Kwame Nkruma

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Kwame Nkrumah
"Seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added unto you...."
He was born Francis Nwia Kofi Ngonloma in Nkroful, Gold Coast. Nkrumah graduated from the Achimota School in Accra in 1930. Nkrumah went on to train as a teacher and for a few years taught elementary school in towns along the coast. He was popular and charismatic, and earned a decent living. But exposure to politics and to a few influential figures sparked in him a greater interest, to go to America. He applied to universities in the United States, and with money raised from relatives, he set out on a steamer in 1935. He reached New York almost penniless, and took refuge with fellow West Africans in Harlem. He then enrolled himself at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania; a small scholarship and a campus job helped him make ends meet. He studied theology as well as philosophy. In the United States, Nkrumah saw alternatives to the British tradition of government. Nkrumah plunged into America's black communities. Founded before the Civil War, Lincoln University was America's oldest black college, and its special atmosphere inspired and comforted Nkrumah. In the summers, he worked at physically demanding jobs in shipyards and construction at sea. He also forged ties with black American intellectuals, for whom Africa was becoming, in this time of political change, an area of extreme interest. He moved London after World War II, where Nkrumah helped organize Pan-African congresses thereby linking the emergent educated groups of the African colonies with activists, writers, artists, and well-wishers from the industrial countries. It was a time of great excitement and optimism. In the autumn of 1947 Nkrumah was invited to serve as the General Secretary to the United Gold Coast Convention under Joseph B. Danquah. This political convention was exploring paths to independence.…...

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