Adu Boahen: Meet the Ghanaian historian who saved West Africa’s historical narratives from White scholars

Adu Boahen: Meet the Ghanaian historian who saved West Africa’s historical narratives from White scholars

- Prof. Albert Adu Boahen, was a a Ghanaian politician, academician and historian

- His major contribution was to restore the history of Western Africa to the natives having observed that White scholarly interests dominated the field

- Prof. Boahen was born on May 24, 1932

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Born on May 24, 1932, in the Gold Coast, present-day Ghana, Ghanaian politician Prof. Albert Adu Boahen, was an academician and historian whose research greatly shed light on Africa and West Africa’s contribution to civilisation.

Boahen was educated at Mfantsipim School and later at the University of Ghana before being awarded his Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London - the first Ghanaian to achieve that feat.

He returned to the University of Ghana to lecture in the Department of History and in 1987, he became Associate Professor and Head of the Department.

Boahen became a professor of history at the University of Ghana and taught at Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities, among others.

His major contribution was to restore the history of Western Africa to the indigenous people having observed that White scholarly interests dominated the field.

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The Hill writes that ''Boahen probed the documents of colonial explorations to uncover a forgotten heritage of engaged African states. His stories debunked theories of a savage ''Dark Continent'' and revealed new information on the civilizations of the Western Sudan.''

His book, "Topics in West African History", remains a compelling and valuable resource on the history of West Africa from the spread of Islam to the present day.

The book became necessary after Boahen was contacted by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to talk on the history of West Africa to the secondary schools and training colleges in 1963-64. Themes such as the role of black-American settlements in Sierra Leone and Liberia were also treated.

In 1959, Boahen set out to establish an Africa-centered history of the Western Sudan. His pioneer doctoral research at the University of London resulted in the book, Britain, the Sahara, and the Western Sudan, 1788-1861.

Boahen also worked on the UNESCO committee that published the eight-volume work – General History of Africa, a monumental study that began in 1964 and was published in 1979 with contributions from about 230 historians.

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In 1987, he wrote ''African Perspectives on Colonialism'' that examined the reaction of African states to the advance of European powers.

Roger House, Ph.D., an associate professor of American studies at Emerson College in Boston, recently indicated that most of Boahen’s books are out of print and difficult to find coupled with used copies being sold exorbitantly by online sellers.

Prof. Boahen represented the main opposition New Patriotic Party in a bid to wrestle power from then-leader, Jerry John Rawlings, in the 1992 Ghanaian presidential election.

He became a member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2003 a Festschrift named ''Ghana in Africa and the World'' was released, edited by Toyin Falola.

The UNESCO also awarded him the Avicenna Silver Medal.

Prof. Albert Adu died on May 24, 2006, on his 74th birthday. He left behind his wife Mary Adu Boahen and his five children.

In other stories, YEN.com.gh reported that despite having spent time in jail, Shaun "Lucky" Corbett, a 40-year old ex-felon turned his fortunes around to become a thriving professional barber and entrepreneur.

From Charlotte, North Carolina, Corbett has opened his very own barbershop called Da Lucky Spot Barbershop. Located inside of a Walmart store, Blackbusiness.com reports that Shaun has made history as the first Black entrepreneur to ever do this.

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Source: Yen.com.gh

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