Tolsons “Libretto for the Republic of Liberia”

One quote that I believed was helpful in understanding Afrofuturism was when Tolson wrote “Before Liberia was, Songhai was: before America set the raw foundling on Africa’s Doorstep, before the Genoese diced west, Burnt warriors and watermen of Songhai Tore into Bizarreries the uniforms of Portugal And sewed an imperial quilt of tribes.”. This quote displays to me how devastating the colonization of Africa was to its people. I had to look up what Genoese meant to discover that these were the wealthy Italians who were also rolling into Africa with imperialistic ideals. This portrays the everlasting effect that westerners have on African American culture, and having the ability to understand that is what helps others learn how to improve relations and heal tensions with them. 

One quote that I struggled to understand in the poem was not necessarily one quote but rather an entire page of repetition in the poem. On lines 641 through 710, there is a repetition of words at the beginning of each stanza. It starts off by Tolson writing about all of the wrong doing the United Nations had done, however following that he goes on to talk about “The Bula Matadi” and the “Le Premiere des Noirs” which I had no clue what those two things were. After a lot of research I many different things about “The Bula Matadi” however nothing to determine exactly what it was. Most of what I had read relates to a seaport in the Congo. After researching “Le Premiere des Noirs” almost everything I discovered was related to Toussaint L’ouverture whom I was familiar with from my social studies classes in the past. One of the great leaders of the Haitian revolution.

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