Kwame Nkrumah is perhaps the most prominent symbol of Pan-Afrikanism in the 20th century. Nkrumah led the first successful independence movement on the continent as Ghana won its independence in 1957.
Though not without his flaws and weaknesses, Nkrumah’s vision of a united Africa inspired a whole generation. His various writings on neocolonialism, the class struggle, and African unity are still painfully relevant to the struggle for Afrikan liberation today. On Thursday 7 May, The Oxford Pan-Afrikan Forum(OXPAF) hosted a presentation from Dr. Ama Biney on Nkrumah’s political evolution followed by discussion.
The lecture addressed four questions:
1- How is Nkrumah viewed within the western discourse?
2- What were the forces and who were the individuals who influenced Nkrumah before he left for the US in 1935 to continue his studies.
3-What were some of his successes and failures?
4-What were some of the differences in his ideological thinking and how his thoughts evolved before 1966 and post 1966 (1966 being significant in that he was overthrown in a Western-backed coup d’etat)?
It was, indeed, an enlightening and uplifting presentation. We are pleased to share the audio from Dr. Biney’s talk:
Dr. Biney has over 20 years teaching experience in the UK. She has taught courses in African history (ancient and modern); Caribbean History; African American history; post-independence African politics; the history of Pan-Africanism and the history of black people in Britain. Her writings include: The Political and Social Thought of Kwame Nkrumah published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011; “Speaking Truth to Power: Selected Pan-African Postcards of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem” compiled by A. Biney & A. Olukoshi, published by Pambazuka Press in 2010.
She has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pan-African weekly electronic newsletter, Pambazuka News, which is a platform for radical debate on African social, economic and political justice issues and the African diaspora in the Caribbean and North, South and Central America. It is a newsletter that comes out in English, French and Portuguese and Dr Biney has been a regular contributor to Pambazuka News. Dr. Biney has written a brief introduction to Nkrumah’s politics, which was published on Pambazuka.
Following the lecture, there were excellent questions asked of Dr. Biney which you can listen to below:
Resources for further study
- Kwame Nkrumah – ‘Revolutionary Path’
- Kwame Nkrumah – ‘Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonisation’
- Kwame Nkrumah – ‘Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’
- Ali Mazuri – ‘The Africans: a triple heritage’
- Hakim Aidi and Marika Sherwood – ‘The 1945 Pan-African Congress Revisited’
- Marika Sherwood – ‘Pan-African Conferences, 1900-1953: What Did ‘Pan-Africanism’ http://www.jpanafrican.com/docs/vol4no10/4.10Pan-African.pdf
- William Gumede – ‘‘No Easy Walk to Freedom’ (on Mandela’s leadership model http://www.pambazuka.net/en/category.php/features/8993)
- African Socialism Revisited – https://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/nkrumah/1967/african-socialism-revisited.htm
- Electronic magazine by Pan-African Voices: www.pambazuka.net