Genesys Santana, '12

Student

Genesys Santana, '12

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Cohort

2012

Biography

Genesys Santana is from Orlando, Florida. She is currently majoring in History and Social Science Education, with a minor in African American Studies. Her research interests include examining the effects of double consciousness on the development of African identities throughout the Diaspora, particularly Americo-Liberians. After graduating with a B.A, Genesys plans to earn her PhD in History.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Fon Gordon

Undergraduate Major

History

Summer Research

A Case of Double Consciousness: Americo-Liberian and Indigenous Liberian Relations 1840-1920 Conducted at The Ohio State University as part of the Summer Research Opportunities Program Mentor: Dr. Ousman Kobo, History Department, The Ohio State University Abstract: This study argues that the formation of Americo-Liberian identity overwhelmingly relied on White American middle class cultural values despite the founders’ criticisms and rejection of racial oppression and slavery. Americo-Liberians’ previous participation in a hegemonic culture that downgraded African heritage fostered the internalization of Western notions of civilization and African inferiority. In Liberia, Americo-Liberians established an oppressive regime that reified the hegemonic and oppressive structures they had escaped from. In fact Americo-Liberians enslaved the indigenous population, whom they considered “uncivilized.” The study thus investigates how formerly oppressed and enslaved blacks became oppressors and enslavers of West Africans in the name of a “civilizing mission.” The relationship that developed between Americo-Liberians and indigenous Liberians provides a case study to explore the impact of White supremacy ideology on enslaved Africans and racial uplift discourse. Building on contributions of social theory and conflict theory my analysis of Americo-Liberians demonstrates how social class and ideology interacted to produce socio-economic developments that led to the Liberian Civil War. This study covers the founding of Liberia as a republic during the 1840’s through the League of Nation’s intervention in 1928. It is during this time period that Americo-Liberians fostered an exploitive and colonizing relationship with the indigenous Liberian population. Previous academic studies regarding Liberia engages in descriptive analysis this study is the first to employ the theoretical framework of double-consciousness to further illuminate the ambivalent positions of the Americo-Liberians vis-à-vis indigenous Liberians.

Summer Research Institution

Ohio State University

Graduate School

New York University (Ph.D.)

Disciplines

History

Genesys Santana, '12

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