Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Subject:
Arts and Humanities, Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration, Homework/Assignment, Reading
Level:
Middle School, High School
Tags:
Edward Wilmot Blyden, Pan-African, Virgin Islands History, edward-wilmot-blyden, pan-african, virgin-islands-history
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Graphics/Photos

Education Standards

Edward Wilmot Blyden Observance on August

Edward Wilmot Blyden Observance on August

Overview

Edward Wilmot Blyden (3 August 1832 – 7 February 1912) was a Liberian educator, author, diplomat, and politician who worked mostly in Liberia. He also spent five years teaching in Sierra Leone, and his writings had an impact in both countries.


Blyden was born on 3 August 1832 in St Thomas, Danish West Indies (now known as the United States Virgin Islands) to Free Black parents from the Igbo tribe of modern-day Nigeria.


Blyden edited the Liberia Herald from 1855 to 1856 and penned the editorial "A Voice From Bleeding Africa."

He also spent time in other British colonies in West Africa, most notably Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where he wrote for both colonies' early newspapers.


Additionally, he worked as an editor at The Negro and The African World. He maintained contacts with the American Colonization Society and contributed articles to their journals, African Depository and Colonial Journal.


Blyden served as Liberia's ambassador to the United Kingdom and France as a diplomat. Blyden was named Liberia's Secretary of State as a young man (1862–64). He then served as Minister of the Interior from 1880 until 1882. Blyden is often considered the "founder of Pan-Africanism" as a writer. His magnum opus, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race (1887), argued that Islam was a more unifying and meaningful religion for Africans than Christianity.

Edward Wilmot Blyden Virgin Islander and "Father of Pan-Africanism"

Edward Wilmot Blyden (3 August 1832 – 7 February 1912) was a Liberian educator, author, diplomat, and politician who worked mostly in Liberia. Blyden also spent five years teaching in Sierra Leone, and his writings had an impact in both countries.

Blyden was born on 3 August 1832 in St Thomas, Danish West Indies (now known as the United States Virgin Islands) to Free Black parents from the Igbo tribe of modern-day Nigeria.


Later on, in his life, Blyden edited the Liberia Herald from 1855 to 1856 and penned the editorial "A Voice From Bleeding Africa." He also spent time in other British colonies in West Africa, most notably Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where he wrote for both colony' early newspapers. Additionally, he worked as an editor at The Negro and The African World. He maintained contacts with the American Colonization Society and contributed articles to their journals, African Depository and Colonial Journal. Blyden was appointed professor of Greek and Latin at Liberia College in 1861 and became president of the college within twenty years.


Blyden served as Liberia's ambassador to the United Kingdom and France as a diplomat. He also traveled to the United States, where he lectured about his work in Africa to prominent black congregations.
Blyden thought that returning to Africa and assisting in its development would alleviate Black Americans' suffering from racial prejudice. African Americans who did not identify with Africa chastised him.


Blyden was named Liberia's Secretary of State as a young man (1862–64). He then served as Minister of the Interior from 1880 until 1882. Blyden is often considered the "founder of Pan-Africanism" as a writer. His magnum opus, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race (1887), argued that Islam was a more unifying and meaningful religion for Africans than Christianity.