Today, July 26th, 2013 is Liberia’s 166 Independence Day celebration…
On this momentous day, in 1847, when Africans in America were still experiencing bondage under the dehumanizing yoke of slavery, where they were considered no more than chattel properties, Liberia was born as a nation to serve as a beacon of hope for people of African descent everywhere.
Founded by former slaves from America who had repatriated to the West Coast of Africa, it was surely not lost upon the founders of Liberia that an independent African nation would serve in no small way to affirm the humanity of peoples of African descent and at the same, send an unambiguous message that they had an inalienable right to determine their own destiny.
Liberia’s independence also served as an inspiration to other oppressed people of African descent around the world to continue their struggle to throw off the yoke of oppression that they too may one day live as free men and women in a world where they could also exercise their inalienable suffrage.
But, under a succession of autocratic leaders, Liberia has faltered in living up to the promise of its conception. And today, after 14 years of a bloody civil war, Liberia is still struggling to piece together the fabric of its nationhood and live up to its promise.
So on this 166th year of Liberia’s independence, in the words of Liberia’s national hymn, may Africa’s oldest republic continue to forge ahead to realize its “noble destiny”!