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Back to Africa

Is It Time For Blacks to Leave America?

In American history there has been three major Back to Africa Movements; one that was mostly theory, one that made a failed attempt, and one that actually sent freed black Americans back to Africa. It’s ironic that the oldest effort was the most successful and that newest effort the least productive. The most successful organized migration effort was conducted by The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, commonly known as the American Colonization Society. The society was established in 1818 by Robert Finley, who was born in Princeton, New Jersey in 1772.

Finley was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1795. The American Colonization Society was established by two opposing groups; coalition made up mostly of evangelicals and Quakers who supported the abolition of slavery and believed blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the United States, and some slaveholders in Maryland and elsewhere, who saw repatriation as a way to remove free blacks from slave societies and avoid slave rebellions. The two opposing groups found common ground in support of so-called “repatriation.”

The American Colonization Society met with immediate and continuing objections from such African-Americans of the time as James Forten and David Walker, who wished to remain in the land of their birth, and who saw colonization as a racist strategy for protecting slavery and purging the U.S. of its black citizens, and who preferred to fight for equal rights at home.

Between 1820 and 1861 about 12,000 blacks where transported from the United States to the newly created country of Liberia, Africa, by the American Colonization Society. The number would have been greater, but the Civil War curtailed the emigration to Africa effort.

The next major Back to Africa effort happened in the 1920 with Marcus Garvey’s Pan-Africanism movement. Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. Garvey received wide financial support from ordinary African Americans who mailed him nickels and dimes. In 1919, Garvey established the Black Star Line and it acquired its first ship. Much fanfare surrounded the inspection of the S.S. Yarmouth and its rechristening as the S.S. Frederick Douglass on 14 September 1919. Such a rapid achievement garnered attention from many, the U.S. government included.

Many black leaders opposed Garvey and the American government set out to ruin him. 600,000 dollars was raised from the sale of stocks in the Black Star Line. The line sustained inordinate mechanical problems and suspected sabotage. The line went bankrupt and Garvey was imprisoned. The movement collapsed without migrating one black American to Africa.

Thirty years later along came the Nation of Islam with their call for a separate nation for blacks either within the USA or in Africa. Ample attractive rhetoric, that got the attention of black people looking for a way out of this hell, was built around this proposition, but little can be seen as solid efforts towards the goal. In the end, the Nation of Islam stance on Back to Africa can be seen as posturing to win supporters.

Now with the rise of white nationalism in America and the election of a racist man as president, black Americans might do well to be thinking of a way out. Even middle of the road white people are concerned about the shift in demographics – what they call the browning of America and may become convinced to harsh measures to preserve a white controlled nation.

It breaks down like this: there are some white people confident that they can hack it in a pluralistic society, not matter what their numeric standings – maybe 20 percent.

Then there are whites who aren’t sure how they would fare in a diverse America that deals straight off the top of the deck regardless of color. They are kind of used to having the job decision fall to the white guy, so if they have to choose sides – a fair America or a white America – shit, that’s an easy one – maybe 30 percent.

Then they are the white nationalist themselves. We well know their stance on the browning of the country. And their rhetoric is sometimes scary. These are the Trump supporters; the group that’s pushing him, as he pull them toward a white America. Right now they mostly crouch their rhetoric in patriotic sounding pomposity, but hear between the lines, maybe 30 percent.

And now, the gun totting white patriot who believes the founding father’s intended this to be a white country – solely for the rule and use of white people, and they are ready to fight and die for that cause. The question is can this small 20 percent convince the about 30 percent to pick up arms to rid the country of all its unwanted – if so, the other 30 percent will also have to go along. Then the tail wags the dog, the dog wakes up.

At what point in the formation of the Nazi Party did the Jews started leaving Europe; what key words or pitch level alerted them that it was time to hat up?

Look, there are 54 countries in Africa and 41 million African Americans, shouldn’t we already be talking to the leaders of those 54 nations about ways to divide us up among them. They could work out a formula, maybe the poorer African nations would get the better educated African Americans and the richer African Nations would take some of the poorer African Americans or something – let’s get the conversation started – it’s getting hot in here.

About Horace Mungin

Horace Mungin is a writer and poet. He has published many books. See more at www.horacemunginbooks.com.

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