"Liberia Cry For Peace" Cries Loud For Help (Peace)

By Tewroh -Wehtoe Sungbeh

Liberia Cry For Peace, Juli Endee's dance and cultural ensemble that sprouted during the end of the Liberian civil conflict is battling its own "civil" problems since arriving in the United States several months ago. Atlanta, GA has been their home since their arrival.

The group known for its dazzling stage performances, and once considered by admirers as one of the "best thing to come out of Liberia since the civil war" has been watching in disbelief as things fall apart among them.

Since their arrival, Liberians have been united in their support, and have come out in record numbers to patronize what was once the pride and joy of their native country. As of press time, however, the problems within the group have been deteriorating and the prospect for improvement is all but discouraging.

Liberia Cry For Peace which is saddled by Juli Endee's lack of interpersonal skills has been an embarrassment to the Liberian community bombarded with complaints from members of the group. Some members of the ensemble complain about the inhumane treatment they suffer at the hands of Ms. Endee. They are object of daily insults and humiliation from Ms. Endee whose only way of handling her group's meeting is by damnation. Some members complain that they do not receive a penny from her after every performance.

There is no freedom of speech: those who attempt to speak their minds are considered "troublemakers." Their punishment includes denial of meal and in-house incarceration. Perhaps, Ms. Endee has forgotten that this is America, not a rebel-held territory.

One member who asked to be anonymous tells a sad story of Ms. Endee's wakening every member up from bed at 5:00 am daily for group's meeting. Any member who falls asleep at that time while Ms. Endee is talking is showered with cold water in his/her face - what a humiliation!

There has been tremendous decline in attendance at major shows hosted by "Liberia Cry For Peace" because of poor planning and the treatment the members receive from Ms. Endee.

Meanwhile, morale is at an all-time low, as the group members struggle to remain intact in the face of their mounting woes. Though their passports and Liberia Cry For Peace Identification Cards were taken from them by Ms. Endee, that has not stopped members from leaving the group. Up to press time at least seven members of the group have left and there are indications that many more will follow.

Members are not allowed to have individual social contacts with other Liberians in the community except the entire group is involved. In other words, there is no social life for these young adults since their arrival here. They're treated like kids.

Ms. Endee often insults gentlemen who try to befriend some of the young women in the group, in her autocratic attempt to keep control over these young people.

Many Liberians have concluded that this inhumane treatment, coupled with lack of respect and failure to accommodate the social needs of members, has contributed to these difficulties. And unless Ms Endee soon realizes that she is dealing with real people in a democratic society, she might be helping them to seek other alternatives.