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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Civil rights in America's African diaspora: Firestone Rubber and segregation in Liberia
Author:Patton, AdellISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Volume:49
Issue:2
Pages:319-338
Language:English
Geographic terms:Liberia
United States
Subjects:diasporas
African Americans
rubber
multinational enterprises
segregation
civil and political rights
political history
Link:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2015.1024438
Abstract:In 1926, the United States (US) company Firestone Rubber in Akron, Ohio initiated a second practice of segregation in Liberia. The first practice began with the minority regime of the Afro-American settlers over 17 ethnic groups in the Republic of Liberia in 1847. Civil rights were unheard of in Liberia during either of these two periods. This changed when Liberian students travelled to the US on government scholarships, primarily to study in historical black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the 1940s and 1950s. When the Liberian students were exposed to the Civil Rights Movement, they fully understood the injustice of the situation in Liberia. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and others travelled to the Gold Coast for its transition into becoming the nation of Ghana on 6 March 1957. Meetings between King and Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah led to collaborative efforts towards ending colonial racism in Africa and segregation in the US. During the Cold War, segregation in the US and Liberia was a source of shame for both nations. Liberian students returning from the US began 'sit-ins' in protest against segregated Firestone facilities. The Liberian government responded by enacting its first Civil Rights Act against Firestone in 1958 and ending discrimination, except in segregated schools. This article shows, however, that it took more than another 30 years for the first decolonisation process to end the minority regime after the Civil Rights Acts of 1958, and to end the original form of ethnic segregation, which began in 1847 and ended as a result of the violent civil wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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