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"Liberia" is a Latin name which means "the Land of Freedom." The country was founded in the 1820's as a homeland for African-American slaves who had gained their freedom. In 1848 Liberia became an independent country with Jospeh Jenkins Roberts as the new nation's first president, thus making Liberia one of the very first African countries to achieve independence and freedom from outside colonial rulers. Ironically, of course, Liberia is currently a nation recovering from a civil war during which many of the freedoms alluded to in the name of the country were severely damaged.

Liberia has just been through seven years of bitter civil warfare. Many businesses and public buildings were destroyed or heavily damaged, and things were so bad that many Liberians fled the country. As a result, Jefferson State has enrolled quite a few Liberians in recent years. These students have family names like Stubblefield, Thomas, and Williams and they speak a very easily understood dialect of English. After all, they are usually descendants of the freed American slaves who first settled in Liberia in the 1820's.