Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Nana Akyea Mensah

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    >Lincoln Remembers Nkrumah

    Issue date: 9/23/09 Section: News

    On September 21, 2009, Lincoln University held its Kwame Nkruma Centennial in the Ware Center Theater celebrating the 100th birthday of Kwame Nkrumah. Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana and crafter of Pan-Africanism in Africa, is an alumnus of Lincoln University as well as the inspiration for current African Union leaders such as Muammar al-Gaddafi.

    "It was an inspiring program," said Prof. Glenn Burns. "We need to know our proper history."

    Students, faculty and staff began pouring into the Theater at 3:55 pm. By 4:05 there were no empty seats.

    Nkrumah's birthday was adopted as a holiday for all member states of the African Union by the 13th Ordinary Session of the Assembly in Sirte, Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya on July 3, 2009.

    "I want the world to recognize Lincoln University's contribution to the educational experience of Kwame Nkrumah," said Dr. D. Zizwe Poe, an associate professor of history and the organizer of the event.

    The program included six speakers of varying backgrounds. The program featured author and Afrocentrist scholar Molefi Kete Asante, William Kwame Dadson of the economic department, Lincoln University Board of Trustee member Tehema H. Smith, Howard University professor of systems and computer science John Tremble, Lincoln University Lecturer Abena Walker, and Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, a professor of sociology and African American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania who is also a contributor to PBS' The History Detectives series.

    "I'm learning information that I didn't know before," said Jamaar Connor, a junior who is studying Mass Communications. "Everything is new."

    The biographical information of Nkrumah was not the focus of the event. Topics such as The International Network on Appropriate Technology and the plan to focus on technology to empower Africa were presented. African political issues such as youth farming projects, land reclamation, and the issues of western interests across the African continent were also presented in detail.

    "There are so many things in the world that most Americans have no idea about," said Dr. Donald Bradt, a professor of Political science, Bradt said that he believes that a unified Africa presents both challenges and opportunities. "I think the US could serve a growing Africa with education, accounting, and law," he said.

    The student reaction to the presentation was highly positive.

    "I like the fact that they upheld the honor of our brother Nkrumah," said Wayne Vanderpool, senior, of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Nkruma was a member of the Mu chapter of Phi Beta Sigma on Lincoln's campus.

    The events on Monday September 21, 2009 was a part of a series of events designed to honor the life and legacy of Nkrumah "I think it was beneficial, I think we should have more commentary and more topics," said Nicole Young, senior," "This applies to all of us."

    >Namibia: Nkrumah's Centenary to Be Marked Today

    21 September 2009

    THE Pan-African Centre of Namibia (Pacon), in collaboration with the Students' Representative Council of the Polytechnic of Namibia, will hold a public lecture today in honour of the late African revolutionary Kwame Nrumah.

    The lecture starts at the Polytechnic Auditorium at 18h00. Prime Minister Nahas Angula will focus on Pan-Africanism as a philosophy, Ambassador Tuliameni Kalomoh will address the relevance of Nkrumah's ideals to Namibia and to Africa in general, and the Acting High Commissioner of Ghana, Julia Acolatse, will talk about Nkrumah's role in shaping Ghana.

    According to the Vice Chairperson of Pacon, Maureen Hinda-Mbaziira, the 13th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) declared the centenary birthday of its founder and first President of the Republic of Ghana a continental event.

    "Kwame Nkrumah was a revolutionary African figure. He contributed a lot to the liberation of Namibia and the rest of Africa. As Pan-Africans and benefactors of his efforts, we are honouring his memory and celebrating his achievements," she said.

    Kwame Nkrumah became the first prime minister and later president of Ghana. He was born on September 21 1909 at Nkroful in what was then the British-ruled Gold Coast, the son of a goldsmith.

    Trained as a teacher, he went to the United States in 1935 for advanced studies and continued his schooling in England, where he helped organise the Pan-African Congress in 1945.

    He returned to Ghana in 1947 and became general secretary of the newly founded United Gold Coast Convention but split from it in 1949 to form the Convention People's party (CPP).

    After his 'positive action' campaign created disturbances in 1950, Nkrumah was jailed, but when the CPP swept the 1951 elections, he was freed to form a government, and he led the colony to independence as Ghana in 1957.

    A firm believer in African liberation, Nkrumah pursued a radical pan-African policy, playing a key role in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. As head of government, he was less successful, however, and as time passed he was accused of forming a dictatorship. In 1964 he formed a one-party state, with himself as president for life.


    Last night, I attended an event celebrating the life of Dr. Nkrumah. Located at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in the heart of Harlem, the event was packed with speakers such as Amiri Baraka, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Dr. Molefi Asante and Dr. Ama Mazama. New York State Sen. Bill Perkins was also in attendance, presenting a copy of New York State Resolution 3068 to recognize the 100th birthday of the late Nkrumah to Minister-Counselor Ebenezer Appreku and members of the National Council of Ghanaian Association. More...