Thursday, December 2, 2010

Images of Ghana under Nkrumah


President Nkrumah playing table tennis with Chou En-lai, former premier of China

"Symbolizing the People's Republis of China's eagerness to win new friends in Africa, Mao Tse-Tung (right) extends the hand of friendship to Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah at a Julet 28, 1962 meeting in Hangchow, China.
28 Jul 1962, Hangchow, China --- 7/28/62-Hangchow, China: Closer relations with the Sino-Soviet block have developed as a result of the growing importance of leftist radicals within the Ghanaian government."

Dwight D. Eisenhower greeting Prime Minister of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah at the White House.

"President Kennedy went to the airport and personally welcomed (under an umbrella) President Nkrumah of Ghana, the first chief of state to visit Washington during his administration." New York Times - March 9 1961
After this moment, every African country wanted independence, even those who weren't "ready" for it.

Cover of Africa Report magazine, 1966. The Ghana without Nkrumah issue.
President-for-life Kwame Nkrumah posing with army officers before the military coup that deposed him in 1966.

6th March 1966: Children around a fallen statue of the self appointed president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah during the coup that overthrew his dictatorship.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Power Analysis Essay (Draft)

In 1957, the British empire granted independence to Ghana, formerly  known as the Gold Coast, after being pushed away by the movements of the Ghanaian people led by Kwame Nkrumah, who later became the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana. (reword and give more background)

Nkrumah governed the state of Ghana with his Pan-Africanist views. Because of his strong perspectives, he focused more on uniting the African states by travelling to each country and having meetings with its leaders promoting his idea of the "United States of Africa".

Meanwhile, Ghana, as a self-governed state, has showed development through the new infrastructures created like the new highway(insert specific example here). Most of Ghana's development was financed by foreign countries like the US and Britain (not sure what else...check later).

Even if Nkrumah was doing a good job on uniting Africa and had improved Ghana, many were doubtful about his ways. People started to question his projects. (give more details and reword)

Then, the time came when the opposition of Nkrumah's government pursued with their plan of removing Nkrumah from his office. A military coup, led by General (something) Ankrah and (insert another name here), occurred in the morning of (insert specific date here) while Nkrumah was off to (insert destination) for a peace-making meeting.

(insert skipped details)

Nkrumah believes that the US government might have something to do with the coup just like his belief that the US was also involved in the Congo Crisis (read more about this). The coup leaders asked helped from the US president, about governing their country after the coup. It was said that General Ankrah was preferred by the US to be Ghana's next leader.

I believe that the people of Ghana was a powerful force until some of them thought of reforming the government. The people's divided views made them weak. General Ankrah (and his buddies) are...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/28 in-class work

I found a New York Times article, 'Army In Control After Ghana Coup Topples Nkrumah', and others that were published the day after President Nkrumah's government was overthrown. Those articles basically narrate what happened on February 24, 1966.

This NY Times article, however, 'U.S. Officials Show No Regret Over the Removal of Nkrumah', also published on February 25, 1966, tells a different story. It informs us with the American reaction to the coup. What's really interesting to me is US Secretary of State for Africa, G. Mennen Williams, who commented that the U.S. could have "good and favorable relations" with the Ghanaian military leaders. Then, State Department official added that it "was not intended to imply recognition" of the new leaders of Ghana. I think reading this at that time would make us think what the US' role was to the coup. The two countries had a love-hate relationship and probably the US got fed up with Nkrumah's views. Given that President Nkrumah is anti-American, as seen in his writings, and a communist friend of China and Russia, it is clear that the US leaders hated him which might have been a motive for the US involvement in the coup. Now, it does really make sense to think that the US has something to do with this (especially that it is proven by the revealed CIA documents).

After talking  about the US-Ghana relationship, the author mentioned that what would happen to Ghana after the coup might just be like what happened in Nigeria where the new leaders who were positioned after their coup would focus more on internal reforms and avoid Pan-Africanism projects (which was described as ambitious and costly) of their leaders. I think the author might be arguing that these Pan-Africanism views would only result to military coups as seen in the patterns of coups that occurred in different African countries. I also think that these coups were probably supported by the US because these would destroy the spread of communism and therefore, they could easily manipulate the new country leaders if they have the same perspectives.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Annotated Bibliography (draft)

Annotated Bibliography

Ghana's Foreign Policy at Independence and Implications for the 1966 Coup D'état
By: Gebe, Boni Yao. Journal of Pan African Studies, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p160-186, 27p

This study explores the Ghanaian state under President Kwame Nkrumah’s legacy and examines the reasons for his dethronement. It concludes that his departure constitutes an irreplaceable loss to the pan-African agenda.

Lessons from "The Mother of all Parliaments"
New African, Jun2010, Issue 496, p32-35, 4p

The article discusses the political practices in Ghana. It states that before foreign constitutions were imposed on the people of Ghana, they once had a system of government which allows them to withstand wars, slavery and foreign rule. It says that Prime Minister Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did not agree with the Ghana Constitution that a military coup has to be done to change power and overthrow him from his position. (Abstract)

24th February--A Dark Day in Our National History
By: Kpessa, Michael Whyte.


Declassified letter from the US State Dept: Letter from Ankrah to President Johnson

This is a letter that was written by a CIA agent-- Howard Banes in Ghana for General Ankrah to sign in order to protect America from the consequences of the coup that was led by the general.

Kwame Nkrumah: Cold War Modernity, Pan-African Ideology and the Geopolitics of Development.
By: White, Evan. Geopolitics; Summer2003, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p99-124, 26p

This article analyses Kwame Nkrumah’s political practices towards development of Ghana and foreign relations after becoming Ghana’s first post-independence leader.

The Perils of Missionary Diplomacy: The United States Peace Corps Volunteers in the Republic of Ghana
By: Amin, Julius A. Western Journal of Black Studies, Spring99, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p35, 14p

This study determines the impact of the United States Peace Corps program on the development of Ghana during the 1960s. It also evaluates the broader motives behind the creation of the Peace Corps and the volunteers’ overall performance in Ghana. It also appraises the role of the Peace Corps in the Cold War and the role of `people to people' diplomacy in the conduct of American foreign relations.

Eisenhower, Nkrumah and the Congo Crisis
By: Ebere Nwaubani. Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Oct., 2001), pp. 599-622

Ghana achieved its independence from Britain in March 1957. The gist of this article is that Ghana started off on cordial terms with the USA, but by September 1960 this relationship was close to rupture, with Washington charging that Ghana was taking too much after the Soviet Union. It is, however, argued that the circumstanes leading up to the chilling of USA-Ghana relations in 1960 were more complex, and that the clear point of departure was the Congo crisis. Almost from the onset, the USA and Ghana had substantial differences over the crisis, and the more the crisis deepened, the more the gulf between the two widened. (Abstract)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Research Sources

I decided to focus on the U.S. interventions in Ghana in the 1960s. So far, I've found at least four sources. And I think I had a better understanding of the events that  took place from that time period. I think it's more of an imperial relationship because the U.S.-Ghana relationship started when General Ankrah asked for U.S. support for his anti-communism views. Then, it led to a coup d'etat that overthrown Pres. Kwame Nkruma.

The first one is an article entitled Lessons from "The Mother of all Parliaments" that states that Ghana once had a government that withstands wars, slavery and foreign rule before establishing foreign constitutions. I think this would be useful in determining how foreign countries, particularly the U.S., affected Ghana in political and economical terms.

The second one is the external link that I found from the Wikipedia entry of Ghana, 24th February--A Dark Day In Our National History, explaining the overthrowing of Pres. Nkrumah's government led by General Ankrah and with the help of external forces like the U.S.' CIA. It also leaks the declassified letter of General Ankrah to Pres. Johnson. I think this is a very helpful source that would also increase my understanding of what happened back then. I'm just not sure if the article is too biased. Is it?

"Ghana's Foreign Policy at Independence and Implications for the 1966 Coup D'état" which discusses Pres. Nkrumah's legacy and why he was ousted from the office.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reaction to Hearts and Minds

First of all, the name of the film got me thinking. And I had my own understanding about it: "Hearts" represents the love of the Vietnamese people to their country and "Minds" represents the Americans' way of loving their country. The Vietnamese showed that they will never be slaves of other countries. They battled against the Chinese, Japanese, French, and the U.S. and they won. They're fighting for peace and independence. On the other hand, the U.S. was fighting for Vietnam's resources and to be winners of the war. The Americans used their brains more than their hearts. Their way of being proud of their country is by being powerful over the others and to be richer.

The American soldiers' different comments about the war really caught my attention. We saw that some soldiers don't even know what they were fighting for and was just there to either fulfill their job or were really enjoying the thrill of being in the war. They also said that it's how they were raised, that they were taught to be loyal to their country and would do their duty even if it's to kill innocent lives.

I think it’s the ideology that the U.S. is an empire led to its involvement in Vietnam. It would interfere to a country that they are planning to invade through giving aid but slowly overtaking the country's rulers by manipulating them.

Davis included the football scene to show how winning a game matters so much to Americans, games that aren't only sports but wars. Then, after each football scene was the Lieutenant talking about the war to kids. I think Davis is comparing how Americans handle a game.  The coach was yelling so hard to its players, pushing them to win the football game and the U.S. sent maximum military force to defeat the communists.

I don't really have a clear answer on why the scenes of the war were being shown on the news in the U.S. while the war was going on. I guess it is to show that the soldiers sent to Vietnam were doing a good job, that they're doing their duty, and that the damage their doing means victory, although some Americans viewed it the other way.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ghana, here I come!

My unfamiliarity with Ghana made me curious about it's history and relationship with the United States. I always believe that the U.S. can be connected to any country in the world but have never heard of Ghana and United States in one sentence except in the World Cup. I thought that Ghana was too silent that I never hear about it in the world news. So, this made me choose Ghana.

As I read through the Wikipedia entry of Ghana, I looked at the history section and found out that the U.S. intervened with Ghana after it's independence from the British colonialism. However, Wikipedia provided only a brief summary of that part of Ghana's history. It led me to an article, "24th February--A Dark Day In Our National History" by Kpessa, Michale Whyte, that discusses the involvement of the U.S. in the abolition of the Ghanaian government. Kpessa's article explain how this CIA activity happened revealing secret documents, like "Letter From Chairman of the National Liberation Council Lieutenant General Ankrah to President Johnson", asking the U.S. President to  unite with him to promote U.S. democracy principles to the people of Ghana that resulted to a coup d'état that was said to be encouraged by the U.S. Secretary and CIA. Wikipedia also described Ghana's devotion to Pan-Africanism, a movement that aims to unite African people into a "global African community", which I find really interesting. So far, I think Wikipedia might be useful to provide general informations that will make me wonder what details are missing in my research. From being clueless about my country of interest and just by reading through a short part of Ghana's history that lead me to an external link, I finally knew something that could relate the United States to Ghana.