Tag Archives: The American Colonization Society

REFUGEES: No room for today’s ‘tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ — By Mohamed Hamaludin

By MOHAMED HAMALUDIN

The number of free African Americans increased from around 60,000 in 1790 following the Revolutionary War to about 300,000 in 1830 and European Americans feared they would help the still enslaved to escape or revolt and believed anyhow that they were an inferior race who would be better off elsewhere. The American Colonization Society and others came up with this solution: send them to Africa.

African Americans, in general, objected strongly, with some pointing out that they had lived in the United States for generations and were “no more African than white Americans were European,” as Wikipedia puts it. Shame upon the guilty wretches that dare propose and all that countenance such a proposition,” abolitionist and scholar Frederick Douglass declared. “We live here—have lived here—have a right to live here and mean to live here,”

Still, 4,571 African Americans were relocated between 1820 and 1843 to West Africa, in a collection of settlements with names such as Mississippi in Africa, Kentucky in Africa and Republic of Maryland that formed the nation of Liberia by 1857. Because of diseases, only 1,819 survived. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: