Author Archives: Dr. Fred P.M. van der Kraaij

‘Choosing The Hero – My improbable journey and the rise of Africa’s first woman president’ by K. Riva Levinson

There’s no doubt about it. Karen Riva Levinson’s ‘Choosing The Hero’ is an interesting book. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in Liberia’s contemporary history. It will also be very useful for students in … Continue reading

Posted in 1847, 2005 presidential elections, 2017 presidential elections, Abdoulye Dukule, Adolphus Dolo, Africa's longest serving president, Amara Konneh, Americo-Liberians, Amos Sawyer, Angola, Antoinette Sayeh, BKSH & Associates, Blaise Compaore, BMS&K, Byron Tarr, Capitol Hill, Charles Gyude Bryant, Charles Taylor, Choosing the Hero, Civil War(s) Liberia, Congo Kinshasa, Conmany Wesseh, Corruption, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Dos Santos, DRC, Edwin Snowe, elections, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gaddafi, General Peanut Butter, George Weah, Henry Fahnbulleh, Herman Cohen, Iraq, Iron Lady, James Fromoyan, Jewel Howard Taylor, José dos Santos, Justice, K.Riva Levinson, KRL International LLC, Langley Virginia, Laurent Kabila, Liberia, Libya, lobbying fiirms, lobbying firm, Manafort, Monrovia, Mozambique, National reconciliation, nepotism, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Nobel Peace Prize, oil, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Prince Y. Johnson, Reconciliation, Riva Levinson, Rwanda, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Second civil war 1999-2003, Siad Barre, Somalia, Sudan, Teodoro Nguema, This Child Will Be Great, Tipoteh, UNDP, United States, United States of America, University of Liberia, USA, Washington DC, Winston Tubman | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on Liberia’s 169th independence anniversary

Liberia: “Happy July 26!” Some Liberians – both abroad and at home – say there is little to celebrate. Others, both inside and outside the country, say Liberia has made true progress under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006 – present). … Continue reading

Posted in 2016, 2017 presidential elections, African Studies Centre Leiden, American Colonization Society, Americo-Liberians, Anthony Gardiner, April 12 1980, Charles Taylor, Christy Report, Civil War(s) Liberia, Economic development, EJ Roye, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Flag Day, Forced Labour Scandal, Galinhas, Harper, Human Rights, Independence Day, Ivory Coast, JJ Roberts, Liberia, Liberia Colony, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Liberian Diaspora, Liberian Economy, Liberian History, Maryland in Africa, Monrovia, National flag, National Motto, National reconciliation, National Seal, National Symbols, National unification, natural resources, Nobel Peace Prize, Nuremberg, peace, President Charles King, President Charles King resignation, racism, Reconciliation, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Scramble for Africa, Second World War, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Special Court, Slavery Scandal, Tipoteh, UNMIL, WASP, William Coleman, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

‘Liberia: From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost’ – Now available in Monrovia!

The next 18 months will be crucial for Liberia. What do we know about Liberia?   UNMIL, the UN-peacekeeping force will virtually pull out by June 30, only two more months to go … Liberians inside and outside the country … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 presidential elections, African Studies Centre Leiden, Alhaji Kromah, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Corruption, diamonds, Ebola, education, elections, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ERA supermarket, Exclusive supermarket, Executive Mansion, FDI, forestry, George Boley, gold, health, infrastructure, iron ore, Justice, Liberia, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Liberian Economy, Liberian History, Monrovia, natural resources, oil, oil palm plantation, peace, Prince Y. Johnson, Reconciliation, Royal Hotel, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Stop & Shop supermarket, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), UN Drive supermarket, University of Liberia, UNMIL, Vice President Allen Yancy, William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

The mystery of the Kru or Grebo rings – an important discovery

Recently, the American expert and collector of nitien – Kru or Grebo rings – Mark Clayton contacted me after having read my 2014 postings on these ritual objects. His comments warranted an update and correction of my postings dated April … Continue reading

Posted in George Schwab, Grebo, Grebo rings, Harvard University, Kru, Kru money, Kru rings, Liberia, Liberian Hinterland, Liberian History, Mark Clayton, nitien, Peabody Museum, Scott Shepperd | Leave a comment

‘Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief’ by Anita K. Dennis

Anita Katherine Dennis has written an amazing book. It’s a real pageturner. It’s an autobiography, a biography, a love story, a religious testimony, and it’s about Liberia. It’s the uncredible story of a young, white, American sophomore student who grew … Continue reading

Posted in 1980 execution South Beach Monrovia, Afro-Americans, Americo-Liberians, Anita Dennis, Baindu, Ben Dennis, Beyond Myself, Brooks family, C.C. Dennis MFA, C.C.Dennis Sr, Cooper family, Dennis family, DeShield family, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Gbande, Henries family, Liberia, Liberian Age, Liberian Hinterland, Liberian History, Lofa County, Mende, Monrovia, Ohio State, Ohio University, racism, Tipoteh, Tolbert family, True Whig Party TWP, Vahun, William R. Tolbert Jr., William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

Liberia’s national symbols (cont’d)

On May 31, I raised the question ‘Liberia’s national symbols – what happened to the national debate?’. Now, a month later, I must confess that I am inclined to answer this question with the tentative conclusion: ‘Liberians are not interested’. … Continue reading

Posted in Abeodu Bowen Jones, Americo-Liberians, Ashmun, Bassa Cove, Buchanan, Decoration Day, Elwood Dunn, Flag Day, Independence Day, Independence Day Orator, James Monroe, JJ Roberts Day, Liberia, Liberia Colony, Liberian History, Liberian Studies Journal, Maryland in Africa, Matilda Newport, Matilda Newport Day, Mechlin, Mississippi in Africa, Monrovia, National Anthem, National flag, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, New Georgia, Pioneer's Day, Randall, Sakui W.G. Malakpa, Svend Holsoe, Tipoteh, Virginia, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

Liberia’s national symbols – What happened to the national debate?

Dr. Elwood Dunn was the 2012 National Independence Day Orator and challenged the government and people of Liberia to rethink and debate the appropriateness of the national symbols, notably the nation’s seal, motto and flag. As we all know, the … Continue reading

Posted in Americo-Liberians, Civil War(s) Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, Governance Commission, Independence Day Orator, JJ Roberts, Liberian History, National flag, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, Pepper Coast, Tipoteh, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), Vision 2030 | Leave a comment

Annual Message on the State of the Republic – Jan. 26, 2015

ANNUAL MESSAGE ON THE STATE OF THE REPUBLIC To the Fourth Session of the 53rd National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia, Consolidating For Continuity By: Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President of the Republic of Liberia (As Delivered) Mr. … Continue reading

Posted in . Jabaru Carlon, 2015 Annual Message, agriculture, Amos Sawyer, Ban Ki-Moon, Benin, Bismarck Kuyon, Charles Gyude Bryant, civil society organizations, Corruption, diamonds, Ebola, ECOWAS, education, elections, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, FDI, forestry, gender, Ghana, girls, gold, Goodluck Jonathan, governance, Governance Commission, Guinea Conakry, health, Health Sector, human resources, Human Rights, IGNU, infrastructure, iron ore, Jim Yong Kim, Liberia, Liberia Education, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberian Economy, Liberianization, Mali, Margaret Chan, Mount Coffee Hydroelectric plant, natural resources, Niger, Nigeria, Nkosanzana Dlamini Zuma, NOCAL, Official Development Assistance (ODA), oil, Palava Hut, peace, press freedom, public debt, public expenditures, public revenues, public sector, Public Sector Investment Plan (PSIP), Reconciliation, rubber, Sierra Leone, UNMEER, UNMIL, Vision 2030, Willis D. Knuckles -, youth | Leave a comment

Ebola in Liberia: More than a Health Crisis

It all started with two Ebola cases in Foya, Lofa County. It was on March 17 of this year that the Ebola virus entered Liberia from Guinea. The reaction of the government of Liberia on the arrival of the virus was … Continue reading

Posted in 2013/2014 National Budget, Amos Sawyer, April 12 1980, Corruption, curfew, Debt relief, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Doctors without Borders, Ebola, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, FDI, Foya, Governance Commission, Guinea Conakry, Health Sector, Liberia, Liberian Diaspora, Liberian Economy, Lofa County, Médicins sans Frontières (MSF), Monrovia, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Shacki Kamara, Sierra Leone, State of Emergency, Sudan, Uganda, United Nations (UN), US - Africa Leaders Summit, West Point, Westpoint | Leave a comment

Paul Julien in Liberia in 1932 – Part II

Today starts in the National Museum in Monrovia an exhibition portraying  Paul Julien and his work. Paul Julien was a Dutch photographer and amateur-anthropologist, who travelled in the interior of Liberia in 1932. He wrote many books on his travels in … Continue reading

Posted in Alhaji Kromah, Americo-Liberians, Andrea Stultiens, Barclay, Campfires along the equator, Christy Report, Daily Observer, Dutch Eyes, Firestone, Hendruk Muller, Kampvuren langs de evenaar, Kenneth Best, Kru, League of Nations, Leopard men, Liberia, Liberian History, Monrovia, Moratorium Act, National Museum Monrovia, Netherlands Foto Museum Rotterdam, OAC, Oost Afrikaansche Compagnie, Ordinary Liberians, Paul Julien, Poro Society, President Charles King, President Charles King resignation, President Edwin Barclay, Ritual Killings, Sasstown, Slavery Scandal, Vice President Allen Yancy, Vice President Allen Yancy resignation | Leave a comment