The African Personality
TO MANY PEOPLE, the term "African Personality" is both new and strange. Although it has had a long history in Africa, it has come into constant use only within recent years; and it has done so, quite clearly, in response to the vast economic, social, and political movements that have been convulsing Africa since the end of World War II. It is, in brief, both a concept and a force; as a concept, it is defined by those very cultural movements in which, as a force, it is embodied. It is a revolutionary philosophical concept--an ideal--and it is best realized in action.
It is, therefore, no accident that the term first appears to have been given its modern connotations by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, then Prime Minister of Ghana, during the first Conference of Independent African States, held at Accra, in April, 1958. Just before the Conference opened, he said in a broadcast to our nation:
For too long in our history, Africa has spoken through the voices of others. Now what I have called an African Personality in international affairs will have a chance of making its proper impact and will let the world know it through the voices of Africa's own sons.
Two days later, on April 15, he said in a welcoming address:
In asserting our African Personality, we shall be free to act in our individual and collective interests at any particular time. We shall