My personal Black History Month… A write-up of my Great-Grandfather… Enjoy.
Momolu Massaquoi (1870-1938)
(A completed manuscript of 95,000 words by Raymond J. Smyke)
Born of a warrior queen on a Liberian battlefield, Momolu Massaquoi was heir to two African royal families and served as the youngest-ever King of the Vai people. In the 1920s Massaquoi became Africa’s first indigenous diplomat serving for a decade in Hamburg, Germany. Popular among Liberians, Massaquoi had the potential to become Liberia’s first tribal African president. Betrayed by his closest friend, he was barred from holding public office and his name expunged from official Liberian history. This exclusion from politics and public memory was part of the suppression of the Liberian indigenous majority by the repatriate minority, and it ultimately led to the 1980 implosion of modern Liberia. Set against this backdrop, “The First African Diplomat” illustrates how Massaquoi bridged the wide gap between traditional African life and the Western-dominated industrialized world. This…
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