The magical word is called: “Diaspora”, but just what does the word diaspora mean, and where it originated from to be widely used by Liberians and other nationals who lived in a contemporary modern and advanced societies such as the Americas, Great Britain, Canada, Dubai just to mention a few?
Well, this magic term (Diaspora) originated from the Greek word called “diaspora” meaning “a dispersion or scattering” found in the Greek translations in the Hebrew Bible in Deuteronomy Chapter 25. The term can also be referred generally to the “Jews” who were living abroad outside of their homeland, in what is today referred to as the “State of Israel.” Records show that India has the largest diaspora population in the world with about 18 million of its citizens living in other countries, especially the U.S.
Nonetheless, there are hundreds and hundreds of Liberians Living abroad, especially in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East who currently classified themselves as “Liberians Diaspora” simply because everything about them including their native title as Liberians has dramatically changed from being known as that old little popular known village man/woman or simply that Liberia’s home folks to a more superior folk who now lived abroad possibly rocking his/her shoulders with the “Whitman” in many different ways, in many parts of the world, something most Liberians like the rest of Africans who migrated abroad never dream off living side-by-side with White people who once enslaved the black people almost 400-years ago.
But just how did the term “Diaspora” become a popularly used term among Liberians and other non-black people in America, Great Britain, Canada just to name a few.? But it appears that most Liberians now living abroad used the term “Diaspora” loosely to viciously weaponized others and barricade themselves with all kinds of different types of strange lifestyles that have made some to portray themselves as small Gods especially when they returned to home (Liberia) on vacation or holidays. But the term diaspora also with the annoying disbanded transatlantic slaves trade in the 1800s where Liberia yielded a great deal of dividends when slaves returned to possessed the land now called “Liberia” in the later part of the 1800.
What is conspicuously absent from the transatlantic slave trade network is the fact that not a single person or group of persons were ever transported out of the land now called Liberia to the Americas or the Caribbean as potential slaves (this is debatable!!!), but on the contrary, it was rather the rejected slaves from America’s vast slaves’ tobacco and cotton’s plantations who migrated to West Africa especially to the land now called Liberia in search of a homeland for the first time, when they suddenly spotted this vast virgin land now called Liberia. They captured the land under a political slogan: “The Love of Liberty Brought us here”? Love of Liberty?
The then rejected slaves finally settled in the land, they formed their self-styled government in their liking and image. They wrote their constitution and declared their independence as they saw faith on July 26, 1847, and finally named the land “Liberia.” The then self-styled rejected slaves quickly began to systematically domesticate the indigenous and their children, by changing their names and compelling them to reject their traditional cultural value systems in place of their slave plantations value systems they transported from the Americas. The then ex-slaves soon begin known as the proactive “Landlords’ then the indigenous themselves. The then ex-slaves traveled frequently as possible between America and there newly discovered and possessed the land now called Liberia.
On those trips, the then slave may have taken a considerable number of domesticated indigenous servants with them to the Americas as well. Some of the domesticated indigenous who went with their ex-slaves’ masters stayed in America and began having their children and gradually those children begin known as Liberians Diaspora themselves. For such children and their indigenous domesticated parents, who saw America for the first time through the help of their masters, the ex-slaves, those children themselves were overwhelmed with excitement and happiness and anxiety. But both the domesticated indigenous and the ex-slaves who settled in the land now called Liberia viewed Liberia as primarily their traditional mechanized farm-setting and considered America as their home, and Liberia the land they discovered was regarded as their farmland where they came to harvest and took their proceeds to the Americas.
This is how Liberians were factored into the whole Diaspora equation sojourn from the early days. Aside of this, other Liberians began coming to the new world through government scholarships, church conferences, special invitations through a friend or institutions; others struggled to find their ways through the use of their talents/skills, for example, President Weah uses his football gifts/talents to travel abroad, other were singers, entertainers, business people while others came to the U.S. as refugees and asylee seekers.
A vast majority of Liberians left Liberia first, after the 1822 arrival of Joseph Jenkins Roberts and his gang of exploiters, second during the 80s military coup, third, during the late 70s Liberians rice’s riot, and the huge mass exodus of Liberians during the brutal 16-years civil wars that scattered surviving Liberians around the globe, America included as Liberians Diaspora.
The Liberians Diaspora did not only depart Liberia, unceremoniously. Majority of them who currently lived in the US is undergoing a tremendous transformation in their lifestyles; diet styles; a different way of life; a different way of talking; different living condition simply because they lived directly in the Whitman’s land, worked side-by-side with the Whitman, eats the Whitman’s food; drink the Whitman’s water and drive Whitman’s cars and lived in White communities and many more.
It is a privileged opportunity for a Liberian or any black man in America to live side-by-side with any White person needless rocked shoulders with White people, socialized with them in many different ways even though the magical spirit of vicious resentments, acute racism, and segregation still prevailed between White people and black people with Liberians being no exception in the process.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Liberians at home should begin to make accommodation to incorporate “Liberians Diaspora” into the cultural settings of Liberia. The “Liberians Diaspora” should should also welcome the good intentions of Liberians back home. The “Liberians Diaspora” shouldn’t return to Liberia and begin to look down on those they left behind. An opportunity to travel is like a chocolate biscuit, it can break to a place one doesn’t expect it to break, so let the “Liberians Diaspora respect those they left behind and share with them what they have accumulated abroad rather than look down on them when they are on holidays in Liberia.