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Kwame Nkrumah/ Text Adjoa Armah
James Barnor. Kwame Nkrumah in his PG (Prison Graduate) cap,
kicking a football before the start of an international match at Owusu Memorial Park in Fadama, Accra, 1952 © the artist & galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière

“We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the World!”. With these words, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ended the Ghanaian independence speech, his vision focussed beyond the boundaries of Ghana. Dr. Nkrumah never let go of this commitment to the new African: liberation required much more than the sovereignty of any one nation state. The project was for all Africans, beyond the continent and speaking back to the earliest Pan-Africanist thinkers, born in the Americas, who played a treasured role in our collective history. With this ideological commitment, early in the post-independence period Dr. Nkrumah invited several prominent figures of the African diaspora to Ghana. These figures, amongst them W.E.B. Dubois and George Padmore, were intended to lend their minds to the building of a cultural and political landscape befitting this new African. They were the first wave of return, one undergirded by a radical sentiment and political conviction.

Adjoa Armah
April 27th 2020

James Barnor ( droite ) avec Kwame Nkrumah, Roy et Rebecca Ankrah, à Accra en 1952. © James Barnor/Neutral Grey