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 Harley Davidson Motorcycle Did this motorcycle see action in World War I?
- Related Investigation Face Jug What does this ceramic face reveal about the Middle Passage and a captive people’s search for identity?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Seadrome Did floating airports dot the Atlantic before modern air travel?
- Also in Season 7 Galleon Shipwreck Is this a piece of treasure from a Spanish galleon washed up on an Oregon beach?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Prison Plaque Were convicted felons responsible for bringing peace to Western Europe during World War I?
- Also in this episode N.E.A.R Device Was this device invented to help Americans believe they could survive a Soviet nuclear attack?
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