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Marika Sherwood

Why did the Cold War begin in the Gold Coast (today’s Ghana) in 1948? 1 As I recount in great detail in my book Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War: The West African National Secretariat (1945–48) , it was because the ‘Western’ imperialist, capitalist powers wanted to stop, or at least control, the struggle for independence. But, as the Second World War had just ended, it would not have looked good to fight a ‘real’ war against the independistas , whether they were called that, or

in The Red and the Black
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Government, Authority and Control, 1830–1940

From the Victorian period to the present, images of the policeman have played a prominent role in the literature of empire, shaping popular perceptions of colonial policing. This book covers and compares the different ways and means that were employed in policing policies from 1830 to 1940. Countries covered range from Ireland, Australia, Africa and India to New Zealand and the Caribbean. As patterns of authority, of accountability and of consent, control and coercion evolved in each colony the general trend was towards a greater concentration of police time upon crime. The most important aspect of imperial linkage in colonial policing was the movement of personnel from one colony to another. To evaluate the precise role of the 'Irish model' in colonial police forces is at present probably beyond the powers of any one scholar. Policing in Queensland played a vital role in the construction of the colonial social order. In 1886 the constabulary was split by legislation into the New Zealand Police Force and the standing army or Permanent Militia. The nature of the British influence in the Klondike gold rush may be seen both in the policy of the government and in the actions of the men sent to enforce it. The book also overviews the role of policing in guarding the Gold Coast, police support in 1954 Sudan, Orange River Colony, Colonial Mombasa and Kenya, as well as and nineteenth-century rural India.

Writers in a common cause

Across the continent of Africa, a web of laws silenced African speech. On the eve of World War II, a small, impoverished group of Africans and West Indians in London dared to imagine the end of British rule in Africa. Printing gave oppositions a voice, initially through broadsheets, tracts, pamphlets, later through books and articles. The group launched an anti-colonial campaign that used publishing as a pathway to liberation. These writers included West Indians George Padmore, C. L. R. James, and Ras Makonnen, Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta and Sierra Leone's I. T. A. Wallace Johnson. They formed a part of International African Service Bureau (IASB), and the communists saw them as "generals without an army, they have no base and must depend on their pens". Padmore saw 'trusteeship' as a concept invoked as far back as the late nineteenth-century conferences that divided up Africa. Pan-Africa, a monthly periodical T. Ras Makonnen put out, reported that Richard Wright urged his listeners to form an international network of 'cultured progressives'. Labour-powered nationalism was to Padmore more than a drive for self-government. With the Gold Coast political ground so unsettled, neither Nkrumah nor the Convention People's Party (CPP) made Wright privy to their operations. Inspired by the movement for self-government in British West African colonies, French radicals like Leopold Senghor were rebelling against French political control. In 1969, when a small American publisher reissued A History of Pan-African Revolt , James added to it an epilogue explaining the 'rapid decline of African nationalism'.

Policing the Gold Coast, 1865–1913
David Killingray

This chapter discusses the development of a formal system of policing in the Gold Coast over a period of nearly sixty years, the concluding date of 1913 marking the consolidation of British control over the territory that now approximates to modern Ghana. The chapter looks at the origins of the police and the way in which a dual system of policing developed, mainly an

in Policing the empire
Carol Polsgrove

On a cold day in March 1948, St Clair Drake was warming himself by the stove in the League of Coloured Peoples’ London office when Padmore dashed in with news: Nkrumah, Ako-Adjei, and four others in the United Gold Coast Convention had been arrested in connection with a riot for which they were not responsible but for which they were blamed. Padmore organised a demonstration at

in Ending British rule in Africa
Richard Rathbone

Until the riots of 28 February 1948 occurred, the Gold Coast’s police force had played a relatively slight role in the country’s politics. From their inception they had, it is true, attempted to contain local ‘disturbances’, but the acquisition of political intelligence, a role usually associated with a specialist unit, the Special Branch, had not been part of their

in Policing and decolonisation
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Carol Polsgrove

While Padmore was writing The Gold Coast Revolution , Peter Abrahams was producing another and very different book: Return to Goli , an account of his return to Africa for the first time since the war. Unlike Padmore’s dense narrative of Gold Coast history, Return to Goli was cast in the form of a travelogue, personal and enlivened by scenes, dialogue, and

in Ending British rule in Africa
Amateur enthusiasms and colonial museum policy in British West Africa
Paul Basu

British West Africa in relation to many other territories of the British Empire. Although small museums had been established earlier at elite educational institutions such as Achimota College in the Gold Coast and the Bo School in Sierra Leone, it was not until the eve of decolonisation that national (or proto-national) museums were established in the region. The highwater mark of this movement was undoubtedly 1957, the year of the Gold Coast/Ghana’s independence, when national museums were opened in Accra, Freetown and Lagos

in Curating empire
The tragic voice of Richard Wright
Bill Schwarz

discussion of Wright’s visit to the Gold Coast on the eve of independence. Through these diverse spaces, and the people, ideas and political impulses that connected them, the transnational nature of decolonisation becomes clear. I have been impressed for a long time by the intellectual politics of New World writers who found themselves in Europe during the collapse of the colonial order

in Cultures of decolonisation
British and French colonial discourses on education for development in the interwar period
Walter Schicho

interventions constitute the main focus of this contribution: the French Minister of Colonies, Albert Sarraut, and Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, the British Governor of the Gold Coast. 8 To Guggisberg education was the ‘keystone of progress’ and ‘what is uppermost in the thoughts of all Africans’. 9 His planning efforts concerned first and foremost the Gold Coast. Albert Sarraut

in Developing Africa