Liberia: An American-African Legacy

Liberia: An American-African Legacy, Azilia Films’ first feature, will illustrate the United States’ profound historical relationship and ongoing association with Liberia through the story of Columbus, Georgia’s 1867-1868 emigration and its present-day relationships.

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Liberia: An American-African Legacy proposes to illustrate the United States’ profound historical association with the West African republic of Liberia through an educational film focusing on Columbus, Georgia’s unique past connections to that country and its present‐day relationships. The film will track the post-Civil War emigration of these African-Americans “back” to Africa, their assimilation into Liberia’s unique American-influenced culture, current connections between Columbus and Liberia, and, through on-location interviews and shooting, introduce present-day Liberian descendants and the difficult conditions they, their families, and all of Liberia have faced and continue to face.

Azilia Films’ inaugural film, this project proposes to create an approximately one-hour documentary that brings this compelling story to life.  Liberia, the African continent’s first republic, was an early nineteenth-century colony created by the United States to re-home free blacks. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Liberia received over 500 emigrants from Columbus, Georgia, and nearby Eufaula, Alabama. Indeed, of all post-Civil War Liberian emigrants, who were drawn from across the United States, the group from the Chattahoochee Valley represented an incredible 12% of all emigrants during this important period. See the list of family names here: Chattahoochee Valley Emigrants to Liberia 1853-1890  More recently, Liberia has struggled through brutal civil war and the well-documented Ebola epidemic.

The proposed program would be based, in part, on project principal Matt McDaniel’s historic research, interviews with Liberian scholars and notable historians, historic imagery, and considerable on-location shooting in Liberia, West Africa. It will also treat Columbus’s present-day relationships with people and institutions in Liberia, portray existing conditions there,  and include interviews with Chattahoochee Valley descendants describing their own lives and their ancestors’ lives in historic and modern-day Liberia. The project’s outcome will be a state-of-the-art, creative, and thought-provoking video documentary outlining the compelling and little-known story of Columbus’s and Georgia’s (and thus the South’s and America’s) fundamental historical and ongoing connection to Liberia.

Veteran principal project staff, including historian and author Matt McDaniel, director of production Hal Pope, historian Jeanne Cyriaque, editor Bob Hovey, cinematographer Dan Quigley, and graphics specialist Dan Odom, will ensure the project’s success.

For more information about this project or to find out how your financial support may be tax deductible contact Azilia Films at 706-225-5170 or

Liberia: An American-African Legacy is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts fractured-atlas-logoservice organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of the CV/L Project must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.