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Against Wind and TideThe African American Struggle against the Colonization Movement$
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Ousmane K. Power-Greene

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479823178

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479823178.001.0001

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“The Means of Alleviating the Suffering”

“The Means of Alleviating the Suffering”

Haitian Emigration and the Colonization Movement, 1817–1830

(p.17) 1 “The Means of Alleviating the Suffering”
Against Wind and Tide

Ousmane K. Power-Greene

NYU Press

This chapter examines the Haitian emigration movement during the period 1817–1830 and its impact on the American Colonization Society (ACS) and African colonization more generally. During the 1820s, more than 8,000 black Americans left the United States and headed for Haiti. The belief that Haiti represented the best of African potential encouraged some free blacks in the North to join Haitian emigration societies as a sign of solidarity, while others emigrated there. This upsurge in pro-emigration sentiment in the black community was primarily in response to the rise of the ACS and its African colonization project. This chapter discusses how several of the most prominent black Americans of the era utilized a transnational network of social reformers to challenge the ACS while endorsing Haitian emigration. It also considers the rhetoric of nationalism used by black leaders as a discourse in which the formation of an African diasporic identity through nation building in Haiti was intertwined with the struggle against white supremacy in America and abroad.

Keywords:   emigration, American Colonization Society, Africa, colonization, United States, Haiti, free blacks, social reformers, nationalism, white supremacy

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