Starting off with Sierra Leone’s shared heritage with the African Diaspora, particularly those in America that we have been nurturing over the years, we plan to pursue other connections between West and Central Africa and their Diaspora in the future.
Sierra Leone - Gullah
The Gullahs along the coast of South Carolina to Florida are one of the most unique type of African Americans. They have kept much of their African names, culture and heritage that are largely Sierra Leonean. The Gullah language is similar to the Sierra Leone krio and many parts of the culture have been linked to Sierra Leone's Mende and Temne ethnic groups.
Sierra Leone - Carriacou
Carriacouans still divide their island into “Nine Nations,” each claiming descent from a particular African tribe. Folklorists have known about the Carriacou Temnes in Grenada since the 1950s, but no one paid attention to their importance for modern Sierra Leoneans until 2011 when three scholars went to Carriacou to witness the vestiges of Temne heritage on that island first-hand.
Sierra Leone - Maroons
Hundreds of Jamaican Maroons and their families settled in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1800. In 1841, some of those Maroons who landed in Freetown in 1800 returned to Jamaica from Sierra Leone. And in 1864, as if it was not already complicated, some of the now Sierra Leonean Maroons that returned to Jamaica in 1841 went back to Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone - Nova Scotia
On January 15th 1792, a fleet of fifteen ships left Nova Scotia, Canada for Freetown, Sierra Leone. It was the largest fleet of blacks ever to immigrate to West Africa. The ships carried families of black Americans, mainly 'Black Loyalists' who had fought in the American Revolutionary War and received their freedom from the British.
DNA Sierra Leoneans
DNA Ancestry is emerging as a vital tool for African Americans to find their biological roots with Africa. To-date, thousands of African Americans have discovered their ancestry through DNA with several West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, and Liberia.
Sierra Leone - Liberated Africans
Between 1800 and 1860, many slave ships were captured in the Atlantic and seized by the British to enforce the abolition of slavery. Those held in bondage on these ships that were freed, are called Recaptives or Liberated Africans. Thousands were freed and taken to Sierra Leone, Brazil, Cuba, and a few other places where they established settlements and formed cultural groups that still exist today.