Journey of Hope: The Back-To-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s

By: Kenneth C. Barnes.

Price: $19.95

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Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society (ACS) in the 1820s as an African refuge for free blacks and liberated American slaves. While interest in African migration waned after the Civil War, it roared back in the late nineteenth century with the rise of Jim Crow segregation and disfranchisement throughout the South. The back-to-Africa movement held great new appeal to the South's most marginalized citizens, rural African Americans. Nowhere was this interest in Liberia emigration greater than in Arkansas. More emigrants to Liberia left from Arkansas than any other state in the 1880s and 1890s.

In "Journey of Hope, " Kenneth C. Barnes explains why so many black Arkansas sharecroppers dreamed of Africa and how their dreams of Liberia differed from the reality. This rich narrative also examines the role of poor black farmers in the creation of a black nationalist identity and the importance 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 study captures the life of black sharecroppers in the late 1800s and their dreams of escaping to Africa.

Title: Journey of Hope: The Back-To-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1800s

Author: Kenneth C. Barnes.

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $19.95

Categories: African American, Arkansas,

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press: c2004

ISBN Number: 0807855502

ISBN Number 13: 9780807855508

Binding: paperback

Book Details: 288 pages, 6 x 9 1/4, 24 illus., 4 maps, 2 figs., notes, bibl., index, paperback, University of North Carolina Press

Seller ID: 855502

Description: Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society (ACS) in the 1820s as an African refuge for free blacks and liberated American slaves. While interest in African migration waned after the Civil War, it roared back in the late nineteenth century with the rise of Jim Crow segregation and disfranchisement throughout the South. The back-to-Africa movement held great new appeal to the South's most marginalized citizens, rural African Americans. Nowhere was this interest in Liberia emigration greater than in Arkansas. More emigrants to Liberia left from Arkansas than any other state in the 1880s and 1890s.
In Journey of Hope, Kenneth C. Barnes explains why so many black Arkansas sharecroppers dreamed of Africa and how their dreams of Liberia differed from the reality. This rich narrative also examines the role of poor black farmers in the creation of a black nationalist identity and the importance 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 study captures the life of black sharecroppers in the late 1800s and their dreams of escaping to Africa.

About Author
Kenneth C. Barnes is professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas. His most recent book is Who Killed John Clayton? Political Violence and the Emergence of the New South, 1861-1893.

Reviews
"Using his considerable writing skills, Kenneth Barnes crafts a highly readable narrative that turns this story about a relatively small group of people into a fascinating account that speaks to many issues of the era--race relations in the South, the meanings of Reconstruction's demise, the lives and hopes of African Americans, and felt connections to Africa. Above all, anyone interested in the lives of poor black men and women in the late nineteenth century will find this a compelling read."--James H. Meriwether, author of Proudly We Can Be Africans: Black Americans and Africa, 1935-1961

"Journey of Hope is a poignant portrait of the overlooked back-to-Africa movement in the American South. More than just a searing indictment of late-nineteenth-century American racism, this book provides a deeply researched and sensitive account of the courage, naïveté, and desperation of those blacks who believed that they could only enjoy the fullness of freedom in Africa."--W. Fitzhugh Brundage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Chapter 1. The Liberia Exodus Arkansas Colony, 1877-1880
Chapter 2. A Movement Ebbs and Flows: The 1880s
Chapter 3. Hope Ignites: Liberia Fever, 1888-1891
Chapter 4. Gaw'n t' 'Beria: The Crisis of 1892
Chapter 5. Troublemakers
Chapter 6. Missions
Chapter 7. The Meaning of Africa
Chapter 8. The Last Voyages
Chapter 9. In Liberia
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Illustrations
The Liberian coast
William Coppinger
Anthony L. Stanford
Arkansas emigrants to Liberia in New York City, 1880
Bishop Henry McNeal Turner
Handbill for black emigration meeting, 1890
A lynching in Arkansas, ca. 1890
Caricature of a black couple on the way to Liberia
Liberian exhibit at the Columbian Exposition, 1893
The Reverend Alfred L. Ridgel
Steamship on the St. Paul River, Liberia
Methodist missionaries from Arkansas en route to Liberia
Departure of the steamship Horsa, 1895
Departure of the steamship Laurada, 1896
Funeral for a passenger aboard the Laurada
Laurada passengers stepping onto African soil
Ashmun Street, Monrovia
Road leading to Morning Star Baptist Church, Johnsonville, Liberia
Cornerstone of Morning Star Baptist Church
The ACS warehouse in Monrovia
A stick-and-thatch structure in Liberia
A settler house in Liberia
An indigenous African village in Liberia
Taylor Swift after his return home from Liberia
Maps
Arkansas
Black population percentage in Arkansas counties, 1890
Arkansas post offices from which letters were sent to the ACS, 1891
Liberia, 1895
Figures
Number of letters from Arkansas to the ACS, 1888-1892
Number of Arkansas applicants to the ACS for Liberia emigration, 1888-1892