A Record Of Reactions In A Land Of Pathos
An American Negro reports on the revolution of Africa's Gold Coast. He sees the results of those forces of geography that made the country fabulously rich in raw materials, prey to British imperialism (after the Swedes, the Portuguese, the Germans, the Dutch, the French had taken their turns). The text is intensely personal as he shares his own fascination, revulsion, doubts, convictions; as he gives vivid word pictures of successive areas; as he senses- now discarding- now accepting- the surge of nationalism that must, he says, be aided by the West or Russia will take the initiative. The West has failed, abysmally, in resisting literacy or progress, in wishing to maintain the status quo. His journeys everywhere traced the rising power of Nhrumah the prime minister and leader of the Convention People's Party. The fusion of tribalism with modern politics makes strange bedfellows. Protestantism, Catholicism, modern politics and a smattering of Marxism merge to fill the vacuum left by British suzerainty. The British close their eyes to what is happening. Richard Wright visits Accra, as guest of the leader. He goes with Battling Kojo, former middleweight, into the hinter-land-jungles, mining camp, village of the Ashantis, "palaces" of chiefs, lumber camps, industrialized Takoradi. He understands how primitive symbols can be misinterpreted. It is a wholly different portrait of Africa from that in other books about the Dark Continent. It may frighten -- but it must be accepted as an important if sometimes difficult contribution.