Roberts's Birthday

(redirected from Joseph Jenkins Roberts's Birthday)

Roberts's (Joseph Jenkins) Birthday

March 15
Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809–1876), Liberia's first and seventh president, led the movement for an independent Liberia, established in 1848. Along with being a celebration of the forefather's birth, this day (also known as J. J. Roberts Day ) is an occasion to pay homage to Liberia's historical role as Africa's oldest republic.
Born a free man in Norfolk, Virginia, Roberts moved to Liberia, which was originally a colony, in 1829, part of a group of former slaves and slave descendants organized by the American Colonization Society. As lieutenant-governor and then governor of the colony, Roberts led Liberia through its transition into a sovereign republic.
In many respects, Roberts's birthday stands apart from other holidays that recognize Liberian notables because he was a member of the established Americo-Liberian elite, a group historically criticized for wielding control over the country's indigenous population for more than a century.
CONTACTS:
Liberia Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT)
110 United Nations Dr.
P.O. Box 10-9021
Capitol Hill, 1000
Monrovia, Liberia
www.micat.gov.lr
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 44