No Tribe—Just a Liberian

Apogeo Photos

Ambassador Woods worked in the Interior Ministry under Doe, Charles Taylor, and Ellen Johnson. Under Doe, he served as Liberia’s ambassador to the USSR between 1980-1983 (?). He worked with Charles Taylor for a time, when Taylor was serving as a GSA (?)

After Taylor returned to Liberia, he formed a rebel group. In 1991(?), while fleeing from Monrovia, a group of rebels took the Woods family captive. The rebel’s process was to line people up, and then question them as to their tribe. The Woods family was forced to enter such a queue. 

While standing in line, Genevieve’s former school principal noticed her, and pulled the family out.  He represented that he would protect the family.

Later, a man told Genevieve that the principal planned to kill her parents, and arranged for her and her siblings to escape. She asked to see what happened so that she would know they were really dead. She was led to place and witnessed her parents being bound and prepared for execution. Both her father and her mother resisted, and were beaten. Genevieve then fled.

Genevieve found a muslim woman and asked her to take her and her siblings in. The woman had a sister, and put Genevieve with the sister. The sister was cruel, making Genevieve work and cook, but not feeding the children. Genevieve stayed with the woman for three weeks.

Unbeknownst to Genevieve, her parents were not killed. Her father continued to resist until another rebel recognized him and pulled him away. After three weeks, he tracked her to where she was staying. The reunited family flex into the bush, where they hid and subsisted for 5-7 years (?)

Genevieve entered her parents in the US Diversity Lottery, which they won in 2007. Mr. Woods and his wife moved to Laurel, Maryland, but Genevieve stayed in Liberia. She came to the US in 2015(?) to get Candy(?) and her nephew away from the Ebola outbreak.

Woods is steadfast in his nationalism—he believes the only relevancy is being a Liberian, rather than looking at tribes. He took no political position about the rebels, and worked in the new administration once Taylor took over. He didn’t like anyone hitting his wife, but doesn’t view it as political. 

His story is one of sacrifice for nationalism.