LIBERIA: Black Inaugural

The January midday sun poured down on Monrovia's Matilda Newport Square, named for Liberia's Joan of Arc. Sweat trickled down 20,000 Liberian backs, stood in heavy drops on the foreheads of notables who were clustered in the shade of a palm-leaf booth. Five little girls in white-frilled ginghams held wreaths emblazoned with the names of Liberia's five counties. Six brass bands blared hard and the Liberian National Choir waited its turn. The tiny African Republic, founded for freed slaves from the U.S., was ready for the inaugural of its 17th President.

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