A Black Republic: Citizenship and naturalisation requirements in Liberia


  • Bernadette Ludwig Wagner College




Race, Citizenship, Liberia, Lebanese, Exclusion


In 1822 Liberia was founded as a place where free(d) enslaved African Americans could find freedom and liberty. While many of them did, the indigenous African population was, for a long time, excluded from citizenry despite fulfilling one of the essential criteria to be eligible for Liberians citizenship: Being Black. This prerequisite remains part of Liberian law today, rendering non-Blacks ineligible for Liberian citizenship. Today, this mostly affects the Lebanese community who originally came as traders and entrepreneurs to Liberia. This article analyses why Liberians defend race-based exclusionary citizenship practices.

Author Biography

Bernadette Ludwig, Wagner College

Department of Sociology

Assistant Professor



How to Cite

Ludwig, B. (2016). A Black Republic: Citizenship and naturalisation requirements in Liberia. Migration Letters, 13(1), 84-99. https://doi.org/10.33182/ml.v13i1.265