Against Wind and Tide: The African American Struggle Against by Ousmane Power-Greene

By Ousmane Power-Greene

Against Wind and Tide tells the tale of African American's conflict opposed to the yank Colonization Society (ACS), based in 1816 as a way to go back unfastened blacks to its colony Liberia. even though ACS individuals thought of loose black colonization in Africa a benevolent company, so much black leaders rejected the ACS, fearing that the association sought pressured elimination. As Ousmane okay. Power-Greene's tale indicates, those African American anticolonizationists didn't think Liberia could ever be a real "black American homeland."

In this examine of anticolonization agitation, Power-Greene attracts on newspapers, assembly mins, and letters to discover the concerted attempt at the a part of 19th century black activists, group leaders, and spokespersons to problem the yankee Colonization Society's try and make colonization of unfastened blacks federal coverage. The ACS insisted the plan embodied empowerment. the U.S., they argued, might by no means settle for loose blacks as voters, and the single strategy to the prestige of loose blacks was once to create an independent state that may essentially reject racism at its center. however the activists and reformers at the contrary aspect believed that the colonization move used to be itself deeply racist and actually one of many maximum stumbling blocks for African americans to realize citizenship within the United States.

Power-Greene synthesizes debates approximately colonization and emigration, situating this complicated and enduring factor into an ever broader dialog approximately state development and id formation within the Atlantic global.

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Scholars such as Patrick Rael have shown that the “different measure of oppression” among free blacks of various classes did not necessarily introduction / 11 determine how they resisted colonization or other forms of oppression. 26 Even while members of the black elite pushed for building a black settlement in opposition to slavery and racism, most blacks only supported these plans when they were distinguished from those of the ACS and Liberia. For this reason, class status did not weigh heavily on whether or not a person rejected the ACS and Liberia.

Clarkson mentioned to him the advantages of black American emigration to Haiti, explaining, “Such persons would be very useful to your Majesty. ”18 African American emigration from the United States to Haiti, Clarkson believed, was good government policy. He explained to Christophe that an African American presence in Haiti could compel the United States to recognize the new republic. Clarkson, however, was not fully aware that southerners in the United States opposed Haitian independence, and this stood as a major obstacle to such a plan.

How should individual states deal with these “public nuisances” who threatened the institution of slavery in the South and the social order in the North? Did free blacks, as slaveholding whites argued, jeopardize slavery by providing enslaved Africans with a group of coconspirators prepared to partake in a cataclysmic insurrection that would sink the newly formed republic? Such concerns were very much on the minds of those who, nearly thirty years later, organized the American Colonization Society.

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