For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Slaves to Racism
An Unbroken Chain from America to Liberia
  • Benjamin and Anita Dennis
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Slaves to Racism . An Unbroken Chain from America to  Liberia
Sound Bite
American racism traps Blacks — even in Africa. Prof. Dennis chronicles the compulsive and repetitious nature of racism and its destructive effects on peoples and societies, Dr. Dennis’s observations of the twists of irony and misplaced pride on all sides will provoke a wry smile a well as dismay.

During the 1990s, Liberia descended into civil war and anarchy. African-Liberian rebel groups roamed the countryside randomly killing as they vied for power. Doe was killed by a segment of these rebel groups and warlord Charles Taylor eventually became president in 1997. In 2003, Taylor was deposed by rebel groups and is now on trial at The Hague for war crimes. Despite Ellen Johnson-SirleafÂ’s democratic election in 2005, Liberia remains in ruins as a classic failed state in Africa. The obvious question is: Why did the Negro experiment planted in Africa in 1822 fail so miserably?

A true African-American, Dr. Dennis writes from a broad historical and social perspective having lived in an African tribe, as a "Negro" in the 1950s and since the Civil Rights Movement as a "black man in America," having moved in international diplomatic circles and having worked as a member of the American academic elite.


About the Author

A professor of sociology and anthropology, Dr. Dennis is conversant with the dominant and the subordinate groups in both Liberia and the United States.
 
As the son of a Liberian diplomat, Prof. Dennis spent his school years at the Liberian consulate in Berlin and was accepted among white boys of his age. He spent his summers in Liberia — both in Monrovia and in his father’s Mende village of Vahun and his mother’s Gbande village of Somalahun. Dr. Dennis went on to earn a double PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from Michigan State University in 1963. This varied exposure gave him a cosmopolitan worldview that, along with his education, enables him to analyze the highly-charged issues of racism, discrimination and hypocrisy with humor, grace and understanding.

A hereditary chief of the Mende tribe, Dr. Dennis has resided in the United States since 1950, where he has mixed in black communities and white communities. His wife Anita K. Dennis has a BA in Sociology with a minor in anthropology and has been accepted into her husband’s Mende tribe. She was instrumental in enabling Dr. Dennis to complete this work.

About the Book

Slaves to Racism is a unique cross-racial, cross cultural approach to racism from an insider/outsider viewpoint.

Using numerous personal stories from the 1950s to today, from...

Slaves to Racism is a unique cross-racial, cross cultural approach to racism from an insider/outsider viewpoint.

Using numerous personal stories from the 1950s to today, from the American South and Midwest to Western Africa, the author displays the compulsive and repetitive nature of racism, its effect on both participant and victim, and how American prejudice and discrimination migrated to Africa with the creation of Liberia.

The author is a marginal man who belongs to all of the groups involved. As an insider, he was privy to confidential racial and cultural viewpoints. As an outsider, his academic training allowed him to apply the principles of sociology and anthropology to what he observed. Although the book is based on academic theory, it is written in an engaging and understandable way that appeals to a mass audience.

Through a variety of anecdotes and vignettes illustrating the persistence of ignorance among people who really know better, the reader will gain insights into the nature of racism and perhaps himself, as well, as he sees his own racial and cultural attitudes displayed.

This account of the social and cultural forces that destroyed Liberia is based on social psychology — how people think and act as a group. In every society and nation, while every individual may not exactly fit the mold, there are cultural similarities that lead to groupthink — an essential element of national character.


More . . .

Liberia was doomed from the start. The sins of the master were inevitably passed on to the slave. Since it implied status, the Americo-Liberians blindly followed the worst of whites. Hypocrisy made them what they imputed to the natives. While they rejected the best of African culture, they could only display the trappings of Western culture. Image was all important. But that’s all it was — image. With only a “taste” of Western culture, they imagined the white way...

Liberia was doomed from the start. The sins of the master were inevitably passed on to the slave. Since it implied status, the Americo-Liberians blindly followed the worst of whites. Hypocrisy made them what they imputed to the natives. While they rejected the best of African culture, they could only display the trappings of Western culture. Image was all important. But that’s all it was — image. With only a “taste” of Western culture, they imagined the white way without truly understanding it, which made Liberia a caricature of Southern society.


Reviews
Book News | More »
The News-Press, Fort Myers. FL | More »
Florida Weekly/Fort Myers | More »
0African Studies Review | More »
Lincoln Journal of Social and Political Thought, Vol. 6 No. 2, Spring 2009 | More »
Liberian Studies Journal | More »

Pages 264
Year: 2008
LC Classification: DT630.D46 2008
Dewey code: 305.80096662--dc22
BISAC: SOC001000 SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
BISAC: SOC031000 SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
BISAC: CULTURAL HERITAGE / African-American, BIO002000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-657-4
Price: USD 23.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-658-1
Price: USD 33.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-659-8
Price: USD 23.95
Available from

Search the full text of this book
Related Books
• Darkest Europe and Africa's Nightmare —   A Critical Observation of Neighboring Continents
• Race and Redistricting in the 1990s —   (Vol. 5 in the Agathon series on representation)
• Race to the Frontier —   White Flight and Westward Expansion