Journey of Hope: The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in by Kenneth C. Barnes

By Kenneth C. Barnes

Liberia was once based via the yank Colonization Society (ACS) within the 1820s as an African shelter at no cost blacks and liberated American slaves. whereas curiosity in African migration waned after the Civil warfare, it roared again within the past due 19th century with the increase of Jim Crow segregation and disfranchisement through the South. The back-to-Africa move held nice new attract the South's so much marginalized electorate, rural African americans. Nowhere used to be this curiosity in Liberia emigration more than in Arkansas. extra emigrants to Liberia left from Arkansas than the other country within the Eighteen Eighties and 1890s.In trip of wish, Kenneth C. Barnes explains why such a lot of black Arkansas sharecroppers dreamed of Africa and the way their goals of Liberia differed from the truth. This wealthy narrative additionally examines the function of bad black farmers within the construction of a black nationalist id and the significance of the symbolism of an ancestral continent.Based on letters to the ACS and interviews of descendants of the emigrants in war-torn Liberia, this research captures the lifetime of black sharecroppers within the overdue 1800s and their goals of escaping to Africa.

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Additional resources for Journey of Hope: The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

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One applicant for emigration from Pulaski County, near Little Rock, claimed that a hundred people were ready to go immediately, and 5,000 more would emigrate if the ACS would provide some as                           ~ ~ 19 sistance. The state’s leading newspaper, the Arkansas Gazette, reported that 1,600 black residents in Phillips and adjoining counties were organizing to go to Liberia. In August, Berry Colman, a black farmer and Baptist preacher who had served as Phillips County’s elected representative to the state legislature, wrote the ACS asking for passage to Liberia.

But with the federal retreat in 1877 indicated by President Hayes’s southern policy, African Americans immediately perceived a significant change in their status and well-being. In the black-majority Arkansas delta, some people responded with efforts to escape to Africa. On 15 August 1877, just shortly after the clamor for African migration had begun in South Carolina and Louisiana, the Reverend Anthony L. Stanford, a Methodist preacher and physician, inquired about the terms to resettle about 5,000 black Arkansans in Liberia.

But the sinking prices for cotton, corn, and stock meant few could get the money they needed. ”30 Another difficulty for the prospective settlers concerned the timing of the voyage. Coppinger could not promise a departure before June 1879. That response created a problem, for most of those interested in emigrating were renters or sharecroppers who, around the first of January, had to make contracts for a year’s labor or leave their farms. If they could not depart until June they would lose a half year’s labor.

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