Read Around the World June 2022 – Liberia
What did we learn on our visit to Liberia?
Fun facts from this website: 25 interesting facts about Liberia – The Facts Institute
- Liberia is the only Black state in Africa never subjected to colonial rule.
- Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic, established on land acquired for freed US slaves by the American Colonization Society in 1821.
- Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the first woman to be elected head of state of an African country. She was Liberia’s president from 2006 to 2018.
- Liberia’s name comes from the Latin word “liber” meaning “free” as the country was created as a homeland for liberated African-American slaves.
- The country’s capital city, Monrovia, was named after James Monroe, the fifth president of the USA and supporter of the colonisation of Liberia by freed slaves.
- Liberia’s flag is modelled on the USA’s. A single star symbolises Liberia’s status as the only independent Western-style state in Africa. The 11 stripes represent the number of men who signed the Liberian Declaration of Independence.
- Former professional footballer George Weah became Liberia’s president in 2018. Weah played for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea before entering politics in 2002.
- The endangered pygmy hippopotamus, or pygmy hippo, can be found in Sapo National Park. Liberians call it a “water cow”.
- Liberia is emerging as one of Africa’s leading surf destinations. The fishing village of Robertsport, with beautiful beaches and excellent waves, is at the centre of the developing surfing community.
- The world’s largest rubber plantation is located in Liberia. The Firestone Rubber Plantation, a subsidiary of tyre-maker Bridgestone, has operated in Liberia since 1926.
- Liberia is one of only three countries that doesn’t use the metric system of measurement. The other two are Myanmar and the USA.
I chose to visit Liberia via The Dragons, The Giant, The Women by Wayetu Moore – This biography follows Wayetu and her family as they attempt to escape the first Liberian Civil War. Their peaceful family life is torn apart when the rebels arrive and they are forced to flee for their lives.
After their escape from Liberia the family have to adjust to a new life in New York and particularly the attitudes of others towards black people and how being a black immigrant from Liberia is a different experience to being an African American.
I loved the descriptions of Liberia and the people there is a real sense of community throughout the book and it was lovely to see the good side of human beings even in the worst situations.
This is a time, a place and a conflict I knew nothing about and I am glad that I read this book for the personal insight into life for families impacted by this conflict.
Other readers visited in the following ways:
Currey from Litsy – The House at Sugar Beach by Helen Cooper and The Lazarus Effect by HJ Golakai both rated Pick
Did you join us on this trip? Let us know what you read.
In July we are off to China and this time I am fully prepared with 3 options from various Amazon World Book Day offers I hope to read all 3 but we will see.
What are your reading plans for China?
I’ve been trying to read Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene. I love his fiction, but this nonfiction book is a real slog. I may not get through it, but I’m also okay with that. China should present a number of possibilities.