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Edward Wilmot Blyden

{{circa|1860s}}, London Edward Wilmot Blyden (3 August 1832 – 7 February 1912) was an educator, writer, diplomat, and politician primarily in Liberia. Born in the West Indies, he joined the free black immigrants from the United States who migrated to the region. He taught for five years in the British West African Colony of Sierra Leone in the early 20th century. His writings on pan-Africanism were influential in both colonies. These were founded during the slavery years for the resettlement of free blacks from Great Britain and the United States.

Blyden's writings attracted attention in the sponsoring countries as well. He believed that Zionism was a model for what he called Ethiopianism, and that African Americans could return to Africa and redeem it. He believed political independence to be a prerequisite for economic independence, and argued that Africans must counter the neo-colonial policies of former colonial powers.

Blyden was recognised in his youth for his talents and drive; he was educated and mentored by John Knox, an American Protestant minister in St Thomas, Danish West Indies, who encouraged him to continue his education in the United States. In 1850 Blyden was refused admission to three Northern theological seminaries because of his race. Knox encouraged him to go to Liberia, the colony set up for freedmen by the American Colonization Society; Blyden emigrated that year, in 1850, and made his career and life there. He married into a prominent family and soon started working as a journalist. Provided by Wikipedia