Pioneers Day in Liberia
Liberia is a West African country that’s bordered by Guinea to the north, Sierra Leone to the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and southwest, and the Ivory Coast to the east. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers and a population of over 5 million people.
It was formed on January 7, 1822, by the American Colonization Society—an event that is commemorated in Liberia each year by the celebration of Pioneer’s Day. Although this holiday is somewhat controversial because of the tense relationship between Americo-Liberians and indigenous Liberians that has historically been the case, it is a day that’s celebrated by many people using music and dance.
The History Of Pioneer’s Day In Liberia
The American Colonization Society was an organization that was founded by Robert Finley in 1816 to encourage and support the migration of freed African-Americans to Africa. Some of the factors that led up to the formation of this organization were the belief that free blacks may encourage enslaved blacks to rebel or run away from slave owners and the belief that African-Americans would never properly integrate into “white” society.
The movement to encourage, or sometimes forced, black Americans to emigrate to Africa was something that was opposed by both the abolitionist movement and the black community.
Thousands of American blacks were relocated to what is now Liberia between January 7, 1822, and 1865. On July 26, 1847, Liberia would declare its independence, but the U.S wouldn’t recognize its independence until February 5, 1862. On January 3, 1848, a free-born African-American from Virginia became Liberia’s first president.
Observing Pioneer’s Day In Liberia
Pioneer’s Day is observed through music, dancing, and festivals all across Liberia. The hashtag #PioneersDayLiberia is also used to spread the word about this holiday on social media. This holiday isn’t a public holiday, so schools and businesses remain open.