Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Africans in America

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Lamine Kebe

Information About Going to Liberia: Things Which Every Emigrant Ought to Know. . ., title page Washington: American Colonization Society, 1848. (Library of Congress.)

Lamine Kebe (1785?-1835?) was born in the late eighteenth century to a prominent family in what is now considered Mali. Kebe was a teacher in Africa and had a family of his own, but was captured while traveling to buy paper and subsequently sold into slavery. Little is known of the time he spent as a slave in the United States during the early part of the nineteenth century, but by 1834 he had been freed and had made his way to New York City. There, he associated himself with the American Colonization Society, a controversial group whose mission it was to send emancipated blacks back to Africa, far from their still-enslaved relatives. Though a devout Muslim, Kebe claimed that he desired to become a Christian missionary in Africa and was able to garner the support necessary to give him passage back to Africa, specifically Liberia.

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