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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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“They Would Dearly Learn What It Was to Fight White Men”

“They Would Dearly Learn What It Was to Fight White Men”

Whitening through Violence in Liberia

(p.153) 4 “They Would Dearly Learn What It Was to Fight White Men”
Atlantic Passages

Robert Murray

University Press of Florida

Chapter 4 explores the multifaceted violence that rocked Liberia, characterizing day-to-day life in intimate settings as well as larger conflicts. Liberia continually expanded its influence and territory along the coast and into the interior of the continent. The settlers quickly utilized their oft-violent interactions with Africans to establish their cultural separation from Africans and celebrated their victories as evidence of their power and control over African barbarity. The threat of barbaric neighbors also papered over the many divisions within Liberian society. In addition, such violent excursions to expand “civilization” provided martial glory to the settlers and their cause. The violence likewise reinforced colonization’s masculine projection as settlers heroically defended their outpost of “civilization” against aggressive heathenism.

Keywords:   violence, Liberia, civilization, settlers, masculine, Africans

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