showed up very differently in the Chicago Daily News’ coverage. One detachment of veterans was described as “a group of twelve discharged negro soldiers, all armed,” who had “terrorized small groups of whites in various parts of the south side all afternoon.” The Herald-Examiner reported that several thousand decommissioned members of the 8th Regiment had stormed the regiment’s armory, wounding more than 50 people as they seized weapons. “Black Chicagoans, menaced by gangs and mistreated by the police, now [confronted] a white-written narrative about the riot that cast them as the wrongdoers,” Krugler writes. This was one of the drawbacks of self-defense, which, in a racist society, put those who resisted in perilous positions, vulnerable to further violence and legal prosecution.

GABOUREY SIDIBE-OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY ON BEING CONFIDENT About her weight!

February 20, 2013

BLACK BEAUTY MEETS BLACK BEAUTY!

BLACK BEAUTY MEETS BLACK BEAUTY!

Gabourey Sidibe On Being Confident With Her Weight: ‘I get shaken a lot in this business’

WhіƖe the crіtіcs are bashіng femaƖe ceƖebrіtіes about theіr bodіes, gabourey sіdіbe іs the most recent kіck-ass femaƖe іn the spotƖіght to not Ɩet the crіtіcs wіn.

Speakіng at wіe, the women’s іnspіratіon and enterprіse [wіenetwork. Org] conference іn manhattan Ɩast weekend, sіdіbe spoke about beіng happy and body confіdent, somethіng she mastered іn her earƖy 20s:

“і dіdn’t actuaƖƖy get to grow up hearіng that і was beautіfuƖ a Ɩot, or that і was worth anythіng nor dіd і grow up seeіng myseƖf on tv. Then at some poіnt іn tіme when і was 21 or 22 і јust decіsіve that Ɩіfe wasn’t worth Ɩіvіng whether or not і wasn’t happy wіth myseƖf so і јust took aƖƖ the steps that і couƖd to estіmate how to Ɩove myseƖf and become confіdent. Truth fuƖƖy speakіng whether or not і hadn’t found thіs person before that movіe [precіous] і wouƖdn’t have even be іn that movіe”, says sіdіbe.

WhіƖe the 29-year-oƖd treasured star takes every day steps to buіƖd up her confіdence, whіch іncƖudes smaƖƖ thіngs from Ɩіstenіng to musіc that makes her happy and gettіng her naіƖs done, to gettіng advіce from oprah and countіng her bƖessіngs, she admіts that Ɩіke most peopƖe іt’s a every day exercіse and an actіve choіce to be happy.

“peopƖe see me as a confіdent person but і get shaken a Ɩot, specіaƖƖy beіng іn thіs busіness. More than one weeks ago і was on vacatіon and і went іnto a cvs [a pharmacy chaіn of shops іn the us] and as і’m payіng і see a pіcture of myseƖf on the cover of a magazіne and they’re guesstіmatіng what my weіght іs? The headƖіne was ‘gabourey sіdіbe 250 pounds’”, says the actress. In that moment she had to deaƖ wіth not onƖy the cashіer seeіng the horrіbƖe and іnaccurate artіcƖe, but as weƖƖ everyone eƖse іn the shop and іn other shops.

SadƖy, іt’s a taƖe that countƖess other women іn the іndustry face. The debate about how much a femaƖe ceƖebrіty weіghs іs wіthout varіatіon anaƖysed іn the medіa, wіth thіngs comіng to a head when Ɩady gaga strіpped to her undіes and Ɩaunched her body revoƖutіon crusade to get back at crіtіcs who sƖammed her weіght benefіt.

For sіdіbe, іt’s aƖƖ about creatіng your own ruƖes: “і have to keep goіng and Ɩіvіng my Ɩіfe, so when thіngs Ɩіke that troubƖe me і have to fіnd thіngs that buіƖd my confіdence back up”, says sіdіbe, who as weƖƖ hopes to begіn wrіtіng and workіng behіnd the camera to enhance the range of coƖours, shapes and sіzes we see on the screen, and “because і don’t want to waіt for work і want to make work”, she adds.

BLACK SEXTUPLETS FINALLY GET SUPPORT AFTER PROTEST CAMPAIGN IS LAUNCHED BY BLACKS-1998-THE FIRST BLACK SEXTUPLETS IN AMERIKKKA!

December 11, 2012

First Black Sextuplets Belatedly Win Public Notice
Published: January 08, 1998
(Page 2 of 2)

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Speaking to the President at that meeting, Thaddeus Garrett Jr., former board chairman at Howard University here, said of the Thompsons: ”Never got mentioned anywhere. Didn’t get a dime from any corporation, diapers or anything. Then this woman out in Iowa has seven, and she’s in more magazines than you are.

And it wasn’t until some of us ministers kicked up a fuss that now some of the corporations are starting.”

Whether it was the ministers or the radio show, many of those who had ignored the Thompsons rushed to their side in the newly warm glow of the spotlight.

The Procter & Gamble Company offered diapers. The General Motors Corporation provided a van. Howard promised scholarships for all five children. Toys, clothes and swings piled up. Gerber Products gave coupons for food. The Washington law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding is providing free legal advice. The Freddie Mac Foundation, established by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, said it would give the family a house and is on the verge of announcing that it has found a big one with a yard.
________________________________________________
Univ. Gives Sextuplets Scholarships
AP , Associated Press
AP News Archive Dec. 22, 1997 5:16 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Add a paid college education to the list of gifts for the five surviving sextuplets in Washington.

Howard University offered four-year scholarships Monday to each of the seven-month-old Thompson babies: Emily Elizabeth, Richard Linden, Octavia Daniela, Stella Kimberly and AnnMarie Amanda.

“It’s our turn now,” father Linden Thompson told WRC-TV. “Howard has done the job. It’s time for mom and dad to do their job.”

The babies were decked out in blue and white Howard University sweatsuits and bonnets for Monday’s announcement. By the time the babies enter college the scholarships will be worth $314,000.

Linden and Jacqueline Thompson were the first black parents in the United States to have sextuplets but they and their newborns were virtually ignored until last month’s birth of the McCaughey septuplets in Iowa.

The Iowa births sparked stories about the lack of attention given to the Thompson family.

Since then, the baby shower for the infants has been ongoing. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her annual visit to Children’s Hospital, recently posed for photos with the Thompson family.

The National Political Congress of Black Women, based in nearby Silver Spring, Md., announced last week it was “adopting” the family and helping make some of their wishes come true.

The Freddie Mac Foundation has already promised the family a house, and Chevrolet has donated an Astro minivan.

Local students and employees have also presented gifts. About 30 students from Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa., even took a four-hour bus ride to present their .

OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY SERENA WILLIAMS BEAT THAT SORRY WHITE GIRL GOOD!- FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER, NIGERIA

July 12, 2012

FROM GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA
Serena…The Glorious Comeback
Sunday, 08 July 2012 00:00 By Ayo Ositelu Sport – Abroad
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AT 30, American Serena Williams became the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam Ladies Singles title since Czech-turned American Martina Navratilova some 22 years ago, when the sixth seeded but four times former champion defeated third seeded 22 year-old Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in a truly thrilling Ladies Singles final yesterday on the fabled Centre Court of Wimbledon.

It was Serena’s fifth Singles title at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, SW19, London, which tied her older sister’s (Venus’s) feat of five Wimbledon Ladies Singles titles.

If the Ladies Doubles partnership of Serena and Venus is successful in its ninth Ladies Doubles final, which was scheduled to follow the Gentlemen’s Doubles yesterday, it would be the amazing African-American sisters’ sixth Ladies Doubles title.

With elder sister Venus, who has been struggling with the diagnosed auto-immune ailment, a disease which has prevented her from being at her best, having exited the tournament in the first round, but was the leading cheerleader in the Players’ Box rooting for their own, Serena, whose form had got better with each round’s match, won the opening set easily at 6-1 in just 36 minutes.

With the American having raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set after breaking the Pole’s serve in the second and fourth games, the sympathetic Centre Court crowd erupted with a thunderous ovation when the badly outplayed Radwanska managed to get into the scoreboard to trail 5-1.You would have thought the Pole had won the match after ending the game with an ace.

In the next game, as if to say to her support team in the stands “no shaking,” Serena clinched the set with a crushing service winner down the T, a weapon which had been a constant feature of her thrashing of one opponent after another en route to yesterday’s final.

When the American, who had thoroughly dominated her seemingly overawed opponent in every aspect of the first set, broke the Pole again in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, every indication pointed towards the match ending as one of the most embarrassingly one-sided finals in Wimbledon history.

The pole had a different idea, as she kept on fighting, until her efforts were rewarded in the eighth game, when she created her very first breakpoint of the biting and dreaded Serena serve after all of 59 minutes of play to level up 4-4. It was only the seventh time the American lost his serve throughout the fortnight.

You know what? Serena appeared to be rattled as a match which had been thoroughly under her control seemed to be slipping away.

And alas! It actually did slip away, when the reinvigorated Radwanska broke the American in the twelfth game to win the set 7-5. Lo and behold! The match had extended to an unlikely third and deciding.

The look on the faces of Team Serena, particularly her older sister Venus, in the stands, said it all. It was nail-biting time.

But then, as it appeared from the body language of Serena, it was just a temporary set back. After breaking the Pole for a 3-2 lead, there was no stopping the American from cruising to a well-deserved victory.

It was a complete turnaround for a player who went into last month’s French Open as a firm favourite to win the title, but who lost in the very first round to French woman Virginie Razzano.

A heart-warming turnaround for a woman, who only a year ago was fighting for her life when she had what doctors call pulmonary embolism, and a resulting surgery.

Serena, The ‘Queen’ Of Aces

Did You Know…

That the tennisworld may not have seen a better serve than that of American Serena Williams, whose serve today is still as intimidating as it was in 1999 when she won the first of her 14 Grand Slam Ladies Singles titles at the US Open in New York?

Thirteen years on, the American’s dreaded serve, like French wine, keeps getting better and better, and it is sometimes not just the number of aces (free points) she serves, but when she serves them.

Against the fourth seeded defending champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the quarter-final, and world number two Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the semi-final, Serena literally delivered a free ‘clinic’ on how to win matches with your serve.

She served 37 aces against those two heavy hitters of the ball and two of the best returners of opponents’ serves, 13 against the Czech and a new Wimbledon record 24 against Azarenka. But that is not the point.

Just as when she served the 23 aces (then a new record of aces in one match at Wimbledon) to fend off a stubborn Jie Zheng of China in three tough sets, Serena served a majority of her aces and outright service winners when she needed them the most. She used the aces to save at least 20 breakpoints in these matches, and even more aces which enabled her to come back from many 0-30 situations, not to talk about the numerous game points to finally win very tight service games.

Not satisfied serving a new Wimbledon record of 23 aces against Jie Zheng, she broke her own new record, to hit 24 to brush aside the determined Azarenka’s fierce second set fight back to win 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to reach her seventh final at Wimbledon, having won four of her previous finals, the latest in 2010.

In six matches before yesterday’s final, Williams had recorded 86 aces and numerous service winners, which in itself is already another new Wimbledon record of aces in one Wimbledon tournament. But even that latest addition to her ever-bulging pedigree did not prevent her from putting up another stunning display of serving ‘bullets’ out there on the Centre Court, a cherished edifice she and her sister Venus have made their own all these years.

In yesterday’s thrilling final, Serena added 18 aces to her record toll, and how she needed all of those morale-shattering aces, especially against a fit-fighting 22 year-old Agnieszka Radwanska, the first Pole since 1939 to make a Grand Slam final, who showed admirable resolve by rallying back from losing the first set 6-1 and was a service break down in the second to extend the match to a deciding third set.

At a point in the third set, Serena served trailing 1-2 in the third set. How did she respond? She served four consecutive breathtaking aces to hold serve to love, which in tennis is called a “golden game,” a rarity at that level of competitive tennis.

Asked to comment on Serena’s serve, tennis legend American John McEnroe, a many times Grand Slam champion – turned influential Tennis TV commentator and analyst said: “I have never seen serving like that before… It was not just the quality and the power, with the fastest of those serves measured at 120 miles per hour, but also the uncanny timing… It is surely the greatest shot the Women’s game has ever seen.”

How would Serena herself describe it (her serve), as a weapon? “Mean,” responded Williams, with a wry smile. “The older I get, the better I feel I serve, and the more I like to hit aces,” she added.

ayo– ositelu@yahoo.com

Author of this article: By Ayo Ositelu

BACK TO AFRICA! -“JOURNEY TO HOPE” BOOK SUMMARY-BLACKS IN ARKANSAS PAVED THE WAY!- BLACK MAN COME BACK TO AFRICA AND RISE!

December 24, 2011

Journey of Hope

The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s

by Kenneth C. Barnes Copyright (c) 2004 by the University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved.

Introduction

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Emma Lazarus, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, penned these famous lines in 1883 for the Statue of Liberty, then being constructed by the French Republic as a gift to the United States of America. Nearly a decade later, Lady Liberty would witness an ironic scene unfolding in New York Harbor. On the rainy afternoon of 10 March 1892, the Dutch steamer Werkendam arrived after a two-week voyage from Rotterdam on the North Sea. The 569 passengers speaking Dutch, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, and a host of other European languages must have chattered excitedly about their hope for a better life in America. One can imagine that many eyes became misty as they beheld Lady Liberty, torch held high, next to Ellis Island, which had opened just two months before. As the Werkendam made its way into the bay, it passed a much smaller, old-fashioned sailing ship, the Liberia, which had left Pier 6 on the East River earlier in the day. The Liberia was packed to the brim with black families from Morrilton, Arkansas, who were leaving the United States to return to their ancestral homeland of Africa.[1] Perhaps the passengers of the Werkendam and the Liberia waved to each other as they passed in the bay. This image sums up the paradox of American society in the 1890s. While millions of Europeans were coming to the United States to follow their dream of political freedom and economic opportunity, thousands of black Americans, especially in Arkansas, were equally anxious to get out of this county. The hope for many African Americans centered on the Republic of Liberia in West Africa.
As Africa’s only independent black republic, Liberia encouraged and symbolized race pride for African Americans in the late 1800s. With an elected black government that offered American settlers free land, Liberia represented a chance for a better life for the South’s black farmers. Interest in African emigration peaked among black southerners in the 1890s, a time when cotton prices hit rock bottom and white racism reached its zenith. The 1890s saw the greatest number of lynchings in American history. As it became increasingly clear that black Americans would not get a seat at the table, Liberia posed an alternative to integration, an escape to an all-black world. One black man from central Arkansas asked in 1890: “Ar tha any White People over in liBery? if there is—none [of us] ar going there.”[2]
Of all areas of the South, Liberia emigration fever was most intense during the late 1800s in Arkansas. More Liberia-bound emigrants left from Arkansas than from any other state—more than a third of all known black American emigrants to Africa in the years from 1879 to 1899—despite the fact that Arkansas’s black population was smaller than that of any of its southern neighbors.[3] And for each one of the approximately 600 who left Arkansas for Africa, hundreds more applied unsuccessfully to go. To understand the back-to-Africa movement in the post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow years, one must examine Arkansas. Ironically, before the 1890s, Arkansas had served as a destination for black migrants leaving other southern states. A high percentage of African American men voted in Arkansas elections, and many held public offices on the county level. But Jim Crow measures, disfranchisement, and a wave of brutal racial violence dramatically changed the situation for black Arkansans. I will argue that the rapidity of this shift from relative well-being to subjugation, rather than the magnitude of the oppression, convinced many African Americans to leave not just Arkansas or the South but the entire United States. The Arkansas counties with the most competitive political environments, where white elites most targeted black voters, saw the most intense interest in African emigrations. Among sharecroppers and country preachers there swelled a remarkable wave of fascination with Africa—as a place of refuge from white oppression and as an ancestral land that helped define a black national identity. While middle-class blacks were more resolved to live as black Americans, many rural poor folk gave up on the United States and looked to Liberia to construct a better life. This study will compare the Liberian dreams to the reality Arkansas emigrants found in their African fatherland. For those who left, and for those who stayed behind, the meaning of Liberian emigration was simple: it was a journey of hope.
Earlier in the nineteenth century, Liberia evoked mixed images in the minds of black Americans. People of color must have pondered a return to Africa as soon as they arrived in the New World, but an organized back-to-Africa movement began in the late 1700s. British abolitionists worked together with free black immigrants to found Sierra Leone on the continent’s west coast as a place for the return of black people from British territory. The first black settlers arrived from England in 1787, and others came afterward from Nova Scotia and Jamaica. Sierra Leone became a British crown colony in 1808.[4] In the United States, black Americans’ discussion of African colonization originated among New England religious circles that opposed slavery and the slave trade. Paul Cuffe, a prosperous half-black, half-Indian Quaker of Massachusetts who owned a small fleet of whaling ships, transported thirty-eight free blacks to Sierra Leone, largely at his own expense, late in 1815. Cuffe died two years later, but he had inspired a movement.[5]
Humanitarian concerns, like those of Cuffe, joined with very different motives to found the American Colonization Society, just before Cuffe’s death. Slave owners in the South had become increasingly worried about the presence of a free black population clustering in southern towns. Some whites thought the very existence of a free black community undermined the slavery system and inspired slaves to revolt. In 1816, the Virginia legislature, dominated by slave owners, asked the U.S. Congress to find a territory on the African coast to become a place of asylum for free blacks and emancipated American slaves. Slave owners and antislavery forces gathered at the Davis Hotel in December 1816 in Washington, D.C., and founded the American Society for Colonizing Free People of Color in the United States, a name later shortened to the American Colonization Society (ACS). At this first meeting, antislavery leaders, such as Daniel Webster, promoted the idea of an African colony as a place of protection for a persecuted people while slave owners, such as Henry Clay, who chaired the first assembly, saw an African colony as a dumping ground for free blacks who had no place in America. Through its early years, the ACS struggled with this tension between humanitarian and racist motivations. Black Americans stood divided on the issue of emigration. A few black church leaders gave signals of support for the ACS, and free blacks in Richmond, Virginia, made the first public pronouncement in January 1817 favoring emigration. But most free blacks in northern communities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston united against emigration, seeing it as a ploy to expel free blacks from the United States.[6]
On 21 January 1820, the ship Elizabeth sailed from New York carrying a party of eighty-six free blacks from the Illinois Territory who had volunteered to resettle in Africa. The ACS had received financial and moral support for this expedition from President James Monroe. Nearly a decade after Congress had outlawed the slave trade, American ships were still capturing and confiscating cargoes of illegal slaves bound for the New World, and by 1819 a new slave trade act had authorized the president to establish a place in coastal West Africa where recaptured slaves could be returned. Thus, the ACS began its resettlement work as a private agency carrying out a public policy. The Elizabeth arrived in Sierra Leone, where the settlers waited for more than a year while white agents acting on behalf of the U.S. government and the ACS located a site for a colony. They found one at Cape Mesurrado, more than 200 miles south of Freetown, Sierra Leone, where a rocky promontory juts out into the sea near the mouth of the mighty St. Paul River. After much discussion with the local African ruler—the agents ultimately put a gun to his head to encourage cooperation—the ACS received the cape in exchange for an assorted package of rum, muskets, beads, tobacco, and other items worth in total less than $300. The settlers in Sierra Leone, augmented by another group recently arrived from the United States, first set foot in the colony on 25 April 1822. The ACS named the colony Liberia, after the Latin liber, meaning free man. The colonists choose the name Monrovia for their first permanent settlement, in honor of the president’s support for the colonization effort.[7]
The first settlers, and virtually all the emigrants from America, struggled to survive in their new environment. The ACS agents had chosen one of the most inhospitable locations in West Africa for their colony. Beyond the rocky hill overlooking the coast, mosquito-infested swamps surrounded the new town of Monrovia. Settlers invariably came down with malaria in the first months after arrival. Nearly a quarter of the early settlers to Liberia died within the first year of settlement. Those who survived the “seasoning” found it difficult to make a living. The thin, leached soil did not easily yield American food crops, and settlers found local foods unpalatable. The early settlers eschewed agriculture and largely subsisted on imported foods. They searched in vain for some commodity in demand on the world market, first looking for gold or ivory, then finding camwood, used in the dye industry. But the venture never became economically profitable.[8] Nevertheless, yearly reinforcements brought settlers to Liberia, which remained a colony of the ACS for the next twenty-five years. The society’s resident agent in Monrovia presided over the colony, assisted by an elected council of settlers.
The emigration of free blacks to Liberia particularly increased after the Nat Turner rebellion in 1831. During the next year in Maryland, for example, the state legislature passed laws restricting the liberties of free people of color and even appropriated money to pay for their resettlement outside the state’s boundaries. In 1832, the American Colonization Society resettled 796 emigrants to Liberia, more than in any year of its history, and the Maryland auxiliary of the ACS itself sent another 146. As the movement became increasingly dominated in the 1830s by slave owners who wanted Liberia to absorb the free blacks of the South, antislavery forces largely turned against the society. William Lloyd Garrison led the charge, decrying African colonization as a plot to continue the slave system in America. Prominent free black leaders, such as David Walker, loudly and consistently denounced the colonization enterprise through the emerging black press, from pulpits, and at every national Negro convention of the 1830s. In a time of conflict within the ACS, state auxiliaries, such as the one in Maryland, began to go their own ways and even establish their own resettlement colonies along the coast southeast of Monrovia. Despite this internal dissension in the society, some free blacks, mostly from slaveholding states, continued to apply for emigration. A few slave owners emancipated slaves with the expressed goal of sending them to Liberia. In addition, more than 5,000 African slaves, confiscated by the U.S. Navy on the high seas, were returned to Africa and left in the colony of Liberia.[9]
Liberia’s status changed when the colony gave way to an independent republic on 26 July 1847, a day still celebrated as Liberia’s national holiday. It had become evident that a colony owned by a private philanthropic society had little legal and diplomatic standing. Under ACS direction, the settlers drew up a constitution based on that of the United States and designed a flag, again emulating the American model. Thus, beginning in 1847, an elected president and congress of black American settlers governed Liberia, and the ACS’s role became virtually that of an emigration agency, transporting settlers and assisting them once they arrived in country.
Emigration picked up in the 1850s when the new Fugitive Slave Act encouraged runaway slaves to seek a destination outside the United States. And then the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision in 1857 demonstrated that people of color possessed no rights that white people of America were obligated to respect. Many free blacks became even more pessimistic about any future in the United States. Free black leaders, still viewing the ACS as a racist organization in league with white slave owners, sought other locations for black emigration. Martin R. Delany, a prominent black physician, tried to establish a colony in the Yoruba region of today’s Nigeria as an area for American settlement. Others looked to Haiti or Central America as destinations. But these movements had leaders but few followers. No settlers actually emigrated to Delany’s Nigeria colony, and only a few North Americans moved to Haiti.[10] However, by the beginning of the Civil War, nearly 13,000 black American settlers had come to Liberia, and the black republic controlled a strip of English-speaking settlements scattered along 250 miles of coastline, a few miles deep. Indigenous Africans, who always formed the majority of Liberia’s residents, were considered neither “Liberians” nor citizens, and they had no voice in the republic’s affairs.
By 1861, the Republic of Liberia had emerged as a symbol that could unite or divide black public opinion. Some black Americans, as well as white abolitionists, believed Liberia’s very existence suggested that persons of African descent had no place in America outside of slavery. Prominent black leaders saw the American Colonization Society as a white man’s movement that was part of America’s racial problem, not its solution. Others saw in the Liberian Republic a symbol of black nationalism, a place where “civilized” black people ruled themselves. At the end of her famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe sent George and Eliza off to Liberia with their family but kept some of her black characters home in the United States. George, the strong and angry black man, cannot live in America but expresses his black nationalist feelings by building up the black Republic of Liberia. Likewise, in real life, some emigrants applied to the ACS every year willing to trade in their residence in the United States to follow their African dreams.
Black interest in Liberia emigration plummeted when the Civil War promised the end of slavery and meaningful change to the status of black Americans. Ironically, President Abraham Lincoln’s administration suddenly became interested in colonizing freed slaves, especially those who trailed behind occupying Union armies throughout the South. Looking past Liberia, Lincoln’s officials searched for locations closer at hand, in the Caribbean or Central America, for the resettlement of freed persons. Despite a congressional appropriation for colonization, the Lincoln administration mustered only one small unsuccessful colonization expedition to Haiti. Likewise, the ACS during the war had difficulty finding emigrants for Liberia and ultimately had to recruit settlers from Barbados instead of the United States.[11]
The end of the Civil War saw significant change in the fortunes of the American Colonization Society and the idea of African colonization. By the time the society celebrated its fiftieth birthday in 1867, its revenues had sharply declined, its loyal following of wealthy white men had largely grown old and died, and the state auxiliaries for the most part had ceased their operations. The ACS had really become the work of one man, William Coppinger, the society’s corresponding secretary, who after 1872 worked out of an office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Coppinger, a white Quaker, had begun work with the colonization movement in 1838 as a ten-year-old office boy in the Pennsylvania auxiliary. By 1864, he became corresponding secretary of the ACS and devoted the rest of his life, until his death in 1892, to the work of Liberia emigration. He single-handedly administered the ACS’s dwindling resources, edited the society’s quarterly journal, the African Repository, corresponded with the people who desired to resettle in Liberia, and made the arrangements for those accepted for emigration. A dedicated, humble, self-effacing man, Coppinger appeared to believe sincerely that freed people of the American South could better their lives through emigration to Liberia, and he worked tirelessly to that end. No longer a big-budget institution, the American Colonization Society had become virtually a one-man show.[12]
But at the same time, the momentum in the back-to-Africa movement was shifting from white northerners to poor black farmers in the South. Freedom’s rewards were slow in coming and fewer than expected. The Liberian government promised twenty-five acres of free land for each emigrant family, ten acres for a single adult, who came to the black republic. After the war’s end, Secretary Coppinger made yearly trips to Georgia and the Carolinas recruiting emigrants. Between 1865 and 1869, the ACS expended much of its remaining funds and transported a record number of 2,394 emigrants to Liberia, more than the society would send over the next thirty years. Through the 1870s, with even less money in its treasury, the ACS sent a yearly average of only ninety-eight emigrants, and that average dropped to seventy-four in the 1880s. Finally, in 1892, the society decided to stop sending groups of emigrants entirely.[13] However, the decline in the number of emigrants in the post-Reconstruction years reflects the dwindling financial resources of the society, not motivation among African Americans. In fact, the most intense black interest in emigration, as measured by the volume of the ACS’s incoming correspondence, came in the late 1870s and early 1890s. Both of these periods were moments of sharp racial conflict, and nowhere was the desire for African emigration greater than Arkansas.
African Americans’ desire to move out of the South swelled as Reconstruction came to a halt in 1877. Reconstruction had been winding down gradually before its final closure. White Democrats had reclaimed state governments in Tennessee by 1869; in North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia by 1870; in Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas by 1874; and in Mississippi by 1875. By 1877, the party of Lincoln controlled only the statehouses of Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Public opinion in the North had begun to sour on military occupation of the South, and business interests in the Republican Party pushed for the reintegration of southern states into the national economy. The election of Rutherford B. Hayes as president in 1876 signaled the end of federal oversight of local affairs in the South. Ironically, Hayes’s campaign platform called for strong protection of black citizens in the South. But when the election mired down in controversy because of disputed returns in Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana, Republicans worked out a compromise that gave them the presidency in exchange for measures formally ending Reconstruction. In an extremely complex turn of events, the necessary electoral votes went to Hayes while the statehouses in the disputed states went to the Democrats. Hayes withdrew the federal troops from South Carolina and Louisiana and included some southern Democrats, even ex-Confederates, in his federal patronage and cabinet appointments. Historians have debated whether Hayes’s policy reflected a genuine attempt to heal sectional strife or a mere ploy to win a disputed election and consolidate power. In any case, Reconstruction, with its use of force to protect the rights of black citizens, had come to an end.[14]
The symbolic meaning of Hayes’s policy seemed clear to white southern Democrats. The federal government, while it would use troops to fight Indians in the West and to break a railroad strike in northern cities in the summer of 1877, would not intervene in southern affairs. In black-majority areas, white Democrats had already begun using terror tactics against black Republican voters in the elections of 1875 and 1876. Before the state elections in Mississippi in 1875, white military companies in Yazoo and Coahoma Counties, deep in the delta, attacked black Republican meetings and murdered several black leaders.[15] In South Carolina’s piedmont area, gangs of white men rode through the countryside before the 1876 election terrorizing black neighborhoods and keeping Republican voters home on election day. Obviously, Hayes’s actions of 1877 further emboldened white Democrats. The violence and fraud in the next election, the state and congressional races of 1878, shocked many northern Republicans into admitting the failure of the president’s southern policy. Again the atrocities were greatest in black-majority states where white Democrats needed to suppress black Republican votes to get or maintain power. Reports from Louisiana suggested that animals preyed upon the unburied bodies of African Americans slain on election day. The number of Republican ballots cast in South Carolina dropped from 90,000 in the fraudulent 1876 election to a mere 4,000 in 1878. The Republican Party thus crumbled in the Black Belt southern states that had the largest number of potential Republican voters.[16]
The pattern would continue in the 1880 elections. Only two Republican votes were recorded in Yazoo County, Mississippi, a county that was 75 percent black. The Republican presidential candidate of 1880, James A. Garfield, received his lowest percentage of votes in states that had the highest proportion of black residents, while he polled the greatest percentage of southern votes in border states with the lowest black populations.[17] Thus, African Americans virtually lost voting rights in the areas where their numbers threatened white control.
African Americans understood the meaning of the president’s retreat from Reconstruction. In the same areas where Reconstruction’s end brought sudden change to their political status, a black migration movement took root quickly and sprouted in the last three years of the 1870s. The day after President Hayes withdrew federal troops from South Carolina, John Mardenborough, a black lawyer in Edgefield County, wrote to the American Colonization Society’s office in Washington begging the society to send a group of seventy-five local black residents to Liberia. Edgefield County, in fact, was known throughout South Carolina for the most extreme political violence against black citizens. Mardenborough explained why his group wished to leave Edgefield County: “While I write a colored woman comes and tells me her husband was killed last night in her presence by white men and her children burned to death in the house; she says her person was outraged by these men and then she was whipped—such things as these are common occurrences. In the name of God can not the Society send us to Africa or some where else where we can live without ill treatment?”[18]
By the summer of 1877, interest in Liberia emigration had spread throughout South Carolina. One of the black leaders from Edgefield County, Harrison N. Bouey, traveled to Charleston to serve on a federal jury, and there he linked up with others interested in emigration. When Bouey arrived in Charleston, “Professor” J. C. Hazeley, a native African, was in town to deliver lectures promoting African emigration at the Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Apparently displeased with the ACS’s response to prospective emigrants, leaders at these meetings proposed the formation of a joint stock company to purchase their own ship and to transport emigrants to Africa. Thus was born the Liberian Exodus Joint Stock Steamship Company, which sold stock at ten dollars a share. By early 1878, the company had raised $6,000 and purchased a ship in Boston, the Azor, which arrived in the port of Charleston in March. Five thousand people turned out for the worship service that consecrated the vessel into service. The elderly Martin R. Delany, eminent Charlestonian and longtime promoter of African emigration, spoke, as did the Reverend Henry McNeal Turner, future bishop of the AME Church and the coming generation’s spokesman for the emigration cause. A month later, the Azor finally set sail with 206 passengers, and 175 more remained behind awaiting a second voyage. But the Azor would never sail again. Upon its return, bills from the first voyage came due, and the ship was sold at auction the next year to pay the company’s debts.[19]
At the same time that black South Carolinians were organizing for African emigration, a similar movement broke out in Louisiana. As early as December 1875, a group of black clergymen from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia had held a conference in New Orleans to assess the situation for southern blacks. The group discussed migration to the western territories or to Liberia. One of the delegates to the meeting, Henry Adams, a tireless political organizer from Caddo Parish, in northwest Louisiana, returned home and founded the Colonization Council to plan a way to go somewhere, anywhere, outside of the South. In July 1877, Adams’s council drew up a petition to President Hayes asking for the government either to protect rights of black citizens or to give them a territory of their own. If Hayes could do neither, the petition asked for a federal appropriation of funds to send them back to their own land, Africa. The next month, Adams wrote to the American Colonization Society claiming to speak for 69,000 African Americans in Louisiana, southern Arkansas, and eastern Texas who wished to move to Liberia. The aspiring emigrants even proposed to send a delegation to Liberia to investigate the conditions there and report back to the group. Coppinger made it clear that the ACS could not fund a mass migration to Liberia and that any investigative delegation must travel at its own expense. He encouraged the group to keep organized, collect dues, and send a few settlers each year. Given the impoverished conditions under which they lived, this advice could hardly satisfy. Only seven known emigrants left Louisiana for Liberia, a group from New Orleans settled by the ACS in 1876.[20]
As possibilities for emigration to Liberia were waning, interest shifted to a destination closer at hand: Kansas. Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, a former slave from Tennessee, had arrived in Kansas in the mid-1870s and immediately begun work to promote the state as a haven for black settlers. Singleton and other land developers circulated handbills throughout the South encouraging black people to consider Kansas. Political actions further inspired black southerners to move west. In January of 1879, Senator William Windom of Minnesota introduced a resolution calling for a U.S. Senate committee to study the feasibility of federal aid for migration of black citizens from areas where their rights were denied to western territories where they would be respected. After much debate in the Senate, the Windom resolution eventually died from inaction, but rumors about the resolution swept through the South and further inspired black interest in migration and the possibility of governmental assistance. By spring 1879, Liberia fever in the lower South had become Kansas fever, and hundreds of migrants camped along the Mississippi River waiting for steamboats to take them north. Reports of a mass migration from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in particular aroused much interest among politicians and newspaper editors. The U.S. Senate even established a select committee to investigate the situation. However, informed estimates suggest that only around 8,000 black migrants actually moved to Kansas in 1879 and 1880. Poverty rather than lack of interest probably best explains the modest numbers, for few rural blacks could afford the steamboat and railroad passage needed to get to Kansas.[21] The Kansas exodus of 1879, like the Liberia emigration movement, illustrates the keen interest among African Americans in escaping political oppression in the South. While in antebellum years, free black Americans had criticized the American Colonization Society as a racist organization hell-bent on removing the country’s free black population, one can only wonder what slaves may have thought or said about Liberia in the years before freedom. After Reconstruction’s end in 1877, most prominent black leaders continued to oppose African migration, but for ordinary black Americans, many whose lives had begun as slaves, Liberia became a symbol of a new life, free from white oppression. These men and women were more than willing to work with the ACS to get to Africa. During the late 1800s, as the back-to-Africa movement shifted from being a white man’s institution to a black grassroots movement, interest would be no greater anywhere than in Arkansas. The story of Arkansas’s African emigration movement will illustrate not just the severe realities for black southerners in the late 1800s but also their hopes and dreams for a better life.

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BLACKS IN ARKANSAS WERE SMART! -MORE WENT BACK TO AFRICA IN THE 1800’S THAN OTHER STATES AND THEY PROSPERED THERE IN BLACK FREEDOM!- FROM ENCYCLOPIAOFARKANSAS.NET

December 24, 2011

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Back-to-Africa Movement

The Back-to-Africa Movement mobilized thousands of African-American Arkansans who wished to leave the state for the Republic of Liberia in the late 1800s. Approximately 650 emigrants left from Arkansas, more than from any other American state, in the 1880s and 1890s, the last phase of organized group migration of black Americans to Liberia.

As early as 1820, black Americans had begun to return to their ancestral homeland through the auspices of the American Colonization Society (ACS), an organization headquartered in Washington DC, which arranged transportation and settlement. The ACS founded the Republic of Liberia in 1847, with its flag and constitution emulating American models, and nearly 13,000 redeemed slaves and free blacks had settled there before the Civil War. With the Civil War and abolition of slavery, the Back-to-Africa movement declined. However, interest in an African migration rekindled after Reconstruction ended and conditions for black Americans worsened in the late 1870s.

In several Delta counties of eastern Arkansas, white Democrats used extraordinary measures during the 1878 elections to keep African Americans from voting. In Phillips County, which was approximately seventy-five percent black, Democrats even stationed a heavy cannon in front of the main black polling place. Anthony L. Stanford, a black physician and Methodist preacher who also served as Phillips County’s Republican state senator, contacted the ACS, requesting assistance with emigration of a number of black citizens to Africa. In 1879, he led twenty-three residents of Phillips County to Liberia, and another 118 emigrants followed the next year from Phillips and Woodruff counties. Whereas Phillips County had polled a Republican majority in the 1876 presidential election, by the gubernatorial election of 1880, only ten Republican votes were cast in the county that had more than 15,000 black residents. Clearly, the Back-to-Africa movement was motivated by the deterioration in status of black citizens in the Delta in the late 1870s.

Conditions improved somewhat in the 1880s. Black men appear to have regained the franchise in the 1882 elections, and black Republican officials were elected to local offices in Delta counties through the rest of the decade. The 1880s also saw a massive in-migration as African Americans from the Deep South, especially South Carolina, fled their own oppressive conditions and looked to Arkansas as a place of plentiful work and cheap land. The 1880s seemed to be a time of promise for black Arkansans, and interest in African emigration waned but never went away. The Reverend Henry McNeal Turner of Atlanta, the foremost advocate nationally for African emigration, was elected bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1880 and was appointed to the eighth district, composed of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Indian Territory. Throughout the 1880s and early 1890s, Turner made yearly trips to Arkansas to preside over annual church meetings, and he always used the pulpit to promote emigration and missions to Africa. In 1886 and 1887, an African man, self-proclaimed “professor” Jacob C. Hazeley, traveled around the state giving lectures accompanied by picture displays about Africa. Hazeley encouraged interested parties to apply for emigration to the ACS. A farm family from Lee County and a schoolteacher from Fort Smith (Sebastian County) emigrated to Liberia in 1882. Three more left from Conway County in 1883, a family of eight from Phillips County emigrated in 1887, and a Faulkner County family of eight moved to Liberia in the spring of 1889.

However, it would be the return of political and racial violence in the late 1880s and early 1890s that made Liberia fever rage through black precincts of Arkansas. In the 1888 and 1890 elections, the Democratic Party faced opposition by a biracial alliance of the rural poor with the cooperation between the agrarian populist movement and the Republican Party. To win the elections, fraud and terror tactics eclipsed those used in 1878 in degree and scale. The Democratic-controlled state legislature in 1891 passed laws aimed at disfranchising black and poor white voters. Before the session ended, the General Assembly crafted Jim Crow segregation laws. In the year that would follow disfranchisement, some of the most horrific lynchings in American history occurred in Arkansas.

In response, black Arkansas sharecroppers and small landowners flooded the ACS office in Washington with letters begging for passage to Africa. As more information circulated back to Arkansas, interest only swelled. Would-be emigrants formed at least forty “Liberia Exodus” clubs that elected officers and held regular meetings, often disguising their true purposes from white neighbors hostile to the movement. Applications for emigration came in from the majority of Arkansas’s seventy-five counties, but interest was particularly keen in areas where political conflict was most intense—in Woodruff, St. Francis, Lonoke, and Jefferson counties in east-central Arkansas and the Arkansas River Valley from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Atkins (Pope County). In Conway County alone, which experienced some of the most spectacular political violence, nearly 1,500 African Americans, about twenty percent of the county’s black population, formally applied to emigrate to Liberia. Most of the emigrants sent by the ACS to Liberia in the early 1890s hailed from Arkansas, including nearly 100 from Morrilton (Conway County) and Plumerville (Conway County) and forty-four from Little Rock and Argenta (now North Little Rock in Pulaski County). A group of thirty-four would-be emigrants from Woodruff County sold their possessions and traveled to New York City in 1892 to beg unsuccessfully for passage to Africa. Their unexpected arrival created a refugee crisis for the ACS, leading it to end its seventy-five-year long resettlement program. The society got out of the emigration business just at the time demand was greatest in Arkansas. To address this interest, some white businessmen in Birmingham, Alabama, formed a company that transported to Liberia more than 200 Arkansans, mostly from Jefferson, St. Francis, and Lonoke counties, in three voyages between 1894 and 1896. A few additional black Arkansans booked commercial passage on steamers that traveled to Liberia from New York via ports in Europe. The interest in Africa spilled over into missionary work. Approximately a dozen black Arkansans and their families traveled to Africa in the 1890s as missionaries, a number representing nearly a quarter of known black missionaries to Africa in that decade.

For the black Arkansans who emigrated, their African Promised Land brought great challenges and some rewards. The Republic of Liberia granted each emigrant family twenty-five acres of free land and settled most of the Arkansas arrivals together in two communities, Brewerville and Johnsonville, a few miles into the interior from the capital, Monrovia. In the heart of the tropics and one of the wettest places in Africa, Liberia hosted a variety of diseases, especially potent strains of malaria that ravaged the emigrant population. People struggled with illness just when they had the most work to do—clearing land, planting crops, and building homes. Settlers had to adjust to new foods and lifestyles and learn to grow a new cash crop, coffee, instead of cotton. The Arkansas emigrants of 1879 and the 1880s prospered through coffee cultivation. However, the coffee trees planted by settlers of the 1890s began to produce berries just in time for the cataclysmic drop in coffee prices, as production in Brazil began to glut the world market in the late 1890s. Several Arkansas emigrants returned to America; perhaps more wished to return but lacked the money for passage. But many of these new Liberians apparently were pleased with their new home. In the words of one Arkansas settler, William Rogers, who wrote back to family in Morrilton, Liberia was “the colored man’s home, the only place on earth where they have equal rights.” What Rogers liked best about Liberia, he said, was that “there are no white men here to give orders; and when you go in your house, there is no one to stand out, and call you to the door and shoot you when you come out. We have no foreman over us; we are our own boss. We work when we want to, and sit down when we choose, and eat when we get ready.” Some of the Arkansas families became prominent in the black republic. Victoria David Tolbert, Liberia’s former first lady whose husband, President William Tolbert, was murdered in the violent coup of 1980, was the daughter of Isaac David, who left Little Rock in 1891 with his family at the age of five.

For additional information:
Barnes, Kenneth C. Journey of Hope: The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Redkey, Edwin S. Black Exodus: Black Nationalist and Back-to-Africa Movements, 1890–1910. Yale University Press, 1969.

Patton, Adell, Jr. “The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 51 (Summer 1992): 164–177.

American Colonization Society Records. Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

Kenneth C. Barnes

University of Central Arkansas
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