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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:C.L.R. James and Richard Wright: On Ghana, Nkrumahism, and Democratization
Author:Adam, Hussein M.
Year:1995
Periodical:Ufahamu
Volume:23
Issue:1
Pages:47-64
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:democracy
pan-Africanism
politicians
History and Exploration
nationalism
Politics and Government
About person:Francis Nwia Kofie Nkrumah (1909-1972)ISNI
Abstract:Within the Pan-African imagination Ghana, as the first black African colony to gain political independence in 1957, has loomed large, and Ghana's charismatic leader, the Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah, played a crucial role in enhancing Ghana's image among Pan-Africanists. At least two Pan-African figures, C.L.R. James and Richard Wright, both with a Marxist background, wrote books reflecting on the Ghana experience and Nkrumah's role. The present author addresses each author's interpretations of Nkrumah and Ghana with respect to decolonization, modernization and democratization. Wright's writings on Ghana support a 'developmental dictatorship' perspective, which assumes that democracy is not a viable form of politics in Africa and is largely irrelevant in a continent dominated by the authoritarianism of single-party and military rule. C.L.R. James, by contrast, argues for a 'developmental democracy' paradigm. James saw Ghana's democracy emerge as a nationalist challenge to colonial authoritarianism, only to be frustrated and distorted by Nkrumahism. Notes, ref.
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