Edward Wilmot Blyden
Liberian politicianDied when: 79 years 188 days (954 months)
Star Sign: Leo
Edward Wilmot Blyden (3 August 1832 – 7 February 1912) was a Liberian educator, writer, diplomat, and politician who was primarily active in West Africa.
Born in the Danish West Indies, he joined the waves of black immigrants from the Americas who migrated to the country.
Blyden became a teacher for five years in the British West African colony of Sierra Leone in the early twentieth century.
His writings on pan-Africanism became influential throughout West Africa, attracting attention in countries such as the United States as well.
He believed that Zionism was a model for what he termed Ethiopianism, and that African Americans could return to Africa and help in the rebuilding of the continent.
Blyden was recognised in his youth for his talents and drive; he was educated and mentored by John Knox, an American Protestant minister in Sankt Thomas 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, a colony set up for free people of color by the American Colonization Society.
Blyden emigrated in 1850 and made his career and life there.He married into a prominent family and soon started working as a journalist.
Blyden's ideas remain influential to this day.