G. Baccus, A Member of My Generation that Could not “Leave the People’s Thing Alone”
By Siahyonkron Nyanseor
Sept 11, 2007
Our generation was sometimes referred to as the “children born during the Tubman Administration.” On the eve of July 26, an annual event was held in our honor at the Centennial Pavilion at which formal attire (European-American) was the required dress. Those who did not have it had to either borrow it or wear their grandparents’ formal society’s attire to attend the party that was being held in our honor. The occasion was referred to as “Children Dance”. I attended some of the events when my parents could afford it.
As children born in Rocktown,
When I resided at a place called PHP
(Public Health Pond), G. Baccus used to spend the weekend with his cousin, Duke
Terry; and when we played soccer, he served as one of the goalkeepers. G. Baccus played this position on the soccer
team at CWA (
In 1968, when I came to the
In 1972, G. Baccus and I served on the Task Force of
the Liberian Student Association; the Task Force was assigned the responsibilities
of forming an umbrella organization that
would include all Liberians residing in the
Ultimately, G. Baccus and others went on to organize
the Progress Alliance of Liberia (PAL), which became the Progressive People’s
Party (PPP) and later the United People’s Party (UPP). Its first chairman was Samuel P.
Jackson. PAL’s official news organ was the Revelation. The Revelation
was published in the
Based on an article Dr. Byron Tarr published in the Liberian Studies Journal, titled:
“Founding the Liberia Action Party”, Dr.
Tarr wrote, the paper was “…initially
Since tomorrow was not promised to our generation, and there were things we had to complete before we were call to GLORY, the most restless and risk taker among us was Gabriel Baccus Matthews; he took the lead to change the course of Liberian History forever.
Therefore, death need not be proud; for there was nothing it could have done to stop us from changing the course of our history. Because our generation was destined to alter the course of Liberian history, which some of our forefathers/foremothers, parents and relatives were too afraid and content not to change – knowing fully well there were many problems ahead of us that needed to be resolved. Hence, with no disrespect to our parents and elders who were bent on advising us to “leave the people’s thing along”, we went ahead anyway to do what we thought was the RIGHT thing to do.
While we may have made some mistakes in the process, we considered them youthful imprudence for a greater cause on behalf of a people that were yarning for change. Since we never claimed in any way or manner to be flawless, we are hopeful that the good Lord will forgive us, for He knows our hearts’ desire.
Although, G. Baccus and I were from
different camp, and our approach and strategy was different, our ultimate goals
were the same – to conscientize the Liberian people and to democratize the
country. Whether we agree or disagree
with G. Baccus and the approach he and his organization made, one thing for
sure, they were not onlookers; they did what most people in history who wanted
change did – got involve in bring about CHANGE, instead of dreaming about
it. This, my friend and brother did too well. Let history be his judge. For to me, he paid his dues as a participant
contributor to the cause of the people in ushering a “New Day in
During the occasion of his 58th birthday celebration in 2006, G. Baccus made this closing remark:
“On the issues of peace, law and order, and national security, I call on all political leaders not to leave room for any doubt that we will be resolute and stand firmly with Madam President. She may not necessarily have been the President that all of us wanted, but she is the President that all of us have. And she is the President that all of us must keep, whether all of us like it or not”.
In short, we are reminded by the late Martin Luther King, Jr. that, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
G. Baccus was such a man; so I bade you farewell my friend and brother, you fought a good fight; therefore, death need not be proud; for there was nothing it could have done to STOP the course of our history you contributed immensely towards. May your travel be smooth and safe, and give our best regards to those of our brothers and sisters in the struggle who went ahead of you.
PEACE, until we meet again!
Our eyes are opened, the time of the people has come!
Gwe feh Kpeh!
In the Cause of the People, the Struggle Continues!
In union strong success is sure, we will over all prevail.
Comrade Siahyonkron Nyanseor