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Ghana Month: Five Books to Read About Ghana’s Independence Struggle and Pan-Africanism

While history abounds on Ghana’s independence journey, it’s always important to point to where such history can be found if ever a reference is necessary. That is why books are important.

When Ghana gained its freedom from colonial rule, it marked an important moment for the rest of the African nations who later followed on to set themselves free from colonial rule.

Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, chartered this course for self-rule, later symbolizing himself with Pan-African ideals as with Nigeria’s , Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya.

Pan-Africanism for instance became ubiquitous – being championed by most of Africa’s new leaders who had helped free their people from colonial rule. And therefore there’s always a moment when both the histories of Africa’s independence and Pan-Africanism intertwine.

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While history abounds on Ghana’s independence journey, it’s always important to point to where such history can be found if ever a reference is necessary. That is why books are important.

Here are five books that provide valuable perspectives on Ghana’s independence struggle and its connections to the broader pan-African movement.

  1. Ghana: Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah” by Kwame Nkrumah – This autobiography provides insights into Nkrumah’s role in Ghana’s independence and his vision for pan-African unity. In the book, he shares the many stages of his life, political philosophy, and the journey toward making Ghana independent of colonial rule.
  2. “The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century” by W.E.B. Du Bois – Du Bois, a prominent figure in pan-Africanism, looks back on his life and work. The autobiography details his experiences and perspectives on African liberation movements, including Ghana’s independence.
  3. “Pan-Africanism: The Idea and Movement, 1776-1991” by Hakim Adi – This comprehensive book explores the history and evolution of the pan-African movement – capturing almost all the manifestations of the movement, whether in the form of ideas or institutions, including its connections to Ghana’s independence struggle.

 

  1. “Ghana’s Concert Party Theatre” by James Gibbs – While not directly about independence or pan-Africanism, this book offers insights into Ghana’s popular concert party culture during the independence era.

 

  1. “African Freedom: How Africa Responded to Independence” by William Minter – This book examines the struggles for independence across Africa, including Ghana’s, and the role played by pan-Africanism in shaping these movements.

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