Black People : Did Our Ancestors Make The Right Choice?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oceolo, May 26, 2005.

  1. oceolo

    oceolo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    After the Civil War black people had a choice to either go back to Africa or stay in America even though they would have to face racism and would have to fight for equality. Some black people chose to go back to Africa the country of Liberia was founded by some of these people. Our Ancestors chose to stay because they felt that for better or worse America was there home because they were born here . So I have two questions.

    1)Do you think they made the right choice or do you think they should have gone back to the motherland?

    2)If our ancestors had made the choice to go back to Africa how do you think our lives would be different and how would it have effected America?
     
  2. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well first, we must understand that during the time immediately after the Civil War, although you had notable exceptions of highly skilled and educated people....most of our people were illiterate and still stuck in the slave mentality.

    Not only weren't most black people in America even AWARE of an offer to uproot and relocate to Africa.....most didn't even know where Africa was.

    And of the ones who were aware of this offer; except for the handful who decided to take the government up on the offer....they probably had such a negative image of Africa the offer probably seemed more like a punishment or insult than an actuall solution.


    Having said that.....

    What I think SHOULD have happened was about half of our people should have went over there with the agricultural and other skills we aquired over here to settle land and make connections with other Africans all the while keeping close ties with the other half of us back here.
    That way we could have networked together getting the best of both worlds.

    If we had done that, probably neither us nor Africa would be in the shape we're in today.
     
  3. Sodwn2earth

    Sodwn2earth Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    We ain't goin nowhere

    I think it was more of "you ain't taken what we worked so hard for!" kinda thing. Even thought slaves were in the position they were in, I believe they held out because they knew that someday they would actually own the land they worked labored on. True that a lot of people didn't know the offer was there, those who did were insulted by the prospect. They felt they had a right to live in America, after all their blood, sweat, and tears were worked into the land. It was almost as if the white man was trying to rip us away to what was ours AGAIN! Not to mention they thought it an easy way to get rid of us. Paleeze. If anything, we some stubborn people. We wasn't leavin without puttin up a fight. Why did we have to leave? " We didn't land on Plymouth rock. Plymouth rock landed on us!"

    I ultimately believe that they made the right choice. Too much of our culture and way of life had been stripped of us at that point. We would have had to start all over again from scratch in a strange land. Our tribal systems would have been all messed up. I understand that the continent of Africa wasn't wiped clean, but we were just too accustomed to white society. The damage had been done. How welcome would we have been back in Africa anyway? .....
     
  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Just one historical correction: Liberia was founded after the American Revolution, not the Civil War.
     
  5. oceolo

    oceolo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You are right Pan I stand corrected Liberia was founded in 1847.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sierra Leone was the 1st "Freed Slave" Colony founded in Africa. Freed British Slaves & American Slaves who fought on the side of the British were sent there in the late 1700s. The US followed suit with the founding of Liberia. In addition the American Colonization Society proposed sending enslaved Africans back to Africa before the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, not only was the proposal to send African Americans back to Africa renewed, but Haiti was also being considered. African American leaders such as Frederick Douglass rejected this notion under the premise that African Americans helped to build America, and belonged in the country. While Mr. Douglass was correct in the belief that African Americans helped to build the United States of America (a claim few groups currently in America can truthfully make).....whether or not he and our other ancestors made the right choice depends on one's goals: If one believes in black self determination the arguement can be made that this objective would have been easier to achieve if we went back to Africa. However if one believes in Integration and the "eternal" effort to stamp out racism, then obviously they will be happy we stayed put!
     
  7. Radical Faith

    Radical Faith Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is an outstanding question. I equate the freeing of our ancestor from slavery to being a prisoner in prison and being let loose from lock down or solitary confinement. Though their liberties and priviledges may have increased they were still inside a prison. Those brothers and sisters that made the voyage back to the motherland had to have had a rough time getting back being that they had no ships and were at the mercy of corrupt captains and pirates. With no money to speak of there's no telling what they had to do to pay their way. Those ancestors that stayed had an uphill battle to say the least. Many of them knew nothing of Africa because nearly 300 years and several generations had passed. Most of them were born into slavery and knew no other way of life. This is much like how we are now. We are so far removed from traditional African life that unless we relocate to urban cities in Africa we wouldn't be able to cope. Especially black women. In my travels I can honestly say there are few places in the world that offer as many opportunities for a high standard of living for black women than America. This is why it makes no sense for sisters to squander their opportunies by becoming lifetime welfare recipients and passing the curse of poverty on to their children and so on. Please don't get me wrong I'm not trying to bash women I'm merely pointing out an observation. Question: Do you think Oprah would be where she is today had she been born and raised in Africa? Again I'm not trying to hate on the motherland just pointing out an observation. Think about it.


    Peace........
     
  8. Sun Ship

    Sun Ship Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks brother Panafrica for elaborating on Liberia, in a true historical context ...The story of Liberia is complex and has many layers...and the saga continues as we speak...the attempt to repatriate Africans to Liberia was not all goodwill, as far the governments actions. I remember a very extensive debate about African repatriation and Liberian colonization with a sister who use to post regularly here on this site... I hope I can find it and provide a link to the thread...a lot of information was shared about the Liberian repatriation.
     
  9. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yeah I'm learning something new myself because I too always somehow connected Liberia with the Civil War and so-called emancipation of slaves.

    I know president Monroe oversaw the program to repatriate black folks back to West Africa and they even named their capital after him.
     
  10. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Absolutely brother Sun Ship. Also Sierra Leone and Liberia would set a precident for the Europe & the US displacing the indigenous people of a particular land to create room for an unwanted group. The tension between the American-Liberians and the original people of the land has been similar to the Jews & Palestinians.
     
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