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
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