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The Ugly Liberian Legacy

  • The Liberian Saga: One Nation, Two Cultures
    In his series, Liberia's Ugly Past, my colleague James D. Smith had highlighted key indelible elements of the Americo-Liberian legacy. Mr. Smith ably dealt with this issue that it would be repetitive for me to venture redoing his brilliant pieces.
  • Redefining The Struggle
    For many in the Diaspora, Liberia is now a thing of the past. Liberia has had her time, and positive history-making ended in 1980 with the overthrow of the Americo-Liberian oligarchy by non-commissioned army personnel. A significant number of the pre - 1980 aristocrats botted the country for the United States fearing reprisals; especially after the gruesome deaths, by firing squad, of the thirteen cabinet officials, and the callous murders and witch-hunt that ensued in the immediate aftermath of the military takeover.
  • Holding Political Chameleons Accountable
    Much has been written about the principal players in the seven-year national holocaust in Liberia. Primarily, the principal players claimed they launched their various rebellions in order to right what were wrong in the Liberian society.
  • Liberia's Ugly Past (Part I)
    Ten years after the Americos declared Liberia independent, one of Liberia's bright minds, educator and journalist Edward Wilmot Blyden, in his independence day address in 1857 chided his fellow Americos "Prosperity is not real. The prosperity of a nation is real when the springs of that prosperity are contained within itself, when its existence depends on its resources."

  • Alligators And Sharks - The Evil Liberian Legacy
    On December 15, 1821 there was a big ceremony taking place along the Atlantic Ocean on the Mesurado Peninsula. It was a multicultural ceremony - African and American participants. Captain Stockton and Eli Ayres represented the American Government and the freed slaves, while the man Stockton named "King Peter" and some elders represented the inhabitants of Cape Mesurado. During the ceremony, King Peter accused the Americans of slaving. He and members of his delegation opted to call off the ceremony because they did not trust the Americans and their cargo - freed slaves. It was at this point the first armed robbery in the history of what is now Liberia took place. Captain Stockton coerced the King by pointing a pistol to his head, thereby forcing the King to reluctantly make his "mark" on the paper.
  • Liberia's Ugly Past (Part II)
    The American Colonization Society, one of the forerunners of Liberia, was founded by leading Americans of goodwill who were deeply concerned about the purity of European culture in this society and the maintenance of economic viability. These Americans, some of them with religious affiliation and conviction, were concerned about the social problems which were boiling under the surface in this country about the freed slaves, and felt they should find a solution to rid the country of former slaves. There were two camps within this group. One consisted of persons with political connection who thought it was the right thing to do by lending their names to the group's cause, so as to gain the necessary momentum it would need to enable it to send black people back to Africa. This camp included such notables as Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington, nephew of U.S. President George Washington; Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.
  • Liberia's Ugly Past (Part III)
    After more than one hundred years of uninterrupted rule in Liberia, the True Whig Party is overwhelmed by unusual circumstances, in the ever evolving political dynamic in Liberia. The True Whig Party, which symbolized political repression and is noted for its notorious human rights abuses against the indigenous majority population, finds itself in the midst of a political environment to which it's not accustomed.
  • Liberia's Ugly Past (Part IV)
    For more than a year, I have regularly used this space to review the unpleasant realities of Liberian history by attempting to spotlight the inhumane treatment that the Americo-Liberian elite perpetrated against the African owners of the land. I have, in effect, underscored some of the sleazy manipulation they used to reinvent an untrue history of Liberia and create a fascinating legacy based on illusion devoid of truth. Some people may say, correctly or incorrectly, that I have been an Americo-Liberian-bashing zealot. I am sure that many readers of this column are wondering what my next angle of discussion will be, since Mr. Taylor, an Americo-Liberian agent of death, has assumed control of Liberia, replacing an African-Liberian tyrant. Likewise, others might be suggesting that perhaps my short hiatus was due to lack of issues to discuss. I am sorry to disappoint all of you in your collective speculation. I am back and here to stay.
  • The Indigenous & Americo Liberians' "Palava"
    I still remember the observation made in 1985 by the late Counselor C. Abayomi Cassell, when he hosted a meeting of various opposition political parties planning to contest the general elections of 1985. In that meeting were senior representatives from every opposition party, except the Unification Party led by the late Dr. Edward Kessselly.