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Title:The sweet, sweet sound of liberty: black settlers and their early education initiative in Liberia, 1820-1860
Author(s):Saleh-Jones, Sammer A
Director of Research:Span, Christopher M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Span, Christopher M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, James D.; Pak, Yoon K.; Zamani-Gallaher, Eboni
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This dissertation examines early educational initiatives in Liberia, West Africa, from 1820–1860: a period where colonization to Liberia was voluntary, supported by the American Colonization Society, and therefore attracting many colonists. The traditional narrative of Liberia's unique history was built on colonization, Christianization, and Westernization. The history of silencing the voices of Black Americans has been a practice in early historiography of Liberia. As a result, it has overlooked the important role freed Blacks from the United States played in the formation of Liberia's educational system. Black Americans arrived in three successive waves; each group contributed to the development of Liberia’s educational, social, and political institutions. While struggling to survive malaria and negotiate conflicts with white colonists, native Africans, and each other, Black settlers navigated their new environment while transplanted their acquired Western culture and Christian faith from the United States. By charting this process, this study also offers a unique social history as well as an educational history during a time where Black settlers’ identities begin to change from American to Americo-Liberian. Through a critical examination of archival documents—including narratives from Black and white colonists, journals, and memoirs—I provide a multilayered account of the processes that led to the foundation of Liberia’s existing educational system.
Issue Date:2016-04-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Sammer Saleh Jones. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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