12019-03-12T23:56:48+00:00Stanford University Pressaf84c3e11fe030c51c61bbd190fa82a3a1a1282413gallerypublished2019-09-11T23:13:58+00:00Production Editor7a3dce28be212b1ba5b4a7a50f3d6a8d76b58c74On March 9, 1957, the Pittsburgh Courier celebrated the Ghana’s independence from Britain. “At midnight, March 6, a giant was born,” Courier correspondent Alex Rivera wrote. “It was the first of a new nation—Ghana—formerly known as the Gold Coast, a British West African colony. For weeks people from all parts of the world have come here to be present at the birth of this new child into the family of free nations. Precisely at the stroke of 12 midnight the Union Jack was lowered and the red, green and gold flag of Ghana was raised” (click to view PDF of story).
Ghana and the country’s Prime Minister Dr. Kwame Nkrumah captured the imaginations of black people around the world and received extensive coverage in the black press. In addition to the front-page story (“Nation’s Cheer Africa’s Ghana”), the March 9, 1957 issue of the Courier included an advertisement of commemorative postage stamps (“For yourself and your children...to celebrate Ghana Independence”) and a 32-page Ghana Salute Supplement. You can view this supplement as a PDF here: part 1, part 2, and part 3.
Next to a picture of Prime Minister Nkrumah, a Courier editorial made the case for what Ghana’s independence meant to African Americans:
The significance [of Ghana] to American Negroes is more than the extension of a greeting or the hand of welcome. This is because the ancient empire of Ghana was the land of the forefathers of most American Negroes. Traced through centuries, the majority of American Negroes are Ghanaians whose cultural roots have been destroyed, a new people who have lost touch with their original culture and civilization and have failed of full acceptance in the new society where they find themselves. Are American Negroes an inferior people? Can they meet the full challenge of modern Western civilization? We American Negroes look to Ghana to furnish the answers to these questions.