African American Officers in Liberia: A Pestiferous Rotation, 1910-1942
African American Officers in Liberia tells the story of seventeen African American officers who trained, reorganized, and commanded the Liberian Frontier Force from 1910 to 1942. In this West African country founded by freed black American slaves, African American officers performed their duties as instruments of imperialism for a country that was, at best, ambivalent about having them serve under arms at home and abroad.
The United States extended its newfound imperial reach and policy of “Dollar Diplomacy” to Liberia, a country it considered a U.S. protectorate. The book explores U.S. foreign policy toward Liberia and the African American diaspora, while detailing the African American military experience in the first half of the twentieth century. It brings to life the story of the African American officers who carried out a dangerous mission in Liberia for an American government that did not treat them as equal citizens in their homeland, and provides recognition for the critical role they played in preserving the independence of Liberia.