New Directions


June Milne


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was adapted from remarks by June Milne, literary executrix of Kwame Nkrumah’s estate and publisher of the London-based Panaf Books Ltd., during the formal presentation of Nkrumah’s Conakry papers to Howard University this past April. Nkrumah was born in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1909 and was first educated there before coming to the United States in 1935 to further his education at Lincoln University and, subsequently, at the University of Pennsylvania. After 10 years in the U.S., he went to England to study at the London School of Economics. At the same time, he intensified his political activities for the independence of his homeland, which he led to full nationhood on March 6,1957. He was toppled from power in 1966as a result of a coup by army officers and remained in exile in neighboring Guinea until his death in 1971 in Bucharest, Romania, where he had gone for medical treatment. Thomas C. Battle, director of the Moor- land-Spingarn Research Center, who accepted the valuable gift on behalf of the university, made special note of Nkrumah’s long association with Howard, dating back to 1943 when Nkrumah gave a speech on Africa at Rankin Chapel. At that time, Nkrumah was an instructor at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and the president of the African Students Association in the United States of America and Canada. After Ghana’s independence, Battle added: “Dr. Nkrumah visited Howard University (1958), the only institution of higher learning on the itinerary for his official state visit, toured the campus and addressed members of the university community. In 1957 he had been awarded the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa. Following Dr. Nkrumah’s death in Bucharest, Romania, a memorial service was held in Rankin Chapel where he had so eloquently spoken nearly thirty years earlier.’’ Of the Conakry papers, Battle said: “The papers of Kwame Nkrumah will be an important source for scholars of Pan Africanism, African liberation, and progressive thought when they have been fully processed and made available for research. ” He thanked June Milne for “her appreciation of our dedication to the Black experience, for her confidence in our staff and our institution.”