Speaking “American” in the Long 1960s: Race and Power in Liberians’ and Americans’ Relations

Kellogg Institute Graduate Research Grants
Grant Year

How did race, class, and indigeneity intersect with and complicate the relationships between Liberia and the U.S. and their respective citizens? With a capacious construction of Liberia-U.S. relations that encompasses cultural, corporate, philanthropic, and diplomatic engagement, I will delve into temporally overlapping chapters exploring Liberians’ and Americans’ interactions in the 1960s. This transnational analysis will contribute to scholarly conversations on human development, nongovernmentality and democracy in West Africa, and the global sixties. Liberia also constitutes a key site for analyzing both U.S. imperialism, and Diasporic ties amidst widespread African independence. With support from Kellogg, I will conduct ten to fifteen semi-structured oral history in and near Monrovia. I will concurrently broaden my research networks and continue learning Liberian history and research methods through externally-funded coursework and Kpelle language study.