DUBOIS AND NKRUMAH: PAN-AFRICAN UNITY

NICOLE KALI

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DUBOIS AND NKRUMAH: PAN-AFRICAN UNITY


W.E.B. DuBois, 1950

Seminal scholar W.E.B. DuBois laid foundations for modern anti-imperialist resistance AND African unity. He attempted to present the Black discrimination report We Charge Genocide to the UN.

Western elites otracized him for years. DuBois still wouldn't lie down. Nkrumah, former Ghanaian President, did not either. Their relationship is highly important to Pan-African revolution.

The two leaders met at Pan-African Congress' 1945 meeting in Manchester, England. Nkrumah knew W.E.B. DuBois as a "great son of Africa" (New African) and they collaborated until his death.


W.E.B. DuBois (center) at his 95th birthday in 1963. President Kwame Nkrumah (right) and First Lady Fathia Nkrumah (Ghana-Net)


Nkrumah, W.E.B. and Shirley DuBois


"When George Padmore and I organised the Fifth Pan African Congress in 1945 at Manchester, we invited Dr. DuBois, then already 78 years of age, to chair that Congress.

I knew him in the United States, and even spoke on the same platform with him.


Nkrumah at the United Nations, 1957

It was however at this Conference in Manchester that I was drawn closely to him. Since then, he has been personally a real friend and father to me. Dr. DuBois was a life-long fighter against all forms of racial inequality, discrimination and injustice.

He helped to establish the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, and was the first editor of its fighting organ The Crisis.

Concerning the struggle for the improvement of the status of the Negro in America, he once said:
 
"We will not be satisfied to take one jot or little less than our full manhood rights. We claim for ourselves every single right that belongs to a free-born American, political, civil and social.

And until we get these fights, we will never cease to protest and assail the ears of America. The battle we wage is not for ourselves alone, but all true Americans."


First Lady Fathia, W.E.B. DuBois, Nkrumah and Shirley DuBois

It was the late George Padmore who described Dr. DuBois as the greatest scholar the Negro race has produced and one who always upheld the right of Africans to govern themselves.

I asked Dr. DuBois to come to Ghana to pass the evening of his life with us and also to spend his remaining years in compiling an Encyclopaedia Africana, a project which is part of his whole intellectual life.

We mourn his death. May he live in our memory not only as a distinguished scholar, but as a great African Patriot. Dr. Du Bois is a phenomenon. May he rest in peace."

W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture proudly stands today in Accra, Ghana.

The complex has four buildings, including DuBois' home, personal library and tomb.




(link)


Letter from W.E.B. DuBois to Kwame Nkrumah, February 1957 (University of Massachusetts)

Nkrumah's Tribute to Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois (Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Info Bank)

W.E.B. DuBois Papers, 1877-1963 (University of Massachusetts)