Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, PhD

Committee Chair

Fleming, Tyler

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Rajack-Talley, Theresa

Committee Member

Essien, Kwame

Committee Member

Yingling, Charlton

Author's Keywords

Pan-Africanism; Ghana; black internationalism; Kwame Nkrumah; George Padmore; Africa


After gaining independence from England, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, was transparent in his embrace of the entire African diaspora and actively recruited a number of Pan-African West Indian intellectual-activists, who mentored and advised him as a student in London, to help build Ghana as a Pan-Africanist state. Among these West Indian intellectual-activists were George Padmore, W. Arthur Lewis, T. Ras Makonnen, and Jan Carew. For these West Indians the appeal of Ghana was neither symbolic nor ceremonial, but rather an opportunity to achieve the ultimate objective of the Pan-African movement, a free and self-governed African continent. In Ghana their Pan-Africanisms transcended its use as an ideology for political mobilization and consciousness and became praxis in governance as they contributing to the nation-building process of the first Sub-Saharan African nation to gain independence. In addition, examining the contrasting notions of diaspora, ethnicity, and identity that these West Indians encountered in Ghana, this dissertation illustrates that the West Indian influences on Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana were profound and critical to the nation-building process in the realms of political strategy, economics, institution building, and media.