More Auspicious Shores: Barbadian Migration to Liberia, Blackness, and the Making of an African Republic begins with the evocative line, “Liberia was not prepared to accommodate the fullness of blackness” (1). Although Liberia began in 1822 as a colony established by the American Colonization Society (ACS) as a receptacle for African Americans to settle in Africa, Caree A. Banton's story begins after its independence in 1847 with the arrival of 346 Barbadian migrants in 1865. For Banton, this West Indian migration to a nation dominated by Americans allows for a probing examination of pan-Africanism, Blackness, and nation-building and empire.

Banton's seven chapters are divided into three parts. The first three chapters—Part I—focuses on the post-emancipation Caribbean and the Afro-Barbadians who would be drawn to Liberia. Chapter 1 establishes the Barbadian migrants’ hopes for a Barbados without slavery. Many of the migrants were freeborn and constituted the island's Black “middle class”;...

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