Edward Wilmot Blyden (3 August 1832 – 7 February 1912), the father of pan-Africanism; was an educator, writer, diplomat, and politician primarily in Liberia. Born in the West Indies, he joined the free black immigrants to the region from the United States; he also taught for five years in the British West Africa colony of Sierra Leone in the early 20th century. His writings on pan-Africanism were influential in both colonies, which were started during the slavery years for the resettlement of free blacks from the United States and Great Britain. His writings attracted attention in the sponsoring countries as well. He felt that Zionism was a model for what he called Ethiopianism, and that African Americans could return to Africa and redeem it. Later he supported Islam.