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WE ARE LIBERIA!

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We travel through the passageways of time

We are the first African Republic, among nation-states
We were here even before 1847, 1822 or 1821
We are Liberia!

We were, before the Dutch arrived; we were at home
We received the British and the Portuguese; we were here
We welcomed the American Colonization Society, with our returnees
We are Liberia!

We trekked from the Mali Empire, North, Central, and West Africa
We moved from Timbuktu; Mombasa and Lourenço Marques in the East
We were repatriated by the Americans from servitude in search of freedom
We are Liberia!

We came as Kingdoms fell and stateless societies collapsed
We came as refugees; we came fleeing persecution
We came out of slavery to the land of liberty
We are Liberia!

We greeted the slave trader; we left with him in chain and shackles
We were met here; as “stranger fathers,” we were treated differently
We are brothers and sisters; we are one people—Africans, Blacks, Negroes
We are Liberia!

We are at home nowhere in the world, other than here
We were sojourners elsewhere in Africa
We were inhabitants, but never citizens of the lands of bondage
We are Liberia!

We were of an unknown name, then without a Western name
We became the Grain Coast, or was it the Pepper Coast
We were a colony, a Commonwealth; a great nation, we are destined to be
We are Liberia!

We are Christians, Muslims, Traditionalists, and yet of other beliefs
We are Bassa, Belle, Dei, Fanti, Fula, Gbandi, Gbi, Gio, Gola, Grebo, Kpelle, Kissi,
Krahn, Kru, Lorma, Mandingo, Mano, Mende, Sapo, Vai; Countryman—a misnomer
We are Liberia!

We are without a tribe—Popos, Congors, Repatriates, Ex-slaves,
Americo-Liberian—a misnomer; slaves, three-fifths of a man, never Americans
We came home long after 1847; we are no less part of our national heritage
We are Liberia!

We are tall, we are short; we are fat, we are slim; we are able, we are disable
We are less brown than some, browner than others; wealthy, but poor
We are lettered, we are unlettered; we were fighters, we were victims, we are diverse
We are Liberia!

We are educated in Western ways or Eastern style
We have excelled in the ethos of the Poro or the Sande
We must now embrace the collective wisdom for nation building
We are Liberia!

We have not always been on the receiving end, an object of benevolence
We have given much, even at times when we needed most
We led the fight against apartheid; freedom fighters, we supported
We are Liberia!

We were, when it mattered; we made a difference; we can do it again
We blew the ‘Wind of Change’ across Africa, dismantling colonialism
We were a significant ally during the two great Wars, even the Cold War
We are Liberia!

We are a forgiving people; we will Reconcile
We will Reform our ways, Recover our ancient values, Rebuild our society
We will rekindle our Liberian values, for which we were Lux in Tenebris
We are Liberia!

We must take hold of the time and season, as ours; let’s build up, not tear down
We will stand as one people, or fail as divided ethnic or religious groups
We, nevertheless, hold this as true: “Together, We Can Do Better”
We are Liberia!

______________________________
A National Prose by Charles W. Brumskine, Political Leader, Liberty Party, in celebration of Liberia’s 169th Independence Anniversary.

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