Spotlight: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
(September 18, 1909 – April 27, 1972)
Title: Africa’s black star – the rise and fall of Kwame Nkrumah
These are my notes from the documentary linked above. My aim – to spread the knowledge I’ve gained.
Nkrumah was inspired by Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chopin Hower, Karl Marx, and Marcus Garvey – Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus Garvey
Nkrumah was instrumental in starting the African Interpreter publication. With the help of CLR James, born in Trinidad, Nkrumah defended African liberation via socialism. CLR introduced Nkrumah to George Padmore.
Nkrumah was under CIA surveillance. Padmore & W.E.B Dubois were in the forefront of the anti-colonial struggle. J. B. Danquah, founder of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). Nkrumah developed the Convention People’s Party (CPP) 1949.
Nkrumah spent 14 months in prison (James Fort Prison) where he letters on toilet paper that were smuggled out of prison and shared with his right hand lieutenant. On March 6, 1957 Kwame Nkrumah became first leader of former Gold Coast state (Present day Ghana). Nkrumah changed the name of his new territory in honor of historic Ghanaian Empire of 5 centuries earlier. Nkrumah became known as “Osagyefo” which means savior.
“Thought without action is empty, action without thought is blind”
Nkrumah’s first order was to build a unify a nation where people saw themselves as Ghanian, instead of just being their traditional tribal kingdoms. One of the first orders was to invest in Ghanian infrastructure, roads, bridges, schools. Fee-free and compulsory education was made available for Ghanian children. Akosombo Dam funding challenges sparked by the Cold War battles of the United States vs. then Soviet Union.
Nkrumah organized the All African People’s Conference of 1958. Here all liberation movements in African developed strategies together to overthrow continental colonialism.
Eventually CPP (Convention People’s Party) corruption and trading declines began to hurt national security within Ghana. Nkrumah’s life was threatened often by assassination attempts in the 1960’s. The Preventative Detention Act as used to help quell political opposition and corruption within Ghanian citizens.
Due to declining domestic economics, perceived interference in army and military administration, Nkrumah developed a private presidential security team. External interference by American, British, and French officials in support of numerous coup efforts wore down Nkrumah’s reign.
Nkrumah tried to warn the new Africa about Neo-colonialism, the last stage of imperialism (plan the western world was going to use to recolonize Africa). Ghana fell to a military coup while Nkrumah was out the the country attending an invitation by North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh. Nkrumah felt the coup in Ghana was the beginning of the downfall of the African Continent. Nkrumah later sough asylum in Guniea where he became co-president and produced a lot of his written works.
Dark days in Ghana
Voice from Conakry
The Struggle Continues
Class Struggles in Africa
Africa Must Unite
On April 27, 1972 Nkrumah died due to complications from prostate cancer.