This book describes the advocacy and struggles of Francis W. M. Morais (1866-1964), Ph.D., D.Lit. Between 1927 and 1935, Dr. Morais worked tirelessly to put an end to slavery, forced labor, and ethnic discrimination in Liberia. Liberia was founded as a safe haven for freed people of color in the early 1800s. Morais’ fight for human rights for Liberia’s indigenous population compelled him to travel to Geneva to make the case to the League of Nations. The Liberian Government did all within its power to prevent his travel to Europe, but he persevered. For over a year, he was marooned between Geneva and London without funds. Rescued through financial assistance from those who believed in his fight, Morais returned home to a short-lived hero’s welcome. Within hours, he was arrested without writ and sent to Bella Yallah prison for fifteen years. He was released after six months and tried for treason.
Plot: This book paints an accurate and thorough picture of a period in Liberian history. It is fascinating to read, and the authors' research lends credibility to book.
Prose: At times the book feels like a university lecture, while at others the language veers from very formal to colloquial, making for a jarring reading experience. Sometimes the pacing drags a bit, but overall the prose is solid.
Originality: This is an original work about a fascinating man—and an engaging period of Liberian history—with whom most readers will be unfamiliar.
Character Development: The authors present a clear picture of Dr. Morais, his struggles, and the world he inhabited.
Date Submitted: August 17, 2017