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The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family - Culture - Nairaland

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The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by bigfrancis21: 1:05pm On Sep 08, 2013
It is quite known that the Igbo people are success-oriented people who have a penchant for hardwork, success, education and achievement. They are known to be well-traveled, often traveling to distant places where they make good living for themselves. They are also known to be business-minded, financially savvy and determined, taking pride in what they do and often distinguishing themselves in what ever field endeavor they find themselves in.

The aim of this essay is to showcase the unique trait for success and achievement which the Igbo people value no matter where they find themselves in using the Robeson family of North Carolina/Philadelphia as a case study.

The Robeson Family are an Igbo-African American family from North Carolina. The man, Mr. William Drew Robeson was born into slavery and later escaped from slavery in 1860 at 15 years, together with his brother, Ezekiel Robeson. His father, Benjamin Robeson, was born into slavery on the Roberson plantation near Cross Road Township and Raleigh, Martin County, North Carolina. William Robeson was of Igbo descent, having descended, through his Igbo father, from Igbo slaves enslaved from the Bight of Biafra and shipped to the Americas(North, Central and South America).

Mrs Maria Louisa Bustill-Robeson was born in 1853 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Igbo African, Native American, and Anglo-American descent. She was a descendant of the Igbo people on her paternal side through her great-grand father, Cyrus Bustill, an Eboe slave who had bought his freedom since mid 1700s.

The Robeson and Bustill families lived during the peak of the slave trade era, which was characterized by difficult living conditions for blacks and racial discrimination against black people(people of color). Despite the circumstances which they found themselves in, these two distinguished Eboe families worked hard and achieved success. Mr. William distinguished himself from many blacks of his time by attending college (Lincoln University) and obtaining an undergraduate degree, and later another one in Theology. Maria(often called Louisa as a child) also attended university, Lincoln University. Her great-grand father, Bustill, after escaping from slavery moved to Philadelphia where he opened a bakery business. Active with other free black leaders, Mr. Bustill became one of the founders in Philadelphia of the Free African Society in 1787, "the first mutual aid organization of African Americans. Through the years, the Bustill Eboe family achieved success and merit by becoming teachers, artists, business people, and pioneers in many professions.

Louisa was was already teaching when she met Robeson. She married Robeson in 1878 after which they had 7 children together, two of which died in infancy.

Both the Robesons emphasized education and advancement for their children. Their first daughter, Gertrude Lascet Robeson (1880), died as an infant. It was an "upwardly mobile" family; all but one of their sons were highly successful as adults, with two having professional careers. William Drew (Bill) Robeson, Jr.(1881-1927) became a physician in Washington, DC. Their daughter Marian M. Robeson (1894-1977) married Dr. William Forsythe and moved to Philadelphia; her husband became a successful businessman. Benjamin C. Robeson (1892-1966), became a minister at 'Mother Zion" African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Harlem, which was the second independent African-American denomination in the nation. John Bunyan Reeve Robeson (1886-1930) aka Reed Robeson, after being sent from home by his father for his propensity for getting into altercations with whites, married and moved to Detroit, where he worked as a laborer and may have worked at a hotel, but he died young and in poverty.

The youngest surviving child, Paul LeRoy Robeson, better known as Paul Robeson (1898-1976), became an internationally known athlete, orator, singer and actor. He also became an activist for civil rights. Another child died at birth, but the name is not known.

Noteworthy about these two notable Eboe families is that they found themselves living in the peak of slavery and surrounded by racism and difficult living circumstances for black people and despite the odds they distinguished themselves in their respective fields of endeavor. A symbolic feat for many blacks of that time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Drew_Robeson_I
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Louisa_Bustill#cite_note-boyle-5

7 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:24pm On Sep 08, 2013
wow,this is very impressive!
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by bigfrancis21: 2:04pm On Sep 08, 2013
cheksbry: wow,this is very impressive!

Quite impressive indeed.

2 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Kairoseki77: 11:40pm On Sep 11, 2013
So being a slave is being "well traveled"?


LMAO! I guess you will do anything to get away from your erosion ravaged land.

4 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by bigfrancis21: 11:21am On Sep 12, 2013
Kairoseki77: So being a slave is being "well traveled"?


LMAO! I guess you will do anything to get away from your erosion ravaged land.

Is that all you could extract from the whole passage??

20 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by IGBOSON1: 9:25pm On Sep 12, 2013
bigfrancis21:

Is that all you could extract from the whole passage??

^^^Please ignore the bitter fool! He must have read the post with an inexplicable rising sense of anger and renewed hatred for anything 'Igbo'.

Heart warming post! smiley

18 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Kairoseki77: 12:21pm On Sep 13, 2013
IGBO-SON:


^^^Please ignore the bitter fool! He must have read the post with an inexplicable rising sense of anger and renewed hatred for anything 'Igbo'.

Heart warming post! smiley

Allow me to be serious then.

What is the entire first paragraph of OP's article except empty tribal chest beating? What is the last paragraph?

There were countless African Americans who achieved great things during the slave era. They considered themselves to be African Americans, not anything else. This man did not even know that he was Igbo. His grandchildren decided to look into their family history and discovered that he had some Igbo blood.

This author claims Robeson and his wife were Igbo on their respective "paternal sides". Did neither of them have mothers, or did their mother's tribe ruin this thievery for you? News flash, African Americans are mixed with many different tribes. That is the nature of their history. The same is true of Mr. Robeson who obviously was mixed with his mother's tribe.

This is the worst form of "claiming". That man lived his life as a African American. He viewed his mixed race wife and his friends (who were likely mixtures of Akan, Edo, etc) as fellow African Americans. Igbo culture and values had nothing to do with his life. Stop trying to steal him from his people for your evil ends.

Active with other free black leaders, Mr. Bustill became one of the founders in Philadelphia of the Free African Society in 1787, "the first mutual aid organization of African Americans."

16 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by bigfrancis21: 12:46pm On Sep 13, 2013
Kairoseki77:

Allow me to be serious then.

What is the entire first paragraph of OP's article except empty tribal chest beating?

There were countless African Americans who achieved great things during the slave era. They considered themselves to be African Americans, not anything else. This man did not even know that he was Igbo. His grandchildren decided to look into their family history and discovered that he had Igbo blood.

This is the worst form of "claiming". That man lived his life as a African American. He viewed his mixed race wife and his friends (who were likely Akan, Edo, etc) as fellow African Americans. Igbo culture and values had nothing to do with it. Stop trying to steal him from his people for your evil ends.


@First Bold...what is empty tribal chest beating about the first paragraph? How does it in any way affect you?

@Second Bold...first and second generation African Americans even down to the fourth generation very much knew the tribes they came from. Mr. Robeson and Ms. Louisa both knew they were Eboes, and more likely than not, that tribal connection must have served to bring them together to wed. More or less, it was an Eboe wedding, not different from what we have today.

@Third Bold...The Edo were not known to sell their people into slave trade. However, the Bini Empire connived and sold people of neighboring tribes such as the Urhobo, who were known as 'Sobo' in the Americas. Asides that, the Edo/Bini were rarely recorded in slave trade records.

This is an article by an Edo son himself, Naiwu Osahon, concerning the Edo people and Atlantic Slave Trade.


Edo Warrior Kingdom Opposed Atlantic Slave Trade

By Naiwu Osahon

Although over 30 per cent (about a third) of the Atlantic Slave Trade took place in the territory under Edo control, the Bight of Benin region of West Africa, the territory was too vast for the kingdom to police on a day by day and minute by minute basis, to prevent the trade. It was taboo, however, to capture or sell an Edo citizen and because the kingdom reasonably monitored this well, the African Diaspora has no concentration of Edo citizen slaves. Edo Chiefs had thousands of slaves captured in their territorial expansion wars but would not sell any. The Edo belief and saying was: "What level of hunger and deprivation would make an Edo Chief sell his slaves?" Rather than sell, Edo Chiefs helped thousands of slaves to escape from White holding camps in Edo territory. In fact, Edo Oba Eresoyen was shot at in his palace by a White slave merchant because he refused to help with the re-capture of escapee slaves from the White merchant's holding camps, hiding in Edo Chiefs farms in Edo kingdom. European slave trade in West Africa started with the acquisition of domestic servants in 1522, and warrior kingdoms like Edo (Benin) had plenty of them captured as war booties, but would not sell them. The slave trade was very unpopular with the Edo people. They thought it was silly to sell fellow human beings. Their Obas and nobles were vehemently opposed to the business of slave trade and to the export of the productive fighting male. The Edo, of course, could not control the day to day happenings of the slave merchants, who apparently largely acted under cover at first in the vast territories under Edo hegemony. However, it was forbidden to sell or take a native Edo (Bini) into slavery and so elaborate identification marks on faces and chests were eventually contrived. The Bini, therefore, were hardly ever captured by Arabs or Europeans into slavery.

Oba Ehengbuda (1578 - 1604 CE.) Ehengbuda ascended his father's throne in 1578 CE. While his father, Oba Orhogbua, might be considered a water warrior who made his greatest impact in the lagoon territories, Oba Ehengbuda campaigned mainly on land in the Yoruba areas. All the warrior Obas, most times, personally led their troops to war. Oba Ehengbuda, while prosecuting his military activities in the Akure area, sustained burns which healed to leave scars on his body. This was systematized in the Iwu body marks which every Edo adult had to acquire to be able to participate in royal and court activities of the land. The markings also served to identify the Edo person for protection during the slave trade. Strong efforts were made to prevent Edo people from being sold into slavery. Edo people openly and actively encouraged and facilitated the escape of slaves from the holding centres in the kingdom and particularly from the Ughoton port.

Alan Ryder, writing on this in his book: Benin and the European, narrated the experience of the Portuguese merchant, Machin Fernandes in Benin as early as 1522: That was during the reign of Oba Esigie.

"Of the whole cargo of 83 slaves bought by Machin Fernandes, only two were males - and it is quite possible that these were acquired outside the Oba's territory - despite a whole month (at Ughoton) spent in vain attempts to have a market opened for male slaves. The 81 females, mostly between ten and twenty years of age, were purchased in Benin City between 25 June and 8 August at the rate of one, two or three a day."

None of the 83 slaves was an Edo person, according to Ryder, and no Edo person could have been involved in the sales. It was taboo in Edo culture.

Edo Empire was vast, with a great concentration of people from different ethnic backgrounds, Yoruba, Ibo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Igalla etc., making a living in the lucrative Ughoton route that was the main centre of commercial activities in the southern area at the time, of what later became Nigeria.

http://www.edoworld.net/Edo_Warrior_Kingdom_Opposed_Atlantic_Slave_Trade.html

This is a write up by a well-researched scholar of Edo ancestry. Notice he mentioned that the Bini considered slavery of their own appalling and rarely sold any of their own, and that the Bight of Benin was vast covering Ibo land too. A portuguese slave Master, Machin Fernandez, who bought 83 slaves at Benin also confirmed that there were no Edo people among the 83 slaves he bought.

Once again, Olaudah Ikwuano of blessed memory has been proved to be 100% right 213 years after his death.

6 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by scientology(m): 1:11pm On Sep 13, 2013
igbos...hmmmmm
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by 3ace(m): 1:12pm On Sep 13, 2013
Tribal feud go soon start now. Abeg, let this thread be o.
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:12pm On Sep 13, 2013
I love igbo girls

4 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by ichidodo(m): 1:12pm On Sep 13, 2013
I want to bag me some yoruba heads in this thread.
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Lilimax(f): 1:13pm On Sep 13, 2013
How come they did not maintain that name surname Eboe undecided.
It would have been more appreciated now than Robeson
which sounds too westernized?.

My opinion though... wink

3 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:14pm On Sep 13, 2013
Igbos cheesy

Great tribe, great people.. kiss kiss

26 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:15pm On Sep 13, 2013
Kairoseki77: So being a slave is being "well traveled"?


LMAO! I guess you will do anything to get away from your erosion ravaged land.



IDIOT,i Was reliably informed dat ur head is filled with sawdust.ANUMPAM,KIP hating IGBOS it doesn't stop us from progressing and buying up all ur lands.

13 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by flolancracker: 1:16pm On Sep 13, 2013
Front f╬░cking page? Wtf undecided

1 Like

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by yuzedo: 1:16pm On Sep 13, 2013
Biko anam acho nwunye.. Imalu ezigbo nwanyi mara mma ga adi nze dika'm mma, zitara'm PM ozigbo ozigbo. Daalu nu! grin kiss

13 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Olamira(f): 1:17pm On Sep 13, 2013
PURE JEALOUSY.. thats all i can sense.
Kairoseki77: So being a slave is being "well travel

2 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by SincereBigot: 1:18pm On Sep 13, 2013
The other Y tribe will come here now shouting 'go back to ur villages'...

But the big question is:

When we wanted to leave, why were we stopped by u lots? Hypocrites!!

#BiafranStruggle

13 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:19pm On Sep 13, 2013
Noted,nt really suprise anyway

1 Like

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by laplace19(m): 1:19pm On Sep 13, 2013
Quite interesting and educating

1 Like

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:19pm On Sep 13, 2013
success and hard work i know of. education?

Bia, Chinedu, tomorrow you're following our kinsman who lives in lagos to learn a trade for the next fives years, o? Biko you have to wake up early, inanugo? Dike the driver comes in only once a week, and you musnt miss his truck. May my ancestors go with you*spits chewed kola into son's mouth and knocks off a shot of dry gin*

3 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by AkinDavid2: 1:20pm On Sep 13, 2013
brb
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Lilimax(f): 1:22pm On Sep 13, 2013
yuzedo: Biko anam acho nwunye.. Imalu ezigbo nwanyi mara mma ga adi nze dika'm mma, zitara'm PM ozigbo ozigbo. Daalu nu! grin kiss
Itoro ato ma oburu na Nairaland ka i na-acho nwanyi? grin.
Are there no more beautiful girls and angels in your Banana iceland? undecided

4 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by 3ace(m): 1:22pm On Sep 13, 2013
Sincere Bigot: .
When are you coming back to drop your comment?It's getting too long.
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Big4wig(m): 1:23pm On Sep 13, 2013
Ndi igbo kwenu....

if ur proud TO BE IGBO(not weed..lol)BOLDLY CLICK LIKE JOR cos igbo's rock

#BIGWIG

30 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by 3ace(m): 1:24pm On Sep 13, 2013
Big4wig: .
Another one.
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by zico2(m): 1:24pm On Sep 13, 2013
You dont need to praise yourself but let others use the right yardstick to mark your script if you pass. Im not tribalistic and wl never do but the aggression to make it by all means is not a success. Travelling all over the world wl not bring success cos the bible says not he that runneth but for God that show mercy. Can you recount how many that re either dead or jailed or stranded for the sake of success you just analyse. Look deeply and reason that a little with God is enough for the wise.

2 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:25pm On Sep 13, 2013
yuzedo: Biko anam acho nwunye.. Imalu ezigbo nwanyi mara mma ga adi nze dika'm mma, zitara'm PM ozigbo ozigbo. Daalu nu! grin kiss
lolz. Nekwa nu nwokem a oo. Kee otu i ga-enwete nwunye mara mma ebea? Ihe niile i na-eme na nairaland bu isu bekee nwe kwashiokor na ito ndi mmadu ochi.

Nwanne m. Mua na-eme gi salute ooo!
grin grin grin

7 Likes

Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:25pm On Sep 13, 2013
yuzedo: Biko anam acho nwunye.. Imalu ezigbo nwanyi mara mma ga adi nze dika'm mma, zitara'm PM ozigbo ozigbo. Daalu nu! grin kiss
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by pickabeau: 1:29pm On Sep 13, 2013
is obama also from this family
Re: The Igbo Values Of Success, Education And Hardwork: A Case Of The Robeson Family by Nobody: 1:31pm On Sep 13, 2013
Of course

1 Like

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