History Detectives traces one freed man's dream to return to Africa. By the early 19th century, the United States was home to increasing numbers of free blacks. In some places, much of the white establishment considered their status with growing alarm. In the south, where the slave system was most entrenched, free blacks were considered a threat to the status quo. Hostility and even violence against free blacks were common.
This tension gave birth to the Back to Africa movement. Over the next century, some 16,000 black Americans sailed to West Africa to establish the Republic of Liberia. It was one of the largest organized out-migrations in US history.
Vernetia Jenkins of Lynchburg, South Carolina has long been mystified by some old family letters, and their connection to Africa. One letter in particular, from 1877, has caught Vernetia's attention; it is from her grandmother's brother, Harvey McLeod, and it suggests that he was heading to Liberia, but did Harvey make it to Liberia?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Nesbit Portrait Is this portrait a lost masterpiece by one of America's greatest artists?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Pop Lloyd Baseball Field Why was this baseball field named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of racial tension?
- Related Investigation Dueling Pistols Were these pistols used in the last great duel on U.S. soil?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa? Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared without a trace in 1975. Was he murdered? If so, who killed him and why?
- Related Investigation Lookout Mountain Painting What can this painting tell us about a turning point in the Civil War?
- Also in Industrialization: 1870-1900 Lucy Parson's Book Was the legendary anarchist the owner of this manifesto found in a library?
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