Kwame Nkrumah’s Midnight Speech for Independence
By Useni Eugene Perkins
Illustrated by Laura Freeman
On a humid March night in 1957, Kwame Nkrumah made history. While thousands of people cheered, including dignitaries from around the world, he announced his country’s independence. After many years of British rule, Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast, became the first sub-Saharan African nation to break free from colonial rule. Kwame Nkrumah’s Midnight Speech for Independence shares the story of Nkrumah’s historic declaration of Ghana’s independence and the years of struggle that led to that celebrated event.
I am excited about sharing this book with 3rd to 6th graders. Students who will be pushed by the vocabulary, while drawn in by the illustrations, and joining in on the entire ride of Ghana’s revolution. I suggest that parents and teachers read this in advance, and are ready to research many of the references to world history that make up Nkrumah’s story. It’s an introduction to Pan-Africanism, to Historically Black Colleges and racial justice pioneers like Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and that’s just in the beginning. Expertly narrated and beautifully illustrated, this is a great way to introduce students to the fight against colonialism in Africa