Monday, April 14, 2008

Some Notable Liberians of the 19th and 20th century.....

Angie Brooks Randolph.
Liberian lawyer and diplomat who was the FIRST woman to be accepted as a legal apprentice. On her first appearance in court she was laughed at. She was accredited by the Liberian Supreme Court in 1953, as the first woman Liberian lawyer. She had a career in government administration and legal education in Liberia before being appointed assistant secretary of state in 1958. In 1969 she became the first African woman to be elected president of the General Assembly of the United Nations . During her career she was awarded 18 honorary doctorates of law from various universities in America and received many awards from civil and religious organisations.

Wilton Sankawulo is one of Liberia's foremost creative writers, educators, and public servants of long record. While engaged in government service, he joined the faculties of the University of Liberia and Cuttington University College as Professor of English and Literature. Sankawulo's many publications include myths and legends of Liberia, novels, a biography, and a collection of essays.

Presedent Barclay With President F.D Roosevelt at Roberts field Liberia, 1944.
Edwin Barclay, a member of the True Whig Party served as foreign minister and secretary of state of Liberia in the government of Charles D.B. King from 1920 until 1930. He became the 17 President of Liberia in 1930 when President King and Vice-President Allen B. Yancey resigned because of a scandal. He was elected in his own right for the first time in 1931. Barclay is credited with helping the country survive some of Liberia's greatest threats to its sovereignty in that country's history. They included threats by the League of Nations led by Germany, and the United Kingdom, to to recolonize the country unless reforms were made. He also compose the Liberian national song the lone star forever. Barclay retired in 1944 and was replaced by William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman .

Father of Pan-Africanism.
Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912) was a Liberian educator and statesman. More than any other figure, he laid the foundation of West African nationalism and of pan-Africanism.
In his writings, he defended his race at every opportunity, exalted the achievements of other Blacks, and attacked slavery. As a teacher he was professor of classics and president of Liberia College . He was also a politician and diplomat in Liberia, serving as Secretary of State, Minister of Interior , and Minister to Britain from and Minister Plenipotentiary to London and Paris in 1905.

Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809-1876), often called the Father of his country, was born of free parents in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 15, 1809. He became the first black ACS governor of Liberia in 1841. In 1848, he was elected the first president of an independent Liberia.
He spent his first year as Liberia's leader attempting to attain recognition from European countries and the United States. England and France were the first countries to accept Liberian independence in 1848. In 1849, Portugal, Brazil, Sardinia, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, and Haiti all formally recognized Liberia. However, the United Stated withheld recognition until 1862, during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, because the U.S. leaders believed that the southern states would not accept a black ambassador in Washington D.C.
Roberts was re-elected three more times to serve a total of eight years. During his leadership, an institution of higher learning, later to become Liberia University, was established. By 1860, through treaties and purchases with local African leaders, Liberia had extended its boundaries to include a 600 mile coastline.