Some cultural historical background on Liberia and its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea. The three countries only seem to get a passing glance in mainstream media when tragedy or tribulations happen to ordinary people in the countries. Western media tends to focus heavily on the Civil War and blood diamonds in three countries whenever history and society is brought up and lament the societal destruction caused by the wars and how poor the nations have become since 1990s conflict. Prior 1990s, all three countries including Ivory Coast which also feels the immediate affects of events occurring in each country, were slowly coming into their own as modern and independent states and societies.
Historically Liberia had been a relatively peaceful and stable country as an independent republic and one of the few countries (other than Ethiopia) in Africa ruled by Africans prior to 1960. Despite occasional conflicts and discrimination by indigenous Liberians against Americo-Liberians (settlers), Liberia held itself together socially, economically and culturally. It avoid most of the artificial and superficial ethnic divisions and political instability created and fermented by European imperial powers and United States in later 19th-20th centuries. Sierra Leone's history is similar to Liberia's own story. Both countries were designated as a home for free enslaved Africans repatriated back to West Africa in the early 19th century. Africans who returned to Sierra Leone were named Krios (Criollos or Creoles) and also attempted to rule Sierra Leone in the same way the Americo-Liberians ruled Liberia. However, Sierra Leone was colonized by the British surrounded by a huge Francophone region which France competed and clashed with Britain in West Africa and around the world for its own military and economic interests.
Liberia: America's Stepchild?
Liberia, Africa's Only Republic 1949 in Color!
SIERRA LEONE INDEPENDENCE 1960
Hopes and dreams of millions of Sierra Leoneans as they geared up for independence and its aftermath are recalled
Le Grand Partage de l'Afrique
The partition of Africa its colonial consequences from 1880s-1960s