By Marion Berghahn (auth.)
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Additional resources for Images of Africa in Black American Literature
It was this point which did so much to alienate MroAmericans from Africa. 32 Others not only reproached their ancestors for their deeds but were also ashamed of the fact of slavery as such : l have no pride of ancestry to point back to. Our forefathers did not come here as did the Pilgrim fathers in search of a place where they could enjoy civil and religious liberty. 33 42 (b) Images of Africa in Black American Literature AFRICA- THE LAND OF HOPE Yet if there was a group of Mro-Americans who rejected emigration or showed no interest in Mrica because they thought they could achieve their political, economic and 'cultural' ascendancy only inside North America, there were others who supported colonisation ventures.
His preparedness to conform went so far as to make him prefer slavery to freedom- except for certain reservations which he had with regard to the younger generation of Negroes : 34 Images of Africa in Black American Literature Now I acknowledge that liberty is a great thing, and worth seeking for, if we can get it honestly; and by our good conduct prevail on our masters to set us free : though for my own part I do not wish to be free; . . for many of us who are grown-up slaves, and have always had masters to take care of us, should hardly know to take care of themselves; and it may be for our own comfort to remain as we are.
We are not going to Africa. We have no more claim on Mrica than has [the white American]; that country belongs to the Africans and not to us. ' America was said to be the 'native land'; Mrica, on the other hand, was a 'strange land'. This, at any rate, is how another black letter-writer expressed his feelings about the subject. 24 Many middle-class blacks based their rejection of Mrica on more precise notions of Mrica, however. As was common in the nineteenth century, they looked at Mrica through the eyes of Western civilisation by which they had been so profoundly influenced.