Colonization and Emigration


The migration of African Americans to other lands in search of freedom during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was an expression of their belief that they would never achieve a position of true equality in the United States. The only solution to this problem, they felt, was to establish separate, self-governing societies or nations. Though migrants found their way to Canada, Haiti, the West Indies, and Mexico, Africa was, most often, the refuge of choice. Emigration and colonization were controversial within the African-American community, and some of the consequences of these migrations were negative for the receiving populations.

The Reasons for Emigration and Colonization

African Americans' interest in colonization was engendered by the dramatic increase in restrictions placed on them during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The slave system in the South was progressively intensified. The region's agriculturally derived economic prosperity depended on slavery: one-third of its population consisted of African-Americans in bondage. Throughout the South, laws were passed that prohibited their manumission.

Meanwhile, rising racism made conditions for Northern blacks more oppressive. The growth of the free black population - 500,000 by 1860 - was yet another factor in the effort to keep the nation's African Americans on an ever-tightening leash. They faced voting restrictions and were, for all intents and purposes, excluded from the justice system. By the 1830s, state and federal regulations, popular pressure, and social custom had dispatched them to the very bottom rungs of the social, economic, and political ladders.

In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the constitutional amendments giving them citizenship and voting rights led many African Americans to hope they would finally be integrated into American society; but by the end of Reconstruction in 1877, white Northerners' interest in the problems of recently freed slaves had cooled. The return of the Democratic Party to power in the South was accompanied by mounting Ku Klux Klan violence and intimidation.

Ways were found - election fraud, poll taxes, confusing balloting schemes, and suffrage disqualification - to nullify black political strength. Supreme Court decisions declaring the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional and upholding legal segregation sped up the process of black subordination. The federal government also enacted immigration and naturalization laws that effectively limited citizenship to whites.

In the South, African Americans were relegated back to the farm and, with little or no money to buy land, they had no choice but to work as tenant farmers or sharecroppers on white-owned property or as agricultural laborers earning meager wages. By the turn of the twentieth century, only 20 percent of African Americans owned their property and were able to maintain some small degree of independence.

Though people had continuously struggled against bias and oppression, there were always some who believed that ameliorating their condition was ultimately impossible. They favored emigration, and some advocated the establishment of colonies in Africa.

The Colonization of Sierra Leone

The first known colonization effort took place in Sierra Leone, home to the Temne, Mandingo, Fulani, Bullom, and Kru people. The original settlers, 450 destitute black men and women from England, called the Black Poor, arrived in 1787. In 1792, they were joined by twelve hundred Black Loyalists from Canada - former U.S. bondsmen who had fought alongside the British Army during the Revolutionary War - who were dissatisfied with conditions in Nova Scotia, where they had been sent. Jamaican Maroons, runaways who had been deceitfully deported to Canada after they had signed a peace treaty with the British, followed them in 1800.

In its early years, the settlement was governed by the Sierra Leone Company, an organization founded by British humanitarians with the goal of developing agricultural and other products for trade with England. Its population rapidly increased after 1807 with Africans recaptured from slave ships following the British and American abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. These "recaptives" or Liberated Africans came from throughout western, central, and southeastern Africa. About 58,000 were eventually settled in Sierra Leone.

African-American involvement in Sierra Leone began in 1811 when Paul Cuffee, a prosperous black and American Indian Quaker, ship owner, and lifelong campaigner for black people's rights, set sail from Massachusetts for Freetown with a crew of nine African-American seamen. The journey came in response to an invitation from England's Royal African Society to visit the colony.

While there, Cuffee decided to develop trade between blacks in England, Sierra Leone, and the United States. He also began to consider the possibility of relocating skilled African Americans to the colony, and founded the Friendly Society of Sierra Leone to put his ideas into practice. In 1815, he took thirty-eight emigrants to the colony. Among them were a Senegalese who had migrated from Haiti, and a Congolese. This would be the first migration of African Americans from the United States to Africa.

The Colonization of Liberia

Though Sierra Leone would continue to receive African-American immigrants over the years, their primary destination soon became Liberia, the country of the Vai, Kru, Kissi, Grebo, Bassa, Kpelle, Mandingo, and other populations. The controversial American Colonization Society (ACS) helped them in this endeavor.

It was founded in 1816 with the expressed aim to colonize free African-Americans in Africa or wherever else it saw fit. An organization with mostly white members and supporters, many of whom were slaveholders, the ACS did not gain widespread support among African Americans, who saw it as a means by which whites hoped to deport free blacks. Nonetheless, some people, dissatisfied with their lives in the United States, sought help from the society. Its first vessel, the Elizabeth, set sail in 1820 with some eighty migrants on board. They were unable to acquire land in Liberia and took refuge in Sierra Leone.

A year later, the ACS was successful in obtaining acreage, and a ship carrying thirty-three African Americans landed at Cape Mesuardo - later to become Monrovia, after U.S. President James Monroe.

Over the course of the nineteenth century, the ACS transported an estimated sixteen thousand migrants to Liberia. The migration peaked between 1848 and 1854; during this period, the ACS chartered forty-one ships, carrying over four thousand colonists to new lives in a new land. Most were free blacks who had either lived in the North all their lives or had been born in the South and later moved across the Mason-Dixon Line.

They came from almost all the Southern states and from as far west as Colorado. Many of the Southern migrants were born free, but a large number had been freed from enslavement on the expressed condition that they leave the United States.

Gen. Robert E. Lee freed most of his slaves before the Civil War. He offered to pay the expenses of those, like William and Rosabella Burke and their children, who wanted to go to Liberia. Burke went to the seminary in Monrovia and became a Presbyterian minister in 1857. A year later, he wrote a friend back home:

Persons coming to Africa should expect to go through many hardships, such as are common to the first settlement in any new country. I expected it and was not disappointed or discouraged at any thing that I met with; and so far from being dissatisfied with the country, I bless the Lord that ever my lot was cast in this part of the earth.

In a letter to Mary Custis Lee, Rosabella Burke noted, "I love Africa and would not exchange it for America."

The colonists were predominantly male, and often traveled in family groups. Many were under twenty years old. During the 1820-1828 period, women made up 43 percent of those going to Liberia. Freeborn migrants were mostly artisans, involved in agriculture in some way, or skilled and unskilled laborers; a few were professionals.

As the nineteenth century progressed, an increasing number came from the middle and professional class.

The migration was not always without problems - many prospective settlers died en route. They succumbed to fevers, tuberculosis, pleurisy, and other lung diseases. The primary reason for African Americans to seek freedom through emigration was their perception that there was no other alternative to a hopeless situation. But they also came to Africa because it was the land of their ancestors. Another reason was that the American Colonization Society paid their passage. Most could scarcely have afforded it and would have remained in the United States had the society not paid their way.

In the early years the ACS ran Liberia's government, but the settlers soon demanded control of their own affairs. In 1837 the Commonwealth was formed, and virtually all power devolved to the emigrants. The society retained only the right to choose the governor. A decade later, Liberia became an independent nation, and in 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts - a Monrovia merchant who had emigrated from Virginia twenty years earlier - was elected president.

Even as they left the United States behind, the colonists made concerted efforts to create a sort of "little America" in their new surroundings. They spoke English, and their manners, clothing, and even the construction of their homes reflected their previous place of residence. They were not always welcome in Liberia. Heavily influenced by Christian values, many exhibited a missionary zeal toward the indigenous Africans. They wished to "civilize" and Christianize people whom they often perceived as "heathen savages."

Emigration to Africa continued on a small scale into the twentieth century.

Between 1890 and 1910, some one thousand African Americans immigrated to Liberia. In 1913, sixty Oklahomans settled in the Gold Coast under the leadership of Chief Alfred Sam.

Though small in number, these efforts were not insignificant, as in most cases they represented self-initiated migrations, heavily influenced by nationalist ideas. Although individuals continued to migrate to the continent, there were few organized movements. Events in Africa itself may have been the reason. The 1884 partition of the continent resulted in full-scale domination by Europe. African nations, with the exception of Liberia and Ethiopia, came under European rule. In this climate, it was difficult for African Americans to consider emigration schemes.

Migration to Haiti

Because of its association with the ACS, many African Americans opposed Liberian emigration. Other sites were proposed - Central America, the Caribbean islands, the Niger Valley, Canada, and Haiti. For a short while, Haiti proved the most popular of these alternatives.

The first black republic and the second country to gain independence, under the leadership of François Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture, Haiti had served as a place of asylum for runaways and free men and women over the years. This fact, plus its proximity to the United States and its history of self-liberation and Christianity, made the island attractive to black proponents of emigration. They stressed that since it was so close, emigrants would not be abandoning their enslaved brothers and sisters. White advocates saw Haiti as another site to which undesirable free blacks could be deported.

In 1824, the New York Colonization Society received a commitment from Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer to pay the passage of U.S. emigrants. Boyer also promised to support them for their first four months and to grant them land. The same year, African-American leaders, including wealthy Philadelphia businessman James Forten and Bishop Richard Allen, formed the Haytian Emigration Society of Coloured People. They arranged for the transportation of several hundred people, not only to Haiti but also to Santo Domingo, the Spanish-speaking western part of the island of Hispaniola that had been conquered by Haiti in 1822.

New efforts to settle African Americans in Haiti were launched in the mid-nineteenth century. Emperor Faustin Soulouque and James Theodore Holly entered into discussions in 1855 on the settling of African Americans in the island state. After Soulouque was deposed, the new President, Nicolas Fabre Geffrard, appointed his own representative, James Redpath, a white American reporter, as General Agent. His mission was to attract immigrants to the island.

One of Redpath's agents was Holly, who emerged as the leading advocate of Haitian emigration. He believed that African Americans could profoundly influence the development of the Haitian Republic:

Our brethren of Hayti, who stand in the vanguard of the race, have already made a name, and a fame for us, that is as imperishable as the world's history. . . .It becomes then an important question for the negro race in America . . .to contribute to the continued advancement of this negro nationality of the New World until its glory and renown shall overspread the whole earth, and redeem and regenerate by its influence in the future, the benighted Fatherland of the race in Africa.

In the early 1860s, partly as a result of Holly's relentless proselytizing, African American interest in colonization increased. Haiti's president, Fabre Geffrard, hoping to ease the island's labor shortage, promoted policies that encouraged immigration but were not as generous as those offered in the 1820s.

In March 1861, Holly sailed to Haiti with 111 migrants from Connecticut and Canada. During the course of the year, several other journeys brought 800 more to the island. Most were unprepared for life in a different environment. Many complained about the climate and the language barrier, and expressed contempt for Vodou and Catholicism. Haitians were often suspicious of the immigrants, whom they described as lazy and uncooperative. Most immigrants, who came from American cities, did not want to work on farms and sold the land they had received for free in order to settle in the urban centers, where they could not find work. In addition, the government's subsidy policy depleted the country's already minimal treasury by funding emigrants who often left after their four months were over. The majority of the Americans returned home, but others kept on arriving.

President Abraham Lincoln had for some years advocated the removal of freed slaves as a partial solution to the nation's "race problem." In 1863, he supported the transportation of 453 men and women - most were former bondspeople from Virginia - to L'Ile-à-Vache, an island off the Haitian coast. The experiment failed due to inadequate planning and poor leadership. In less than a year, the survivors were returned to the United States.

Many Americans, black and white, were opposed to Haitian immigration. Their attacks were not as strong as those against Liberia, mainly because it was a movement initiated, for the most part, by African Americans. In fact, the 1854 National Emigration Convention actually endorsed Haitian immigration. But the opponents of Haiti were numerous. Frederick Douglass, who was opposed to emigration but had finally encouraged the Haitian movement, later abandoned the cause.

Widespread migration to Haiti never materialized. Estimates of the number of African Americans who made the trip range from eight thousand to thirteen thousand, but most returned to the United States. Unlike the situation in Liberia, the island's fairly large but mostly transient African-American community left no lasting evidence of its presence.

Migrations to Other Lands

Other Caribbean islands were also proposed as possible destinations, and small numbers of African Americans did immigrate to various colonies.

In the aftermath of the 1812 war between the United States and Great Britain, several hundred African-American soldiers who had sided with England were sent to the southern part of Trinidad. They received sixteen acres of land and quickly became assimilated into Trinidadian society. Between 1839 and 1847, another 1,301 Americans migrated to the island.

Several hundred people moved to Mexico in 1894 as part of a development scheme established by W. H. Ellis, an African-American businessman from Texas.

Ellis later went to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), hoping to arrange for black migration to that country, but nothing appears to have come of it.

Canada's first critical mass of African-American immigrants comprised five thousand free and enslaved Loyalists. Most had fought alongside the British during the American War for Independence, while a third had been brought by their British owners.

After the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain, about two thousand African Americans crossed the border. Long a safe haven for American runaways, Canada became a land of immigration for free African-Americans after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 put them at risk of being fraudulently sold into slavery. Canadian migration was advocated by Theodore Holly, Henry Bibb - a runaway who founded the newspaper The Voice of the Fugitive - and Mary Ann Shadd, editor of the Provincial Freeman.

By the mid-nineteenth century, the country had about forty black settlements, but it is estimated that thirty thousand black Canadians left during and after the Civil War to fight with the Union Army and be reunited with their families.

Immigration to Canada was revived in the twentieth century when over a thousand African Americans settled in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta between 1905 and 1912.

Some arrived from Kansas and Texas, but most came from Oklahoma. The latter left behind a state where racial violence and segregation were on the rise, and where their right to vote had been largely taken away in 1910. Many had moved there from the Deep South to escape racism and discrimination, and once again, they were ready to pack up and leave in search of freedom.

Henry Sneed, an African American from Texas who had migrated to Oklahoma, organized the first group of 194 Canadian settlers. They left with nine railroad carloads of farm implements and livestock. But the movement north stopped in 1912 because of growing opposition from Canada's government and citizens, as well as anti-emigration black advocates.

The Debate over Emigration and Colonization

The Rev. Henry Highland Garnett and Martin R. Delany, both prominent abolitionists, did much to advance the colonization/emigration movement. In 1858, Garnett formed the African Civilization Society with the aim of encouraging the concept of Black Nationalism. Though initially opposed to emigration, he came to the conclusion that African Americans had little chance of attaining true independence in their country. Blacks returning to Africa, he argued, could benefit continental Africans by bringing "civilization" and Christianity while gaining freedom for themselves. Garnett countered the argument that emigrationists were abandoning their enslaved comrades by stating that although he was totally opposed to that institution, "No man should deprive me of my love for Africa, the land of my ancestors." He also advocated migration to the Caribbean islands and spent several years as a missionary in Jamaica. In November 1882, Henry Highland Garnett, by then an old man, immigrated to Liberia, where he died soon after.

Martin Robison Delany was, perhaps, an even more forceful proponent of Black Nationalism than Garnett. He was a journalist, firebrand abolitionist, and one of Frederick Douglass's closest friends. Douglass said of him, "I thank God for making me a man, simply, but Delany always thanks Him for making him a black man." After a short and unpleasant stay at Harvard Medical School, Delany published The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852), supporting black emigration.

Vigorously opposed to the American Colonization Society because it was created by white men, he was an unbending advocate of black autonomy and self-reliance. Delany proposed the Caribbean islands, Canada, and Central America as alternative sites to Liberia. In 1859, he went to Africa to explore emigration possibilities and negotiated for an American settlement in Abeokuta (Nigeria), but nothing came of his effort. In 1877, Delany established the Liberian Joint Stock Steamship Line. The company's only voyage came a year later, when the ship Azor, carrying 206 migrants, sailed from Charleston to Liberia.

Edward Wilmot Blyden, born in St. Thomas in what was then the Danish Virgin Islands, immigrated to Liberia in 1851. He eventually became president of Liberia College. Blyden was convinced that the only way his people could gain the world's respect was by building progressive new "empires" in Africa. However, his work on behalf of the American Colonization Society put him at odds with some emigrationists as well as those African Americans who believed their people should pursue a policy of assimilation.

By the 1890s, Henry McNeal Turner had become the most outspoken African-American advocate of emigration. Turner's "Back to Africa" message was well received by many poor Southern farmers. They often endured great hardships in their efforts to find passage to Liberia. In 1876, Turner came under heavy criticism when he became vice president of the ACS. He traveled to Africa four times during the 1890s.

Despite these various efforts, emigration and colonization had always met with strong opposition from the black community. The Negro Convention movement, black America's most important arena for political expression and protest during the nineteenth century, was a direct response to the formation of the American Colonization Society and Liberian colonization. In 1818, three thousand free African Americans answered a call from James Forten and the Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Richard Allen, to convene in Philadelphia. The assembly denounced the ACS's colonization scheme as an "outrage having no other object in view than the slaveholding interests of the country." They expressed the idea that the United States was their home, and though they recognized the inequalities they faced, they maintained that:

if the plan of colonizing is intended for our benefit, and those who now promote it will never seek our injury, we humbly and respectfully urge, that it is not asked for by us: nor will it be required by any circumstances, in our present or future condition, as long as we shall be permitted to share the protection of the excellent laws and just government which we now enjoy, in common with every individual of the community.

Individual African Americans also noted their views on the subject. In 1834 Peter Williams, an Episcopal priest in New York City, objected to the idea that African Americans were best suited to colonization in Africa. "We are NATIVES of this country," he asserted, and "ask only to be treated as well as FOREIGNERS . . . we ask only to share equal privileges with those who come from distant lands, to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Let these modest requests be granted, and we need not to go to Africa nor anywhere else to be improved and happy."

Marcus Garvey's Back-to-Africa Movement

In the early twentieth century, Marcus Garvey and his movement, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), founded in his native Jamaica in 1914, boosted emigration sentiment. Three years later, Garvey immigrated to New York and set up headquarters in Harlem.

Though scorned by the black middle and professional classes, his "Back to Africa" mantra and charismatic leadership rallied many African Americans. The UNIA became the largest mass movement in African-American history, and attracted followers throughout the Caribbean, Africa, South America, and Great Britain.

Garvey's version of Black Nationalism argued that African Americans' quest for social equality was a delusion. They were fated to be a permanent minority who could never assimilate because white Americans would never let them. African Americans, therefore, could not improve their condition or gain autonomy in the United States. Only in Africa was self-emancipation possible.

Garvey drew his following largely from the lower end of the economic scale. Southerners who had come North during the Great Migration that accompanied World War I, servicemen returning from the European battlefields, and his fellow West Indians seemed particularly attuned to his philosophy.

The UNIA's first convention, held in 1920 in New York, lasted for thirty-one days with many thousands in attendance. It issued a manifesto, the Declaration of Rights for the Negro People of the World, and developed plans for a settlement in Liberia. The UNIA sold millions of shares in the Black Star Line, its own shipping company, to its members. Three steamships were purchased, and black officers and crew were contracted to sail the emigrants across the Atlantic.

The Black Star fleet did carry passengers on several journeys from New York to Central America and the Caribbean, but it never reached Liberia. As the line faced bankruptcy resulting from shady dealings by some UNIA officials, the federal government launched an unrelenting investigation of the man millions revered as the "Black Messiah." He was convicted in 1925 of defrauding investors, sentenced to five years in prison, and, after serving half of his term, deported to Jamaica. In 1940, Marcus Garvey died in London.

Although his efforts at sending African Americans back to Africa ultimately failed, Garvey's influence remained strong and inspired some to migrate, on their own, to the land of their ancestors.

Consequences of Colonization and Emigration

The most enduring consequence of colonization for African Americans was the sense of freedom and liberty the experience provided. In their letters home, they frequently stressed the deep satisfaction they derived from living free in a non-discriminatory environment. For people who had suffered enslavement, doomed to live and die in bondage, emigration represented an opportunity to start new and independent lives. They felt that they would rather live free in hardship than endure the yoke of oppression in the United States. But some migrants returned home, disappointed that Africa was not the Promised Land they had hoped for.

For many Africans, the arrival of black Americans was, at best, a mixed blessing. The newcomers often exploited and mistreated them, and did not accept them as citizens or as equals. People were dispossessed of thousands of square miles of territory. In 1843, the United States cruisers helped put down a revolt of native Liberians against the exploitative trade measures imposed by the Americo-Liberians, as they called themselves. An all-out war erupted in 1875 between the colonists and the Grebo, and violent conflicts persisted until the turn of the twentieth century.

The colonists saw themselves as bringing Christianity and Western civilization to the local population, regardless of whether it was appropriate. Their ethnic and cultural chauvinism often served to devalue the rights, aspirations, and cultures of the native people. The identities the migrants created for themselves were frequently in conflict with the African context and way of life. Nevertheless, some settlers tried to strike a balance between their Eurocentric worldview and the perspectives of their African neighbors.

Liberia's colonization helped promote capitalism, Christian missionary zeal, and Western cultural penetration. The settlers introduced American political ideas, trade practices, foods, concepts of land ownership, and even some diseases. But in the hybrid society that developed in the country, African cultural influences played a significant role.

One of the more positive effects of the migration was the establishment of a journalistic tradition in West Africa. In Liberia, the Jamaican-born immigrant John Russwurm, a pioneering African-American newspaperman, edited the Liberia Herald. Bishop Henry McNeil Turner's papers, The Voice of Missions and The Voice of the People, were widely read in West Africa, and his nationalistic rhetoric gave his readers hope for a better life. A lasting free press tradition was established that, over the years, influenced Africans to demand change in their societies.

In the United States, the colonization/emigration movement galvanized political activism among African Americans. It also contributed to the rise of radical abolitionism in the 1830s, particularly in response to the activities of the American Colonization Society.

The importance of colonization and emigration lies not so much in its numbers, but in the fact that the issue raised the nationalist consciousness of America's black population. Perhaps its most enduring legacy was the Pan-African movement, which blossomed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A concept pioneered by Martin R. Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and others, it led to the recognition that until Africa was free of oppression, black people around the world could not become free.

The visionary African-American leader W. E. B. Du Bois who had never advocated emigration would spearhead Pan-Africanism throughout his lifetime. In 1961, like Henry Highland Garnett before him, Du Bois, in his old age, left the United States for Ghana, where he died on the eve of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Other African Americans would follow his path, immigrating to various parts of the world in search of their dream of freedom and equality.


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Web Links

Henry McNeal Turner

A profile on Turner providing links to his writings and correspondences.

The Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor

A web page giving a brief history of the founding of the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor with links to documents and transcripts identifying the first known colonization effort in Sierra Leone in 1787.

Liberia at the Library of Congress

A search for 'Liberia’ yields hundreds of documents, pamphlets, pictures, maps, and timelines.

Roll of Emigrants to Liberia 1820-43

Gives information on names, ages, education, occupations and family status of African Americans settlers in Liberia. Plus 1843 Census.

Colonization of Liberia

Information and illustrations concerning the African Colonization Society; Paul Cuffee, and James Forten. Reactions of African Americans to the ACS.

Letters from Liberia

Numerous letters from Liberian settlers to former owners in the United States.

African-American Mosaic: Colonization

Online exhibit of images, letters, and documents creating a photo essay with links providing information about the history of the American Colonization Society and their initiatives to send African-Americans to Liberia

Nova Scotia Museum: Remembering the Black Loyalists

A rich resource on the Black Loyalists in Canada.

Black Loyalists

This site explores how Canada became the home of the first settlements of free blacks outside Africa. It includes a portal of links to information about Lord Dunmore's Proclamation, the Ethiopian Regiment, the Black Pioneers, personal accounts including narratives, documents such as Certificates of Freedom, and letters.

"Address to the Free Persons of Colour of these United States"

Richard Allen's September 1831 address to the American Society of Free Persons of Colour, which spawned from the first National Negro Convention held in the Bethel Church in Philadelphia in 1830. The address stated the society's disapproval of the American Colonization Society's efforts to relocate free African Americans to Africa yet encouraged free blacks to immigrate to Canada.


A multimedia site of UCLA International Institute African Studies Center exhibiting a research project on the life of Marcus Garvey and his Back To Africa Movement.

"The Black Star Line": Singing a Song of Garveyism

Transcription and audio recording of the Black Star Line anthem along with links to other UNIA document transcriptions such as his manifesto, the Declaration of Rights for Negro People of the World, and writings about Garvey and by Garvey.

"Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind"

This site from PBS is the companion to a film on Marcus Garvey aired on the show American Experience. The site not only has primary source documents and interactive features including pictures and sound clips, but it also has an excellent teacher's guide.

Struggles For Freedom site: African-Americans Explore Haiti

Site dedicated to Haitian and American relations as it pertains to Haitian immigration in the U.S. These pages give brief information on the early 19th century immigration of African-Americans to Haiti and provide a photo scan of Thomas Paul’s open letter to African-Americans urging them to leave the United States and settle in the "delightful island of Haiti - the best and most suitable place of residence...for the enjoyment of liberty". This letter appeared in the Columbian Sentinel, July 3, 1824.

Black Émigrés

"Black Émigrés: The Emergence of Nineteenth-Century United States Black Nationalism in Response to Haitian Emigration and Colonization, 1816-1840." Article published in 49th Parallel, The Interdisciplinary Journal of North American Studies of the History Department of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The Mexico-Louisiana Creole Connection

Informative site with images detailing research on the migration of African Americans from Louisiana to Mexico.