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 yankee Colonization Society (ACS), based in 1816 to be able to go back unfastened blacks to its colony Liberia. even supposing ACS contributors thought of loose black colonization in Africa a benevolent firm, so much black leaders rejected the ACS, fearing that the association sought compelled removing. As Ousmane okay. Power-Greene's tale exhibits, 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 yank Colonization Society's try to make colonization of unfastened blacks federal coverage. The ACS insisted the plan embodied empowerment. the us, they argued, could by no means settle for loose blacks as voters, and the one technique to the prestige of loose blacks was once to create an self reliant country that might essentially reject racism at its center. however the activists and reformers at the contrary aspect believed that the colonization circulation used to be itself deeply racist and actually one of many maximum hindrances for African american citizens 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 construction and identification formation within the Atlantic international.

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22 Given the celebrated political and ecclesiastical figures who had prominent roles in the ACS, African Americans had a mountain of public sentiment to overcome. While anticolonizationists clamored loudly, they most certainly did not have the same access to the public sphere as men, such as Henry Clay, who held elected political positions. Even if, for example, Nathaniel Paul was capable of frustrating ACS agents, his barbs hardly discouraged ACS leaders like Clay, who, even at the end of his life, continued to wield power in Washington and advocate for colonization.

While most whites found the specific plan unrealistic, they still believed that, at its core, colonization was the best way to “deal with” free blacks, and by extension, to ameliorate the great sin of slavery. African American anticolonizationists also struggled mightily against the general perception among whites that free blacks had no place in America. Even whites who were not “card-carrying” members of the ACS or its state auxiliaries supported removal of free blacks from the United States.

Why did some black leaders, like Forten, protest the American Colonization Society’s colonization plan while championing Haitian emigration? This chapter outlines the rise of the Haitian emigration movement in the late 1810s and the 1820s, demonstrating that emigration (to Haiti) and colonization (of Liberia) were far from synonymous, and that black leaders utilized a transnational network of social reformers as a means to undermine colonization, on the one hand, and to fund Haitian emigration, on the other.

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