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Three Case Studies in African Nationalism. Kwame Nkrumah—Gold Coast/Ghana L éopold Senghor—Senegal Jomo Kenyatta—Kenya. Kwame Nkrumah: Pan-Africanism and Development. Kwame Nkrumah. Born 1909 to a fairly poor family

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slide2
Kwame Nkrumah—Gold Coast/Ghana
  • Léopold Senghor—Senegal
  • Jomo Kenyatta—Kenya
kwame nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
  • Born 1909 to a fairly poor family
  • He excelled in school and became a teacher, but in 1935 managed to secure a scholarship to study theology in the US
  • In the US he combined study with networking and, in particular, friendships with Marxists from the African diaspora
  • He returned to Ghana following the Pan-African Congress of 1945
nkrumah s rise
Nkrumah’s Rise
  • 1947: Formation of the United Gold Coast Convention, made up of coastal lawyers and businessmen—Nkrumah was elected president
  • 1948: Police open fire on peaceful demonstration, which prompted rioting—colonial government arrested Nkrumah
  • Nkrumah had nothing to do with the rioting, but his arrest made him a celebrity
  • Following his release from prison, Nkrumah founded Convention People’s Party, a more radical version of the UGCC.
slide6
The CPP campaigned for independence with an emphasis on the area’s industrial development and “progress”
  • British began incremental moves towards self-government for Gold Coast
  • 1954 elections were held for internally sovereign government
  • In 1957, Nkrumah became the prime minister of the independent nation of Ghana, but some British officials remained
significance of ghana
Significance of Ghana
  • Name—Pan-African reference to the medieval kingdom (actually located in present-day Mali)
  • Transition to independence dominated by one party (Convention People’s Party)
  • Small, relatively coherent country (population of approx. 5 million)
  • Ghana set the precedent for African independence but also proved to be an atypical case
nkrumah and ghana
Nkrumah and Ghana
  • Nkrumah envisioned Ghana’s independence in the first step towards African unification
  • He believed such a unification was necessary to be able to compete economically and politically
  • In order for Africa to claim its place among other nations, he believed, it would have to experience the same kind of industrial revolution or technological shift that other areas had experienced
l opold senghor
Léopold Senghor
  • Born into a polygamous family in Joal, Senegal (near but outside the Quatre Communes) in 1906
  • He went to Catholic boarding school at the age of 8 and considered becoming a priest
  • His skill in such subjects as Greek and Latin won him a scholarship to study in France at the Sorbonne
  • In 1935 he became the first African certified as a lysée teacher
slide12
Senghor taught in a number of French schools while also writing poetry
  • He became a major proponent of the Negritude movement
  • In 1939, he enrolled in the French army
  • He was captured in 1940 and became a POW
prayer for peace l opold senghor 1940
Prayer for Peace, Léopold Senghor, 1940

…Lord God, forgive white Europe!

Yes, it is true, Lord, that for four centuries of enlightenment

She has thrown her spit and her baying watchdogs on my lands

And Christians, renouncing Your light and Your gentle hear

Have lighted their camps with my parchments,

Tortured my followers, deported my doctors and scientists.

…I want to pray especially for France.

Lord, among white nations, place France at the Father’s right hand.

Oh, I know she, too, is Europe, that she has snatched my children

Like a cattle-rustling brigand from the north

To fatten her lands with sugarcane and cotton

Since black sweat is fertilizer.

…Yes, Lord, forgive France, who hates occupying forces

And yet imposes such strict occupation on me

Who offers a hero’s welcome to some, and treats

The Senegalese like mercenaries, the Empire’s black watchdogs.

…Oh, Lord, take from my memory France that is not France,

This mask of meanness and hate on the face of France…

towards independence
Towards Independence
  • Senghor did not actively campaign for independence from France
  • He was the head of the local council of Senegal when he was elected president of the newly independent nation in 1960
  • Senghor retained French advisors and remained a strong supporter of French language education and francophonie
invention paradigms
“Invention” Paradigms
  • T.O. Ranger, “The Invention of Tradition”
  • Leroy Vail, “The Invention of Tribalism”
  • Culture is shaped and deployed in ways dictated more by the present than by the past
  • Invention can be conscious or unconscious
  • Invention does not occur in a vacuum—people use the cultural materials available to them
  • Critics have argued that the “invention” paradigms are condescending and do not take seriously people’s self-descriptions and self-conceptions
anthropology and colonialism
Anthropology and Colonialism
  • The discipline of anthropology developed during the last quarter of the 19th century
  • Interested in studying human difference (especially in “primitive” settings)
slide19
Anthropology tended to assume a divide between dynamic “civilized” societies and static “uncivilized” societies
  • Anthropology provided an intellectual foundation for European ideas about tribalism and tradition, while individual anthropologists often worked within colonial administrations
  • In the 1920s, Bronislaw Malinowski pioneered so-called “functionalist” anthropology—aimed at understanding the function, rather than the meaning, of culture
culture brokers
“Culture Brokers”
  • Term coined by Leroy Vail
  • Refers to African elites—often mission educated—who sought to reinforce what they saw as tradition
  • Often used the ideas of “tradition” and “tribe” in attempts to strengthen African position in negotiations with colonial authorities
jomo kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta
  • Born Kamau wa Ngengi in 1889, educated in mission schools and baptized as John Peter, later went by the name Johnstone Kamau
  • Worked as a clerk in the colonial administration
  • In 1924, joined the Kikuyu Central Association, an explicitly “tribal” political group
  • In 1929, the KCA sent him to London to lobby the British government on Kikuyu land claims
  • Attended several schools in the UK and the USSR before enrolling in University College London to study anthropology with Bronislaw Malinowski
slide22
Facing Mount Kenya, an ethnography of the Kikuyu was his doctoral dissertation, published in 1938
  • Remained resident in London until 1946—during this period he married a (white) English woman and had a child with her
  • He returned to Kenya and became president of the newly formed Kenya African Union, campaigning for independence from British rule
mau mau
Mau Mau
  • Diffuse uprising in Kenya, 1952-1960
  • “Land and Freedom Army,” mostly Kikuyu (but did not include all Kikuyu)
  • Oathing system played on established ritual frameworks
  • Mau Mau conflicts largely rural, involving guerilla type actions
  • Draconian British response included the arrest of Kenyatta—not a Mau Mau leader
towards independence1
Towards Independence
  • Despite his background in ethnic organizing, Kenyatta was elected prime minister in 1963 on a platform of national unity
  • He sought reconciliation with the white settler community, asking them to remain in Kenya
  • Despite this emphasis on unification, the tension between Kenyatta’s Kikuyu identity and the nation’s Kenyan identity remained