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Atlantic PassagesRace, Mobility, and Liberian Colonization$
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Robert Murray

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066752

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066752.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

“All Those Things Desirable for a Map to Show”

“All Those Things Desirable for a Map to Show”

Space, Cartography, and Control in Colonial Liberia

Chapter:
(p.75) 2 “All Those Things Desirable for a Map to Show”
Source:
Atlantic Passages
Author(s):

Robert Murray

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066752.003.0003

Chapter 2 examines the geographic and spatial logic that undergirded colonization. By occupying the “civilizing” space of Liberia, degraded American blackness was transformed into exotic, and “civilized,” whiteness. One of the keys to this transformation was to project Liberia as a tiny United States in which Americo-Liberians served as masters of their own “civilized” space. Critical to the perception of “civilized” white settlers and degraded black Africans was the requirement that “heathen” Africans be separate and beyond the limits of “civilization,” so as to not taint the space with their barbarity, while simultaneously projecting control over the black bodies of the African inhabitants. Cartography and maps of Liberia proved useful tools in this complex dance of establishing separation and togetherness, distance and control, simultaneously.

Keywords:   cartography, colonization, whiteness, space, civilization, Liberia

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