By Gyekye Tanoh:
What is the real legacy of Kwame Nkrumah?
Ghanaian socialist Gyekye Tanoh looks back at those inspiring struggles – and draws the lessons for today
On Tuesday 6 March Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve its freedom, commemorated 50 years of independence from Britain.
In 1957 Kwame Nkrumah, the man who led the nation’s freedom struggle, declared, “The independence of Ghana is meaningless until it is linked with the total liberation of Africa.”
That night people erupted in jubilant cheering in Accra, Ghana’s capital.
This reverberated across Africa and found an echo throughout the black diaspora in the Caribbean, Britain and the US, and among anti-imperialists everywhere.
Today the dominant images of Africa are of starving, fly-blown children, civil wars and desperate migrants who risk abominable official racism in countries like Britain.
It makes it almost impossible to imagine the electrifying energy that spread across Africa following Ghana’s independence. Nkrumah was revered as the movement’s pre-eminent figure.
At the official ball US vice-president Richard Nixon patted a black man on the back and patronisingly inquired how it felt to be free.
“I wouldn’t know, I’m from Alabama,” was his indignant response.
Nixon’s respondent was one of the many thousand militants and leaders – including Martin Luther King – who came to Ghana to meet, discuss and celebrate.
Accra became a staging post for anti-colonial struggles.
Ghana today: here.
Nkrumah’s policies; Ghana’s ticket to development – Samia Nkrumah. September 21, 2014. Kwame Nkrumah’s 105th birthday today: here.
Jean Genet: ‘Apostle of the wretched of the earth’ and his The Blacks: a challenge to the injustice of imperialism: here.
Quotes, real or imagined, by African politicians: here.
Anti-imperialism in African American history: here.
Seventy years ago one of the most important meetings in the postwar era took place in Manchester, but it is rarely remembered. The fifth Pan-African Congress (PAC) was held on 15-21 October 1945, and marked the beginning of the end of European colonial rule in Africa and the Caribbean: here.
Eighty clay figures depicting both animals and humans have just been excavated in Northern Ghana, according to information provided to Discovery News by the University of Manchester: here.
In an August 18 meeting of the National Security Council, US President Dwight Eisenhower told Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Allen Dulles that Patrice Lumumba, the recently elected premier of the newly-independent Republic of the Congo, must be “eliminated” so that the Congo would not become “another Cuba”: here.
- Black History Month: “Colonial and Suppressed Peoples of the World, Unite!” . . . Kwame Nkrumah (youthandeldersja.wordpress.com)
- Gov’t to mount giant Nkrumah statue at Nkrumah Circle – Mahama (modernghana.com)
- ABS Honors Kwame Nkrumah: Leader in Fight for African Independence (atlantablackstar.com)
- Kwame Nkrumah, 24th February 1966 Coup and The International Progressive Movement. (youthandeldersja.wordpress.com)
- Ghana needs structural change in economy – Samia (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Nkrumah Statue Not A Priority – Sekou Tells Gov’t (modernghana.com)