Our first feature from the Sites of Memory Initiative:
The Pan-Africanism in Ghana Project
The project was investigated by undergraduate Tamara Jones ’17. Her project was focused on pan-Africanism and how it is expressed in Ghana versus how it is in the United States. In addition, explored the ideology that all Africans and African descendants throughout the diaspora are ancestrally united and thus should be economically, politically, and socially bound. Ghana gained its independence under one of the most renowned Pan Africanist, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It draws curiosity by the lack of pan-African visual displays in Ghana that you would frequently see in American (e.g. the Pan-African flag). After speaking with Seestah Imahkus, the CEO of One Africa, Jones learned about the stark difference between pan-Africanism and practical pan-Africanism. In short, it is the difference between “talking the talk and walking the walk”. In the United States, the movement is present in pocketed communities across the nation. There is no overlying policy or true commitment to pan-Africanism on a national or even city level scale. However in Ghana, pan-Africanism permeates through all that the Republic of Ghana is. Religiously, the country is the most tolerant place she has been to.
Jones concludes her findings about her project in Ghana “as anyone can just walk down the street and witness the expression of a multitude of faiths. They are not intolerant of those who do not look like them. They embrace difference, and they recognize that no matter how different we are, we are similar in so many other ways. We are one. We may not see the [Pan-African] flag, but the people of Ghana do not have to show off their pan-Africanism in local displays, everyone already knows they are pan-African.
Tamara Jones ’17
Senior, Psychology Major
Lehigh University, College of Arts and Sciences
Photos courtesy of Miles J. Davis ’16 ’17G, 2016 (c)