New Directions in the Study of African American Recolonization

Edited by Beverly C. Tomek and Matthew J. Hetrick

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"Never has the story of American African colonization been so thoroughly explored."--Violet Showers Johnson, coauthor of African & American: West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America

"Succeeds admirably in putting us back in touch with the diverse sources of support for the American Colonization Society. We learn much about the complex nature of human motivations and about the changes in attitudes, goals, and government policy that occurred over time."--Paul D. Escott, author of Uncommonly Savage: Civil War and Remembrance in Spain and the United States

"Thought-provoking and challenging. These deeply researched and gracefully written essays refine our understanding of this often misunderstood group."--Douglas R. Egerton, author of Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America


This volume closely examines the movement to resettle black Americans in Africa, an effort led by the American Colonization Society during the nineteenth century and a heavily debated part of American history. Some believe it was inspired by antislavery principles, but others think it was a proslavery reaction against the presence of free blacks in society.

Moving beyond this simplistic debate, contributors link the movement to other historical developments of the time, revealing a complex web of different schemes, ideologies, and activities behind the relocation of African Americans to Liberia. They explain what colonization, emigration, immigration, abolition, and emancipation meant within nuanced nineteenth-century contexts, looking through many lenses to more accurately reflect the past.


Beverly C. Tomek, associate chair of humanities at the University of Houston-Victoria, is the author of Colonization and Its Discontents: Emancipation, Emigration, and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania. Matthew J. Hetrick is a history teacher at The Bryn Mawr School.

A volume in the series Southern Dissent, edited by Stanley Harrold and Randall M. Miller
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