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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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 Our mission to Ghana and to Africa . . . as a vanguard of the African Liberation

Movement, impose upon us increasing responsibility, not only to set our own house

in order, but also to set very high standards from which all who seek to emulate

us shall draw devotion and inspiration in their own struggles.



  Books by Kwame Nkrumah


Consciencism: Philosophy and the Ideology for Decolonization (1970) /  Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism (1965)


 Africa Must Unite (1963) / Ghana: Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah   /  Dark Days in Ghana


 Class Struggle in Africa  /  The Struggle Continues  

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The Responsibility of a Pan-African Socialist 

A Speech by Osagyefo

from A Kind of Homecoming by E.R. Braithwaite


I have stated over and over again that members of the Convention People's Party must not use their party membership or official position for personal gain or for the amassing of wealth. Such tendencies directly contradict our party constitution, which make sit clear that the aims and objects of the party among other things are the building of a Socialist pattern of society in which free development of each is the condition for the free development of all--a pattern of society consonant with African situations, circumstances, and conditions.

I have explained very clearly this Socialist structure and have on many occasions elaborated the Five sectors into which our economy may be divided.

These sectors are: first, the state sector, in which all enterprises are entirely State-owned; second, joint State-owned private sector, which will incorporate enterprises owned jointly by Government and foreign private capital; third, the cooperative sector, in which all enterprises will be undertaken by cooperative organizations affiliated with the National Cooperative Council; fourth, the private-enterprise sector, which will incorporate those industries which are open freely to foreign private enterprise; and fifth, the workers'-enterprise sector.

I have had occasions to emphasize the part which private enterprise will continue to play in our economic and industrial life. A different situation arises with Ghanaian businessmen who attempt to combine business with political life.

Being a party member of the Assembly--and much more, being a ministerial secretary or a minister--means that the persons who take up these positions owe a duty to those who have elected them, or who have given them their positions confidence.

To be able to maintain this confidence, therefore, they should not enter into any type of industrial or commercial undertaking. Any party member of Parliament who wishes to be a businessman can do so, but he should give up his seat in Parliament.

In other words, no minister, ministerial secretary or party member of Parliament should own a business or be involved in anyone else's business, Ghanaian or foreign

In spite of my constant clarifications and explanations of our aims and objectives, some party members in parliament pursue a conduct in direct contradiction of our party aims.

They are tending, by virtue of their functions and positions to become a social group to become a new ruling class of self-seekers and careerists.

This tendency is working to alienate the support of the masses and to bring the National Assembly into isolation.

I am aware that the evil of patronage finds a good deal of place in our society. I consider that it is entirely wrong for persons placed in positions of eminence or authority to use the influence of office in patronizing others, in many cases wrong persons, for immoral favors.

I am seeing to it that this evil shall be uprooted no matter who is gored. The same thing goes for nepotism, which is, so to speak, a twin brother of the evil of patronage.

At this point, I would like to make a little divergence and touch upon civil service red tape. It amazes me that up to the present, many civil servants do not not realize that we are living in a revolutionary era. This Ghana, which has lost so much time serving colonial masters, cannot afford to be tied down to archaic snail-place methods of work which obstruct expeditious progress.

We have lost so much time that we need to do in ten years what ahs taken others a hundred years to accomplish.

Civil servants, therefore, must develop a new orientation, a sense of mission and urgency to enable them to eliminate all tendencies toward red tape-ism, bureaucracy, and waste. Civil servants must use their initiative to make the civil service an effective instrument in the rapid development of Ghana.

Let me now come back to the party. It is most important to remember that the strength of the Convention People's Party derives from the masses of the people.

These men and women include those whom I have constantly referred to as the unknown warriors--dedicated men and women who served the party loyally and selflessly without hoping for reward.

It is therefore natural for the masses to feel some resentment when they see comrades whom they have put into power and given the mandate to serve the country on their behalf, begin to forget themselves and indulge in ostentatious living.

High party officials, ministers, ministerial secretaries, chairmen of statutory boards and corporations must forever bear this in mind. Some of us very easily forget that we ourselves have risen from amongst the masses.

We must avoid any conduct that will breed antagonism and uneasy relations. Let us always keep in mind the fact that constant examination and correction are necessary for maintaining the solidarity of the party.

The aim of all corrections, however, must be to build and not to destroy. The central committee proposes to issue instructions shortly on the duties and rights of party members.

Finally, I wish to state that in considering remedial measures, I have found it necessary to direct that a limit be imposed on property acquisition by ministers, party officials, and ministerial secretaries in order to enable them to conform to the modest and simple way of life demanded by the ideals and principles of the Convention People's Party.

Countrymen: Our mission to Ghana and to Africa and the unique personality of our party as a vanguard of the African Liberation Movement, impose upon us increasing responsibility, not only to set our own house in order, but also to set very high standards from which all who seek to emulate us shall draw devotion and inspiration in their own struggles.

I wish you all good luck and a good week-end.

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"Well, what do you think? Josh asked me. He had sat smoking as I read.

"In my opinion, any leader who makes statements and demands such as these, must himself be free of any taint or suggestion of complicity in similar pursuits," I replied.

"Right. No one can point a finger of accusation at the Osagyefo."

"Cannot or dare not?" I asked.

"Cannot! The Osagyefo has no personal fortune or financial interests, because his needs are provided for by the party. But personally, he lives very simply and neither smokes nor drinks. As you rightly said, only a man who himself leads an exemplary life would dare make such a broadcast."

"What do you expect the reaction to be among the officials at whom this is aimed?"

"Something in the nature of a 'thunderbolt in the great hall.' Some big heads are likely to roll. Man, I could name names. The Osagyefo has not made a single unfounded claim. Lots of officials have been blatantly misusing their position in every conceivable way, and its high time some action was taken. The rank-and-file of the party has begun to grumble, and the matter has been raised at several study groups recently."

"Study groups?"

"Oh yes it's part of our party structure, so that activists and others can keep abreast of Socialist thought and information."

I'd heard the same thing in Guinea.

Source: E.R. Braithwaite. A Kind of Homecoming. Englewoods Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962

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Kwame Nkrumah (21 September 1909 - 27 April 1972) was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana. An influential 20th century advocate of Pan-Africanism, he was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and was the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963. . . . Nkrumah's advocacy of industrial development at any cost, with help of longtime friend and Minister of Finance, Komla Agbeli Gbedema, led to the construction of a hydroelectric power plant, the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River in eastern Ghana. Kaiser Aluminum agreed to build the dam for Nkrumah, but restricted what could be produced using the power generated. Nkrumah borrowed money to build the dam, and placed Ghana in debt. To finance the debt, he raised taxes on the cocoa farmers in the south. This accentuated regional differences and jealousy. The dam was completed and opened by Nkrumah amidst world publicity on 22 January 1966. Nkrumah appeared to be at the zenith of his power, but the end of his regime was only days away.

Nkrumah wanted Ghana to have modern armed forces, so he acquired aircraft and ships, and introduced conscription.He also gave military support to those fighting the Smith administration in Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia. In February 1966, while Nkrumah was on a state visit to North Vietnam and China, his government was overthrown in a military coup led by Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka and the National Liberation Council. Several commentators, such as John Stockwell, have claimed the coup received support from the CIA. . . .

Nkrumah never returned to Ghana, but he continued to push for his vision of African unity. He lived in exile in Conakry, Guinea, as the guest of President Ahmed Sékou Touré, who made him honorary co-president of the country. He read, wrote, corresponded, gardened, and entertained guests. Despite retirement from public office, he was still frightened of western intelligence agencies. When his cook died, he feared that someone would poison him, and began hoarding food in his room. He suspected that foreign agents were going through his mail, and lived in constant fear of abduction and assassination. In failing health, he flew to Bucharest, Romania, for medical treatment in August 1971. He died of skin cancer in April 1972 at the age of 62.Wikipedia


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Race for the AU Chair: Africa’s Soul Searching Moment, Unique In History—4 February 2012—Kwame Nkrumah wrote in his book, Africa Must Unite! , as far back as 1960: “We in Africa who are pressing now for unity are deeply conscious of the validity of our purpose. We need the strength of our combined numbers and resources to protect ourselves from the very positive dangers of returning to colonialism in disguised forms. We need it to combat the entrenched forces dividing our continent and still holding back millions of our brothers. We need it to secure total African liberation. We need it to carry forward our construction of a socio-economic system that will support the great mass of our steadily rising population at levels of life which will compare with those in the most advanced countries.”

Just a year after that, he published another book, I Speak of Freedom, 1961, in which he laboured the point: “Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world. I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.”

For many a doubting Thomas, all they need to do to understand what has been going on with our African leaders, is to read from “Declassified National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency documents”, which “provide compelling, new evidence of United States government involvement in the 1966 overthrow of Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah.” In one of these declassified documents, March 12, 1966 (Document 260), Robert W. Komer, according to Paul Lee, “first joined the White House as a member of President Kennedy’s NSC staff,” “had worked as a CIA analyst for 15 years”, and “now acting special assistant for national security affairs, wrote a congratulatory assessment to the President on March 12, 1966 (Document 260). His assessment of Nkrumah and his successors was telling:

‘The coup in Ghana,’ he crowed, ‘is another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western.’”

“Where the more subtle methods of economic pressure and political subversion have failed to achieve the desired result,” Nkrumah wrote from exile in Guinea three years later, “there has been resort to violence in order to promote a change of regime and prepare the way for the establishment of a puppet government.”

Today, what is as stake, is not just a matter of systematically replacing a revolutionary anti-imperialist regime with a puppet government, they want to swallow up the entire continent with one full sweep. Once more, another undeclared war between China and Africa seems to top the priorities of those who pretend to be our friends and stab us in the back, as quickly as they can, in order to perpetuate and maintain what they call “Full Spectrum Dominance”.PanAfricanistInternational

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Marcus Garvey "Africa For The Africans"  /  Look For Me in The Whirlwind 

 Marcus Mosiah Garvey  / Marucs Garvey Speech

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry

By Rita Dove

Selecting poets and poems to represent a century of poetry, especially the riotous twentieth century in America, is a massive undertaking fraught with peril and complication. Poet Rita Dove-a Pulitzer Prize- winning former U.S. poet laureate, professor, and presidential scholar- embarked on what became a consuming four-year odyssey. She reports on obstacles and discoveries in an exacting and forthright introduction, featuring striking quotes, vivid profiles, and a panoramic view of the evolution of poetic visions and styles that helped bring about social as well as artistic change [...] Dove's incisive perception of the role of poetry in cultural and social awakenings infuses this zestful and rigorous gathering of poems both necessary and unexpected by 180 American poets. This landmark anthology will instantly enhance and invigorate every poetry shelf or section.—Booklist

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

 We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.” 

His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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Book of Sins

By Nidaa Khoury

Khoury's poetry is fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when many of us feel unreal and often spiritually hollow.—Yair Huri, Ben-Gurion University 

Written in water and ink, in between the shed blood. Nidaa Khoury's poems take us to the bosom of an ancient woman  . . . an archetype revived. The secret she whispers is 'smaller than words.'—Karin Karakasli, author, Turkey

Nidaa Khoury was born in Fassouta, Upper Galilee, in 1959. Khoury is the author of seven books published in Arabic and several other languages, including The Barefoot River, which appeared in Arabic and Hebrew and The Bitter Crown, censored in Jordan. The Palestinian poet is studied in Israeli universities and widely reviewed by the Arab press. The founder of the Association of Survival, an NGO for minorities in Israel, Khoury has participated in over 30 international literary and human rights conferences and festivals. Khoury is the subject of the award-winning film, Nidaa Through Silence.

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Life on Mars

By Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans.

The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.

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Sonata Mulattica: Poems

By Rita Dove

This 12th collection from the former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize recipient is her third book-length narrative poem: it follows the real career of the violin prodigy George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1780–1860), a former pupil of Haydn, as well as the grandson/ of an African prince, or so his promoters and teachers in England said. Moving to Vienna during the Napoleonic Wars, the violinist met and befriended the famously moody Beethoven, who was prepared to dedicate his famously difficult Kreutzer Sonata to Bridgetower until a rivalry for the same woman drove them apart. Dove tells Bridgetower's story, and some of Beethoven's and Haydn's, in a heterogenous profusion of short poems, some almost prosy, some glittering in their technique. In quatrains, a double villanelle, what looks like found text, short lines splayed all over a page and attractive description, Dove renders Bridgetower's frustrated genius: Music played for the soul is sheer pleasure;/ to play merely for pleasure is nothing/ but work. Dove does not always achieve such subtleties—those who loved her early work may think this book too long: few, though, will doubt the seriousness of her effort, her interest at once in the history of classical music and the changing meanings of race.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Home  Transitional Writings on Africa     Amiri Baraka

Related files: The Responsibility of a PanAfrican Socialist   The Responsibility of the Artist  Black Intellectuals Have Abandon Ideals  Responsibility of Blacks in Cyberspace

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