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  • Writer's pictureLouise

Liberian Independent Day

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

On the 26th of July, Liberia celebrated its 172nd Independence Day. This day is celebrated each year nationwide with music and food. However, in more impoverished societies, there are no supplies available to create a festive setting and most families don't even have enough food to prepare a meal.

Together with a local school, Rilo Connect organised a small party for over 80 children from the poorest ghettoes in Monrovia.

Three volunteers helped with the arrangements of the party; rice and soup were handed out, games were played and hired musical instruments allowed kids to make music. It was a great event with loads of dancing and smiling faces.

A special thanks to Alan Howe, who made this event possible with a generous donation!

A little history lesson; It was in 1847, that the Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society declared its independence. Under pressure from Britain, the United States hesitantly accepted Liberian sovereignty, making the West African nation the first democratic republic in African history. A constitution modelled after the U.S. Constitution was approved, and in 1848 Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected Liberia’s first president.

The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 by American Robert Finley to return freed African American slaves to Africa. In 1820, the first former U.S. slaves arrived at the British colony of Sierra Leone from the United States, and in 1821 the American Colonization Society founded the colony of Liberia south of Sierra Leone as a homeland for former slaves outside British jurisdiction.

The American Colonization Society came under attack from U.S. abolitionists, who charged that the removal of freed slaves from the United States strengthened the institution of slavery. Besides, most Americans of African descent were not enthusiastic to abandon their native lands in the United States for the harsh West African coast. Nevertheless, between 1822 and the American Civil War, some 15,000 African Americans settled in Liberia. Independence was granted by the United States in 1847, and Liberia aided Britain in its efforts to end the illegal West African slave trade. Official U.S. diplomatic recognition came in 1862.

With the backing of the United States, Liberia kept its independence through the turmoil of the 20th century. A costly civil war began in 1989 and lasted until 1997 when Charles Taylor was elected Liberian president in free elections. 

Citation Information: Liberian independence proclaimed 

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