In the early years of independence, Ghana became an attractive destination for many Afro Americans. Many of them were inspired by the idea of a new black nation and came to either help build or learn from the early nation building process that was ongoing in Ghana at the time.
Amongst those were many black intellectuals and activists. The new university, the University of Ghana served as one of the major attractions for Afro Americans in early post independent Ghana.
Below are some of the notable Afro American icons who visited the University
1. W.E.B. Dubois (1868 – 1963)
After renouncing his United States citizenship, William Edward Burghardt Dubois settled in Ghana to focus on his Encyclopedia Africana project.
He was awarded and an Honorary Degree on his birthday by the University of Ghana on February 23, 1963.
Dubois also attended several official functions of the University until his death on August 27, 1963, in his home in Cantonements,Accra.
A street on the university’s main campus is named in his honour.
2. Martin Luther King Jr.
Upon the invitation of the then Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Ghana as a guest to the Independence Day Celebrations of Ghana.
He arrived in Ghana on the 5th of March 1957
On this visit, Martin Luther King took a tour of the campus of the University of Ghana in Legon, Accra.
3. Julian H. Mayfield (1928 – 1984)
The writer, director, actor lecturer and civil rights activist moved to Ghana in search of refuge after being sought after by intelligence agencies of the United States in 1961.
In Ghana, he frequented the University of Ghana whilst working as a writer for the Evening News, a newspaper in Ghana at the time.
4. Dr. Maya Angelou
‘Phenomenal woman’, author and poet Maya Angelou moved to Ghana in 1961
In her three year stay in Ghana, Dr Angelou worked as the Assistant Administrator and a lecturer of the School of Music and Drama at the University of Ghana.
Maya recounts her days in Ghana as being pivotal in shaping her perspectives on art and humanism.
5. Malcolm X (Malik El Shabazz)
In his first visit to Africa, civil rights advocate, Malcolm X visited the University of Ghana.
He was received by other Afro America and Ghanaian (such as Prof. Emeritus Kwame Nketia and Prof Esi Sutherland).
By: Daniel Nana Yaw Obeng|universnewsroom.com