Remembering the powerful legacy of Liberia’s foremost historian Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu 

Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu. Photo credit: Front Page Africa

Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu, a renowned Liberian historian, passed away in the late hours of Monday at the age of 81, a few weeks before turning 82, the state media ELBC has confirmed. 

After a protracted illness, Dr. Guannu died in the Ganta City of Nimba. He had been living peacefully and out of the spotlight in his hometown of Sanninquelle, where his grandson was taking care of him.

Guannu, a Liberian scholar, diplomat, and historian, was born on September 17, 1940. He founded Cuttington University’s Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. He was one of the best and most well-liked politicians in the nation, and many people read his work and still do. For his historical knowledge of Liberia, he was sought after.

Millions of readers were able to experience history through his works, which made him a national asset. He spent the majority of his life attempting to spread his love of history to the broader population. He saw himself as a regular person who had been granted the chance to follow his interests and ambitions.

After completing his secondary education in Liberia and earning his doctorate and other higher degrees in the United States, Dr. Guannu made a name for himself among Liberian history writers by not only penning several works that are still used as textbooks but also by correcting a number of historical inaccuracies.

Among his many writings, “Liberia History before 1857,” explains Liberia’s history up until 1857, when Maryland, an independent African state, formally joined the Republic. “Liberian History up to 1847,” and “The Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of Liberia from Joseph Jenkins Roberts to William Richard Tolbert Jr.” are among the most well-known between 1848 -1976.

Other books include “Liberian Civics 2004–2010 and An Introduction to Liberian Government: The First Republic” as well as the “People’s Redemption Council from 1983–1985”. “The Perennial Problems of Liberian History 1989,” and “Nation-states and challenges of Regional Integration in West Africa” form part of his many interesting and enlightening pieces. The once-busy researcher, lecturer, statesman, and writer had put a stop to all of his works in December last year, due to ill health and advancing age. His unfinished projects include the “History of Nimba’s Origin.”

Dr. Guannu held the position of Liberia’s ambassador to the U.S. and Canada. Prior to being unwell, he spent several years lecturing as an adjunct professor at the UL Graduate School of International Relations. He was recognized by the Liberian government in February this year, at events commemorating the country’s bicentennial for his enormous commitment to the conservation of Liberia’s heritage.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 31, 2022


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